>Good Morning, Readers!
I have some exciting news: Tessa Afshar’s debut novel, Pearl in the Sand, comes out September 1st and you can read the first 3 chapters for free starting then!
Here’s what you need to do to take part in this special preview:
1) Go to Tessa’s website under the “FREE DOWNLOADS” tab and sign up with your email. This will also give you access to some other exclusive features from Tessa.
2) Starting September 1st, you will receive an email with an excerpt from the book! Over the course of a few weeks, you will receive the first 3 chapters of Pearl in the Sand, delivered straight to your inbox.
If you don’t know about Tessa’s novel yet, read the description below. Hope you enjoy!!
Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes.
Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab’s untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well—walls of fear, rejection, unworthiness.
A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith …of pride; a marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth and find healing in God.
>By: Stephanie S. Smith, blog editor
Last night my husband and I settled into a movie theatre, surrounding ourselves with middle-aged women, some by themselves, with a friend, or with a whole book club, to watch the film rendition of popular memoir, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia.
I was skeptical about the movie for the same reasons I am skeptical about the book, but looking forward to a sweeping visual tour of Italy, India, and Indonesia to which the main character travels throughout the story. I also banked on the fact that Julia Roberts (playing author Liz Gilbert) would show less of the self-focus that made the book distasteful to me. And it’s true, the film omitted much of the self-saturated theme that Liz Gilbert infuses her manuscript with.
I cracked the cover on this one several months before, loving the concept of insightful living through travel and the introduction where author Elizabeth Gilbert masterfully structures her book around the beautiful overarching metaphor of prayer beads. I ate it up. But alas, it went downhill from there. Her writing is impressive and eloquent, her cultural observations are sharp and fascinating, but the personal journey of Gilbert through depression to self-actualization was hard to swallow.
Perhaps the most common critique of Gilbert’s book is its obsession with the self. In and of itself, I do not think it is terribly self-centered to travel as a way of processing and healing, or to write a memoir about it. I think dedicating your year to the search of God and learning about yourself in the process is actually an admirable quest, but Gilbert blends the self and divinity in a way that I found disturbing. She allows incredible overlap between God and the self, two separate identities that she views as one.
Gilbert’s idea of God is “an experience of supreme love”, which sounds about right, but sounds plain creepy when applied to yourself since you and god are the same being. To love yourself, forgive yourself, and do what’s best for yourself are the primary morals of the book, and God is portrayed as a tool or a resource in the process. Gilbert’s god is so tangled with her inner world that she hears her own voice as divine communication. There are scenes where Gilbert gives her id a pep talk saying things like, “I will never leave you. Continue reading / Leave a comment…