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Sarai (Wives of the Patriarchs Book #1): A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Jill Eileen Smith
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sarai, the last child of her aged father, is beautiful, spoiled, and used to getting her own way. Even as a young girl, she is aware of the way men look at her, including her half brother Abram. When Abram finally requests Sarai's hand, she asks one thing--that he promise never to take another wife as long as she lives. Even her father thinks the demand is restrictive and agrees to the union only if Sarai makes a promise in return--to give Abram a son and heir. Certain she can easily do that, Sarai agrees.

But as the years stretch on and Sarai's womb remains empty, she becomes desperate to fulfill her end of the bargain--lest Abram decide that he will not fulfill his. To what lengths will Sarai go in her quest to bear a son? And how long will Abram's patience last?

Jill Eileen Smith thrilled readers with The Wives of King David series. Now she brings to life the strong and celebrated wives of the patriarchs, beginning with the beautiful and inscrutable Sarai.


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

He promised her his heart. She promised him a son. But how long must they wait?

When Abram finally requests the hand of his beautiful half sister Sarai, she asks one thing--that he promise never to take another wife as long as she lives. Even Sarai's father thinks the demand is restrictive and agrees to the union only if she makes a promise in return--to give Abram a son and heir. Certain she can easily do that, Sarai agrees.

But as the years stretch on and Sarai's womb remains empty, she becomes desperate to fulfill her end of the bargain, lest Abram decide that he will not fulfill his. To what lengths will Sarai go in her quest to bear a son? And how long will Abram's patience last?

Combining in-depth research and vivid storytelling, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the beautiful and inscrutable Sarai in this remarkable story of love, jealousy, and undaunted faith.


"Sarai gives 'the rest of the story'--Abram and Sarai's journey toward faith. Don't hesitate to open this rich biblical drama for new insight and a new perspective."--Lyn Cote, author of Her Abundant Joy

"An absorbing visit to the past, filled with wonderful details, fascinating characters, and an unforgettable ending."--Maureen Lang, author of Springtime of the Spirit and Whisper on the Wind

"Jill has a special insight into her characters and a great love for biblical stories. I highly recommend Sarai. You will not be disappointed."--Hannah Alexander, award-winning author of Eye of the Storm


Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba, all part of the Wives of King David series. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

About the Author

Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba, all part of The Wives of King David series. She has more than twenty years of writing experience, and her writing has garnered acclaim in several contests. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Product Details

  • File Size: 675 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0800734297
  • Publisher: Revell; Original edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006G2YPAM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,216 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By ~Mary
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sarai is a treat for fans of biblical fiction. I ricochet between the wants of Sarai and the needs of Abram. At times Sarai was spoiled and selfish; I understood why as Smith revealed the hardship in living in that time era and not being able to produce an heir. What an intense burden to bear, and in the end, the temptation to take matters into her own hands proved too great for Sarai.

I recognized many areas in my life that imitated Sarai's. I have tried to help God along and made a mess of things instead of counting on his faithfulness. Haven't we all? In many aspects, Sarai represents patience, or better yet, the lack of. It is a universal language we all identify with. I also have felt the remorse in making decisions I would live to regret. When Sarai offered Hagar to Abram, this changed the dynamics of their marriage forever. It introduced jealousy, anger, resentment....the very things that were missing from their union for many years. In our modern culture where polygamy is against the law, it is incomprehensible that women were forced to share their husbands. The thought alone makes one squimish; when Smith delivers a realistic version of this in her Wives of King David series and now, in Saria, it is a thought one can not escape. It is historical. It is biblical. It is fact.

Smith uncovers a time era we love to escape to and does not disappoint. You will identify with each character and have a better understanding of history when you finish reading Sarai. I am looking forward to the release of the second in the series, Rebekah, and will find it hard waiting patiently for its release next year. But then again, that's the Sarai in me.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
When reading a biblical fiction, I feel there is always the chance that I will get bored with the storyline--since I already know what is going to happen. But with Sarai, I found that Smith wonderfully kept my focus easily ingrained into the characters, plot, and time period.

I loved getting a closer look at Sarai and Abram. They are such important people in the bible--the beginning of a great nation--yet as I followed them throughout the years in Sarai, I saw how many times they struggled, lost faith, failed, wavered. I could almost feel the horrible despair Sarai felt when she was too old to have children. Yet, regardless of that, God fulfilled his long-awaited promise. Amazing.

I thought it was really neat that Smith also told the story from other people's view point--Lot, Melah, and Hagar. Hagar's scenes especially interested me, since so little is said about her in the bible. I really came to feel for her as she struggled to find her place as a surrogate mother.

Since Sarai spanned so many years, I don't think it could be helped that I often felt the storyline a bit jerky. I would've liked more clarity at the passing of time, as sometimes I would begin a chapter and it would take a few pages to discover that a few months, or even years, had passed since the last chapter ended.

It was hard to see Sarai come to an end--especially so soon after the promise. The ending just seemed too rushed to me, but maybe that's just because I'm not partial to quick endings. In all, I found this book a delightful read, and one that opens the way for the next book in the Wives of the Patriarchs series. I am eagerly looking forward to reading Isaac and Rebekah's story next!

I reviewed this book for Revell. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Biblical fiction February 25, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sarai is the first in the new series (Wives of the Patriarchs) by Jill Eileen Smith. Having read all of the 'Wives of King David' series, I was really looking forward to the release of this new novel. Jill Eileen Smith is an excellent storyteller and has obviously researched the time period and character before penning the book.

Sarai begins with a prologue in the earlier life of Abram and Sarai, starting off when they had been married just over 30 years (which, given their ages when they had a child, was still the 'earlier life' of their marriage). Part 1 then starts up 15 years later when Sarai and Abram were about 60 and 70 years of age. Sarai is consumed with and embarrassed by her barrenness, believing that Adonai, Abram's God, has overlooked her. At this era, childbearing seemed to be the sole purpose of a woman's life, so to be barren was about the highest level of shame that could be brought upon a woman. Abram, to his credit, never doubts Adonai and continues to love his wife despite this big childbearing issue.

The book takes the reader through Abram's messages from God, decision to leave Ur and travel to Canaan, the time spent in nomadic life, the desperation that drove them to Egypt, then back into the land God had promised him (overall about 30 years, not including the 15-years-previous prologue). We can see the strain placed on the marriage by Abram's decision to claim Sarai as his sister rather than his wife during their travels. The situation that arises in Egypt of Pharaoh taking Sarai for his wife is accurate to the Bible depiction, with the exception of Hagar's supposed bloodline (the author's choice of bloodline makes for more interesting reading in Hagar's unfortunate circumstances, I suppose).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting take on a biblical icon
Believable take on the possibilities of a special woman in history. I enjoyed the read and it held my interest.
Published 12 days ago by roslin romain
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner!
I've come to realize that any book by Jill Eileen Smith is a must-read. Her take on familiar Bible stories is at once imaginative and Biblically sound. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth Tyre
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read!
I would definitely read her books again! Didn't put it down! I just loved this retelling! Good job Jill Eileen Smith!
Published 1 month ago by J. Holliday
5.0 out of 5 stars Sarai
I loved this book. It brought out the reality of her normal everyday life and the enormous Faith Abram had.
Published 1 month ago by Janet Funk
5.0 out of 5 stars very Encouraging.
I loved how Jill Eileen Smith wrote this book. Taking scripture and explaining it it a understandable way. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Claire Blackburn
5.0 out of 5 stars Sarai
I was hoping the book would not end. This book made me think and ponder about how I would have felt in Sarai s shoes. Read more
Published 2 months ago by d albert
3.0 out of 5 stars So-So
As a Christian, I enjoy a well-written, exciting story with faith-based undertones that also puts me in touch with the characters. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ronnilu
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings bible characters to life
When we read the bible, the characters portrayed are generally given such a few words to describe their characters that to read a book like this one makes Sarah come alive for the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nora Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting reading
I enjoyed the additional emotions that this book added to my Bible reading. Sometimes the extra details and emotions name things stick better. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gail Paulus
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
It is a privilege to read a book that the author has made a Bible character become so real. We so often take there humanity away from them when we read there story in the Bible. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lynn Davis
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More About the Author

Jill Eileen Smith is the author of Sarai, Rebekah, and (available for pre-order) Rachel, all part of the Wives of the Patriarchs series, and the bestselling author of the Wives of King David series. When she isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her family--in person, over the webcam, or by hopping a plane to fly across the country. She can often be found reading, testing new recipes, grabbing lunch with friends, or snuggling one or both of her adorable cats. She lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

To learn more about Jill or for more information about her books, visit her website at www.jilleileensmith.com. You can also contact Jill at jill@jilleileensmith.com. She loves hearing from her readers.




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