Author: Jill Eileen Smith
Series: Daughters of the Promised Land #4
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
The next book in the series gives a new perspective to the story of Samuel’s parents.
Hannah and Elkanah share a deep love for one another. Even after having been married for several years and not conceiving a child, they still find enough with just each other. Unfortunately, that is not the case for others, including Elkanah’s mother. After much nagging, he agrees to take a second wife, Peninnah, who immediately produces a son. Although Peninnah is producing heirs, Elkanah still loves Hannah more, which pits them against each other. Peninnah continually scorns and mocks Hannah throughout their life. One night at the temple, Hannah pours out her heart to the Lord and makes a vow that if he will give her a son, she will give him back to be raised at the Temple. Shortly after this, she conceives a son and makes a vow that he shall be a Nazarite. Samuel is born and is raised by Eli the priest, but still sees his parents when they are in Shiloh. Now that Hannah is bearing children, she and Peninnah are even more at odds with each other. Can the two ever get along?
My favorite aspect of this book was having the story told from the three different viewpoints of the main characters. When reading the story in the Bible, most people probably sympathize with Hannah as the wrongfully treated wife who is mocked because she doesn’t have children. So, hearing the story in her words really brought the understanding of Jewish customs to a new level during the time period. However, also hearing it from Elkahan and Peninnah made it much more real. What must Elkannah have gone through with the hostility from both his mother and his second wife? And how did he feel when we had to give up the firstborn son from the woman he loved? The hurt Peninnah must have felt from never being loved as much as Hannah must have been awful for her. As always, Jill Eileen Smith brings an old testament story to life with vibrancy and excitement while still keeping an emotional connection to her audience!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.