Melanie's Musings
October 22, 2012

Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

Pearl in the Sand is a gem of a novel.

I picked it up because of its cover then decided the premise sounded pretty interesting. I brought it home then let it languish on my shelf for awhile. But then I read Sandy’s review of it which led me to Juju’s review and I knew I had to start it.

I’m so glad I did; it’s really lovely.

Pearl in the Sand is a fictional take on the story of Rahab. At the beginning of the book, she’s a prostitute. By the end, her faith has changed and she’s… well, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

When Rahab decides to join the Hebrews, she ardently takes on their customs and their God. Since Pearl in the Sand is written in first person, Rahab’s introspection is on herself and it doesn’t feel as if the author is using Rahab’s change of heart to blatantly preach at the reader, something I’ve found often in Christian fiction books written in third person.

As for Rahab, she’s a lovely person from the beginning of the novel.  She’s very intelligent and has done well with the circumstances she was thrust into.

The love interest, Salmone, on the other hand, is a complete idiot. At first.  He judges Rahab unjustly, not caring of what she is now, only of what she has been.  Yet it’s carefully shown that he is a fair leader and a kind man to his family and friends. He eventually warms up to her. (Boy, does he ever.)

One issue I was surprised didn’t come up was Salmone’s previous marriage.  It seemed to me that, with all the insecurities Rahab had, thinking of his previous wife would have drawn up comparison’s in Rahab’s mind but nothing of the sort was mentioned.  Perhaps that was best, as she already had enough insecurities to sink a ship.

For those familiar with the Bible, while reading, I wondered if the reason Boaz, Rahab’s son, was able to accept Ruth was because his mother was an outsider herself.

I found Pearl in the Sand to be a beautiful story of faith and love, starring a woman who initially loses the first and doesn’t believe she’s worthy of the latter.

Tessa Afshar’s second book, Harvest of Rubies, was just released earlier this year and I won’t be taking nearly as long to read it as I did her first.

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Posted by Melanie at 10:27 am – Comments (6)
Categories: book review

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  • October 22nd 2012

    I looooooooooove this book. So glad you liked it. I don’t remember if in the story he’d been married before.


  • October 22nd 2012
    Sandy said:

    I still pick this book up from time to time. I don’t tire of it 🙂

    He is such a jerk in the beginning! But he softens up a lot–I liked that he had flaws too. He had to get over his pride just as much as Rahab had to get over her insecurities. Hmm, you bring up a good point about his first wife. It didn’t bother me that she wasn’t really mentioned much–I guess because she was his past like rahab’s customers were hers. idk. But I’m glad you enjoyed the story :3


  • October 24th 2012

    Sounds like a beautiful read and I really like the cover which I think is quite biblical. Great review, thanks.


  • October 24th 2012
    Liviania said:

    I haven’t heard of this one, but it sounds nice. I am bothered by Christian fiction that’s preachy, so it’s nice that this one doesn’t do that.


  • October 27th 2012
    elena said:

    i haven’t heard of this book but i’m glad you liked it so much! the love interest sounds quite interesting, i like how he changes from an idiot to something more. it sounds like a beautiful book!


  • October 29th 2012
    Michelle said:

    I can see why you picked it up based on the cover. It is gorgeous. It sounds like a fascinating book too. You have to love when the book lives up to the cover!