In LINEAGE OF GRACE, Francine Rivers explores the lives of five women who lived in the Middle East during the time of the Old Testament. I never expected to enjoy this volume so much, but author Francine Rivers does a magnificent job of imaginatively reconstructing the past from scant lines in the bible.
My favorite story is the first, about Tamar, a young woman of great dignity whose husbands (the sons of Judah) die suddenly within a year of each other. Of course people whispered. Of course, her mother-in-law wanted her out of the house. Of course Judah’s third son was refused to her. So Tamar is forced to return to her father’s house in disgrace. Calmly outfacing his wrath, she manages to convince him that turning her out of his house would injure his relationship with Judah, and therefore her possible marriage to the third son. But matters are not easy, and eventually she is obliged to resort to subterfuge in order to gain what is rightfully hers.
Rahab is a prostitute living in the pagan city of Jericho, when a couple of Jewish spies arrive. She takes them in, hides them from the soldiers and sends them on their way into safety. For that, she and her family are saved from the total destruction of her city, which kills everyone she knows.
The third, fourth and fifth stories – about Ruth & Boaz, Bathsheba & King David, and Mary & Joseph – were stories that I know, but nevertheless, I enjoyed Francine River’s fresh take on them, helped by telling these stories from the women’s point of view, as well as all the luscious details she adds that makes their lives come alive. Five stars.