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Pearl in the Sand: A Novel Paperback – September 1, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

In Pearl in the Sand, Tessa Afshar has created compelling characters that bring new meaning to this well-loved biblical tale.
-- Jill Eileen Smith, bestselling author of Michal and Abigail

Pearl in the Sand, the story of Rahab the harlot who became an ancestor of Christ, delivers a very powerful truth within its pages: forgiveness, redemption, and the changing power of God. An unforgettable read, Novel Journey and I give a high recommendation.
Ane Mulligan, Editor
Novel Journey
 

Review

In Pearl in the Sand, Tessa Afshar has created compelling characters that bring new meaning to this well-loved biblical tale.
-- Jill Eileen Smith, bestselling author of Michal and Abigail

Pearl in the Sand, the story of Rahab the harlot who became an ancestor of Christ, delivers a very powerful truth within its pages: forgiveness, redemption, and the changing power of God. An unforgettable read, Novel Journey and I give a high recommendation.
--Ane Mulligan, Editor, Novel Journey

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802458815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802458810
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (474 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tessa Afshar was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Awards 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. Her book, Harvest of Rubies was nominated for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in the fiction category and World Magazine chose Harvest of Rubies as one of four notable books of the year. Her novel, Harvest of Gold was nominated for the 2014 Christy Award. Tessa was born in Iran to a nominally Muslim family, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last fifteen years in full-time Christian service in New England.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 95 people found the following review helpful By L. Germany on September 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Historical fiction is one of my favorite books to read, but historical Biblical fiction? My all time favorite. Although I was supposed to be finishing another book I just couldn't resist sitting down to sneak in a few pages of this book based on the story of Rahab. However, once I had read a few pages I just couldn't quit.

I have always thought one way about Rahab, but reading this book with the explanations of their culture brought in made me think differently. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Salmon asks for her hand in marriage. I won't tell you what he says, but it took my breath away. I am probably showing my ignorance, but it was so beautiful to me because we are all like Rahab.

"Pearls in the Sand" ranks right up there with "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers and "The Chronicles of the Kings" by Lynn Austin.

It goes on my "must read" list for 2010!
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Picture a woman who is betrayed by people she trusted, whose whole world falls apart and who builds emotional walls around herself to survive and avoid feeling the pain. Is this the author of a New York Times bestseller or a guest on the latest Oprah? Not exactly.

This woman is Rahab - the prostitute mentioned a few times in the bible - so skillfully brought to life by first-time novelist Tessa Afshar in "Pearl in the Sand" (Moody Publishers, 2010), that the story which takes place during and after the fall of the wall of Jericho transcends time and breathes life into a character full of the same fears, heartbreaks and joys we experience today.

The first reference to Rahab, in the Old Testament book of Joshua, tells how she hides Israeli spies in her house built into the wall of Jericho, brought down by Israel. Later we learn that she and her family, all spared during the siege because of Rahab's actions, settle permanently in Israel. She's referenced in other books, but no further clues about her destiny appear again in Scripture until we read in the Gospel of Matthew that she was married to a man named Salmon and had a son named Boaz.

Afshar has merged these few details with historical, biblical and archaeological information to create a sweeping tale of a woman's life and the complex relationship between her and Salmone (the author chooses an alternate, less "fishy" spelling for the name of her novel's hero). Just how does a prostitute from Jericho end up married to an important leader of Israel and the mother of Boaz, who was in Jesus' genealogy? The answers and the details laying their foundation make for excellent historical fiction, wrongly classified by some as romance.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Sara Goff on January 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
No work of fiction has deepened my faith in God's unconditional love like Pearl in the Sand. The story weaves together scenes from the Bible to show how Rahab, a prostitute who has accepted her life as an outcast, captures the attention of Israel and the heart of one of their greatest leaders, Solmon. The most profound aspect of the book is how Rahab and Salmone, newlyweds, wrestle with jealousy and guilt, following God's commitment to forgive, rather than give up on their marriage.

With every scene, I peeled away layers of my own self-condemnation, until, at the end, I could look at my life with more love and understanding. Beautifully written, to the point and sincere, Pearl in the Sand is truly a life-altering book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Digitlchic on May 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rahab is someone I feel a connection to, so I was excited to find this book - but I with Unashamed: Rahab (The Lineage of Grace Series #2) as a favorite of mine to live up to, I honestly wasn't sure how this book would fair with me. I'm happy to say it FAR surpassed my expectations!

I could hardly put the book down I was so thoroughly engrossed in the story and how Afshar weaved biblical truths with fictional plots and motivations all the while continually pointing back to the One who wrote the original story and His ideas and ways of reaching His children.

I felt connected to the characters and felt their interactions and motivations were plausible and realistic. I was moved to tears a number of times. But what I loved most is how Afshar consistently worked to highlight the Father and His character, but did so without making you feel like she was beating you over the head with it. Her characters simply loved Him and as you listen to their conversation (both internal and with one another) and watched their walks with Him progress, certain biblical truths were showcased and gave pause for one's own internal reflection.

Suffice it to say, that having just finished reading my first response was to like Tessa Afshar's Facebook page, then to buy Harvest of Rubies and now I'm leaving this review :)

If you - like me - are a fan of Oke, Rivers, etc - give this book a try I think you will be glad you did!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Katie Garvin on July 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
Pearl in the Sand not only retells the story of Rahab in a wonderful, vibrant way, but also has many wonderful lessons that are sure to speak to each reader. When I first began this book, I thought the story would ended after the battle of Jericho with the marriage of Solmone and Rahab...but that was only the beginning!

The bible doesn't tell us about Rahab's adjustment into the Israelite camp after they destroyed Jericho, or how she ended up marrying Solmone. Tessa Afshar, using her amazing creativity, has crafted together a plausible, meaningful, and wholly believable story of what might've happened for this woman of Faith to end up being the mother of Boaz. The plot was amazing, with surprises along the way that kept me interested and glued to the pages, eager to find out what would happen next.

Both Rahab and Solmone were well defined characters that were deep, meaningful, and each struggling with different issues. I loved how the story really took off after their marriage. That was something I wasn't expecting, but totally loved! The writing style did a bit more telling of the characters thoughts and feelings than I usually like, but it wasn't that noticeable. Maybe I'm just picky.

As should be obvious (this being the story of Rahab the harlot) there is quite a bit of adult content in Pearl in the Sand. But I was amazed at how the author handled it. Leaving out sensual descriptions, she kept it very factual and clean. In fact, one of my favorite scenes was when Salmone helped Rahab get past old scars and memories of her past life so that she could find joy in their marriage bed. Very sweet, touching, and so true.

With her gift of retelling biblical stories with vibrancy and creativity, I can't wait to see what Tessa publishes next!
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