The Song of Hannah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy
As silly as it sounds, I'm always on the look out for good Biblical historical fiction. I have a few favorites (namely The Red Tent by Anita Diamant and Sarah by Marek Halter), but in general they've been hard to find. So I was really excited when I stumbled upon this book.
This book tells the story of Hannah the mother of the prophet Samuel. Half of the story is told from Hannah's point of view and the other half from her husband's first wife Pinah. When I say Hannah is his second wife, I mean her husband had two wives at once, because back in those days multiple marriages weren't considered adultery.
While I do think I'm fairly knowledgeable about my Jewish religion, I'll admit there's a lot I don't know. Mainly being a lot of the stories that aren't in the actual Torah. Which means going into this book I had almost no idea of who Hannah and Samuel were. So even though it was a story that I should have been familiar with, I had almost no idea what to expect.
While I did really enjoy reading the book, but I wouldn't necessarily list it as my favorite. I felt like I learned a good amount, and do think its interesting to read some one's interruption of what life was like back then. I did like the characters, Pinah in some ways more than Hannah. And while I can't article what I didn't like about the book, I did feel like something was missing. Nevertheless it looks like the author has two similar books, I believe one on Ruth and on Deborah, and would definitely be open to reading those at some point as well.
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