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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 (180 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

Books In This Series (3 Books)
Complete Series


  • 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:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,666 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    4.4 out of 5 stars
    (180)
    4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    30 of 30 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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    15 of 15 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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    12 of 12 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
    5.0 out of 5 stars A great story!
    I purchased all of her books about women in the Bible and loved each one. It made each person come alive for me. Each book was a work of art. Thanks, Jill!
    Published 1 day ago by Donalie B.
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Love this one too !
    Published 4 days ago by carroll brooks
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    great read
    Published 1 month ago by charlene graham
    5.0 out of 5 stars Bible History Comes Alive
    Great telling of Sarai / Sarah's story.
    Published 1 month ago by Nancy Mascarella
    1.0 out of 5 stars not very good
    I didn't expect our to be historically accurate, but it's very trite, boring. .I'm not interested in finishing it.
    Published 1 month ago by jem
    5.0 out of 5 stars Sarah (Wives of the Patriarchs Book #1)
    I like the lessons in faith. The important roll a wife has in support of her husband. Reading this gives one strength of character and why we follow God`s law. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Laura Hubbard
    5.0 out of 5 stars I love this author's style of writing!
    I love how this author brings to life characters from the Bible! She paints a realistic picture of what life could have been like in that time period and helps us get to know the... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Jamscow
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good
    This was a decent look at what the life of Abraham's wife must have lived through and felt, but there were times I felt the conjecture felt forced.
    Published 2 months ago by Heather
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not as enthralling as Ms
    Good but not as enthralling as Ms. Smith's other books. Usually the humanness of the characters make them real and believable. Sarai just wasn't for me. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Barbara Stevens
    3.0 out of 5 stars B+
    Not what I expected, but a good read. Will finish reading the rest of the series. Trying to find more to say to submit review.
    Published 2 months ago by Heather Carmichael
    Search Customer Reviews

    More About the Author

    Jill Eileen Smith is the author of Desert Princess (ebook short) #1 Loves of King Solomon series, the Wives of the Patriarchs series, the upcoming Daughters of the Promised Land series, and the bestselling author of the Wives of King David series. When she isn't writing, she can often be found reading, biking, traveling, spending time with friends, or snugging her feline writing buddy Tiger. She especially enjoys spending time with her family.

    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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