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Sarah (Women of Genesis, Book 1) (Women of Genesis (Forge)) Mass Market Paperback – August 30, 2001

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Product Details

  • Series: Women of Genesis (Forge) (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (August 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765341174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765341174
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 4.2 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

From New York Times bestselling author Orson Scott Card comes the finely crafted novel of Sarah, about a beautiful and courageous Jewish woman who changed the course of history through her faith, wisdom, and commitment to her husband, Abraham. As a man writing from a woman's perspective, Card nevertheless shows great perspicacity. Sarah's range of emotions is credible, including her fear as she pretends to be Abraham's sister in order to fool the Egyptian pharaoh Neb-Towi-Re, and her pain as she deals with her barrenness. Later, the kindness Sarah showers on Hagar, her personal handmaid, conflicts believably with her agonizing jealousy over her decision to let Abraham father a child with Hagar. Card's research for the book results in detailed descriptions that help make it memorable, from the practice of religion and styles of dress to the accounts of desert and city life. He succeeds in offering a memorable tale for both those who are interested in biblical women as part of their faith and readers who just enjoy a good story. --Cindy Crosby

From Publishers Weekly

Although Card's popular science fiction and fantasy have always been permeated with religious themes, this version of the life of Sarah, Abraham's wife, is more in keeping with his lesser known Stone Tables, a reconstruction of the life of Moses. In his afterword, Card explains that here he is not an apologist for the Bible, but rather "an apologist for Sarah, a tough, smart, strong, bright woman in an era when women did not show up much in historical records." He takes the tantalizingly rich references to Sarah in the book of Genesis and determines to bring her to life for his readers. This novel is not an epic volume rich in cultural and historical detail about ancient Mesopotamia, Canaan and Egypt. Its focus is more what Card does best: exploring human motives and relationships, and the role of faith in individual lives. The entire novel is told exclusively from the point of view of Sarah and her sister Qira, whom Card has created as Lot's wife. Qira is the blind, selfish materialist who cannot understand the kindness or self-sacrifice of the faithful who surround her and who chafes against her husband's authority. Sarah, by contrast, is a wise and virtuous figure who struggles to have the unflinching faith of Abraham, even though she glimpses God's presence in her life only rarely. The narrative is sometimes uneven, and the sprinkling of references to LDS theology may be awkward for the non-Mormon reader. Overall, however, this playfully speculative novel succeeds in bringing Sarah's oft-overlooked character into vivid relief. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the bestselling author best known for the classic Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and other novels in the Ender universe. Most recently, he was awarded the 2008 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in Young Adult literature, from the American Library Association. Card has written sixty-one books, assorted plays, comics, and essays and newspaper columns. His work has won multiple awards, including back-to-back wins of the Hugo and the Nebula Awards-the only author to have done so in consecutive years. His titles have also landed on 'best of' lists and been adopted by cities, universities and libraries for reading programs. The Ender novels have inspired a Marvel Comics series, a forthcoming video game from Chair Entertainment, and pre-production on a film version. A highly anticipated The Authorized Ender Companion, written by Jake Black, is also forthcoming.Card offers writing workshops from time to time and occasionally teaches writing and literature at universities.Orson Scott Card currently lives with his family in Greensboro, NC.

Customer Reviews

Orson Scott Card is a great writer.
I very much enjoyed Card's comments at the end explaining how he researched the stories, and why he changed things in order to make a biblical story into a novel.
J. Charles
I just finished reading the 2nd in this series on Rebekah, and now I have to say: "Wow! I found a new friend in this book!"
E. Huber

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Edith S. Tyson on October 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you think that Card is just a science-fiction or fantasy writer, this book will set you straight. He takes the story of Sarah, wife of Abraham, and give it fictional, but balanced treatment; that is, all the heroes and heroines are still heroes and heroines, and miracles do happen. But, Card is no Biblical Literalist; he assumes that stories can be garbled or told twice (for example, it is only once, in this book, that Abraham claims that Sarah is his sister.)It is like reading Genesis with new eyes; as if an old dirty picture had been cleaned, and you see details you never saw before. Give it a try, and prepare to be delighted. This is Card's best, up to now.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer S on January 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No matter what genre he chooses, Orson Scott Card can't seem to write a bad novel. Biblical fiction isn't a "hot" topic, but after reading "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamont, I was curious as to how one of my favorite sci-fi authors would approach such a story.
The story of Sarah and her husband Abraham is one I half-heard about in Sunday school as a child. Orson Scott Card brings it vividly to life so that the characters become more than just biblical figures, but real people with real lives, real doubts, and real faith. The book does start slow, but as I read on I found myself appreciating Card's ability to take time with the everyday aspects of Sarah and Abraham's lives rather than focusing entirely on the dramas and miracles of biblical proportion.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with Card's basic religious assumptions or his interpretation of Sarah and Abraham's story, this book is still a great example of Card's artful storytelling at its best.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Dyal on May 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
While reading Sarah the above question kept occurring to me. Sometimes I thought Card created a female character that was convincing, appealing, and heroic. Other times I found Card's depiction of Sarah unbelievable. Many times while reading this novel, I thought to myself: "No woman I've ever known would act that way . . ."
However, I really did enjoy this novel. It is an easy read. I would highly recommend this book as a young adult book. Adults will enjoy it but it is not as engaging as I expected it to be.
Card does play with Biblical stories in order to make the novel more interesting. For example, Lot's wife is Sarah's sister, which creates several subplots including the destruction of Sodom.
I also thought Abraham was a little two-dimensional. And the treatment of the other female characters in the novel was stereotypical. Every female was "evil" or bad except for Sarah, who oftentimes lacked a certain depth and complexity.
Sarah is not a book I would reread again but I think it is worthwhile reading material.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mary P. Campbell on January 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Unlike what one other reviewer has written here, I believe this book is very much in keeping with almost all other novels Card has written: characters of strength and integrity committed to some grand cause, sometimes misunderstanding each other, coming to equality in relationships by the end. Of course, a little politicking/social maneuvering is thrown in as well, as well as historicity of customs and action (oooh, how racy =were= those Egyptians, anyway? One wonders if today's fashions of tight Tshirts and bun-hugging jeans, though not as translucent as the Egyptian linens, would have been found objectionable by the modest desert nomads?)
While Card adds details not found in the original Biblical source (and he also admits to adding some details that are not found in the Old Testament, but are in Mormon scripture), he also edits the story to sew up some plot holes - not unreasonable, considering, as with many of the Genesis stories, there is more than one source (checking my Bible, it mentions that both the Eloist and Yahwist sources both contribute (so named because of their words for God - either Eloi or Yahweh)). One sees the repitition of the device of the man claiming his wife to be his sister in the Bible - not only twice in the case of Abraham and Sarah, but also in Isaac's story. Many of these plot changes may irritate a Biblical fundamentalist, but they are not too glaring. I had to go back to the Bible to figure out what was changed -- the story pretty much agreed with the tale I remember hearing as a child.
However, the best part of this book was Sarah herself.
Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Erickson on October 30, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Sarah" sets out to take the light sketch of Abraham's wife in the Bible and extend it into a full novel telling much of her life's story from her point of view. If "Sarah" is any clue, OS Card set out with the "Women of Genesis" series to loft a feminist retake on the biblical story of the patriarchs: What were the wives of these great prophets up to? Why do they, despite sparing reference in the Bible, get a lot more attention than almost any other women in the male-dominated scriptures? Could it be because they were as intelligent, brave, righteous, and powerful in their service to the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," just as much as their famous, credit-hogging husbands? Sarah turns out to qualify, not just as a co-equal with the revered Abraham, but his indispensable support without whom he could not have lived up to greatness. In keeping with this 20th-century revision of 4,000-year-old nomadic culture, Sarah is also outspoken and liberated, with Abraham not batting an eye, as both of them talk like modern Americans. Those easily offended at irreverent takes on revered religious figures will not appreciate Abraham teasing the aging Sarah about her saggy breasts, though those offended by religious stuffiness will have a ball with the refreshingly human portrayals. Nor will purists of the historical novel appreciate the dialog, though the author has made a genuine effort to depict an accurate milieu of nomadic life. Actually, since depicting ancient culture really accurately is ultimately an intractable challenge, substituting the audience's culture into the unknowns makes as much sense for the story as anything.Read more ›
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