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Once More, From the Beginning Paperback – March 10, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

I'm a Canadian author--a pragmatic optimist with rather eclectic interests and a pervasive sense of humour. Toronto born and bred, I live by the lake with a motley array of dogs and a cat, all but myself being of unknown origin, in a comfortable old house filled with books. Over a thousand books. Books in every nook and cranny. And now, since there can never be too many books, I'm writing more. Once More...From the Beginning was the first book I brought before the public, followed by Dodging Shells, and there are more, pacing in the wings, impatiently waiting to take their turn on stage. Recently, I initiated the well-received website Past Times Books, bringing together many of the best new historical fiction authors and their books for HF fans.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Ocean Highway Books (March 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098670220X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986702204
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,182,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Ann M. Willbanks on December 18, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Once More...From the Beginning is a deeply entertaining re-telling of the highlights of the Old Testament from a savvy woman's perspective. The more you know about David, Saul, Abraham, Adam, Cain and Abel the more fun you will have. Of course the women enter stage right at the appropriate times: from the Queen o' Sheba to the clean-er Sheba (Bathsheba) as well as the particularly compelling Judith and the less compelling Jezebel.

The stories are told in a matter-of-fact modern rendition that makes one wonder what God was thinking in the first place. Why put those trees in Eden if the fruit is wasted? Why torment your Chosen People? Ms Bertsch gives the Old Testament a New twist while reminding us that God created TWO people that first week.

If you tend to nod off when trying to get through all the begats and beheadings when reading King James' version (and he was definitely ambiguous about women) then Ms Bertsch's version will keep you awake and smiling from "In the beginning" to Amen, Sister.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First of all, if there were a way to give 4.5 stars, I would have done that. This book is surprisingly funny for such a potentially explosive topic. As someone who has, in fact, read the Bible -- I didn't even skip the "begats" -- I can also say that Wendy Bertsch does a great job of telling the women's sides of the story without changing anything that's actually in the Biblical text. I particularly liked Rahab's rational decision to help the Israelites.

As I listened to rather than read the text on my Kindle, I didn't note many editing errors, though I did spot one or two punctuational problems as the pages flashed by. All in all, I would recommend this for anyone with a good sense of humor -- regardless of his or her religious affiliation.

Susan Wells Bennett
An Unassigned Life

Reviewer's note and update: I'm bumping my review up a star because I'm still laughing at this book and it's been more than a week since I read it. A book that sticks with me like that deserves another star.
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How funny! I laughed out loud on many occasions, chuckled throughout, and absolutely loved this book.

The juiciest parts to me were the almost-realistic dialogues between a host of Biblical types who had seemed like colorless stick-figures before, such as Sarah and Abraham, Jacob and Esau, Judah and Tamar, Joseph and Potiphar's wife, Moses and the Pharaoh, and an additional cast of thousands. I laughed my head off at the Sodom-and-Gomorrah episode, the Coat-of-Many-Colors episode, the Moses-on-the-Mountain episode, and so on.

Now my husband is chuckling and laughing his way through "Once More", too. I think he especially appreciates the author's wry comments about women.

Wendy Bertsch has a wicked sense of humor. This is a tongue-in-cheek book that you'll enjoy the first time and many times again after that. A fun, delightful read!

Martha Marks, author of Rubies of the Viper
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a charming, delightful and downright fun take on many of the well known stories from the Old Testament. Told mainly from the perspective of the women in the stories, while never irreverent, these fresh retellings reveal a history steeped in blatant misogyny, nepotism, racism and abuse. It's well worth the read (even if you have never read or have no interest in reading The Old Testament) and certainly makes you think of how 'precarious' life was in those very dark and oh so politically incorrect days!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the word of the Lord. Ah - men!!! But this time, a woman is having her say. This can cause problems. Snorts, guffaws, hooting sounds... disconcerting to those around the reader. But such slight embarrassment is a small price to pay for the delight of reading this glorious, soaring, irreverent* prose. Thanks be to Wendy for showing us the light.
Jane Bailey Bain (LifeWorks:Using myth & archetype to develop your life story)

*(Irreverent, but not sacrilegious)
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