Jerusalem’s Queen by Angela Hunt

About the book:

Born in the small village of Modein, a town made famous by the warrior Maccabees, Salome Alexandra knows better than to harbor grand dreams for her future. She pales in comparison to her beautiful older sister, and though she learns to read at an early age, girls are not valued for their intellectual ability. But when her father and sister are killed, John Hyrcanus, a distant relative, invites Salome and her mother to live with his family in Jerusalem, where her thirst for knowledge is noticed and indulged.

When her guardian betroths her to a pagan prince, she questions HaShem’s plan. When Hyrcanus finally marries her to a boy half her age, she questions her guardian’s sanity. But though Salome spends much of her life as a pawn ordered about by powerful men, she learns that a woman committed to HaShem can change the world.

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My review:

Jerusalem’s Queen is a fascinating look into the intertestamental period of history in Jerusalem. It brings to life a period of time that I’m sadly unfamiliar with, but Hunt’s well-spun tale has sparked an interest in me to know more.

I truly enjoyed how the author showed two simultaneous points of view: Salome Alexandra’s version of events interwoven with the story as told by her Egyptian maidservant, Kissa. What an intriguing way to bring so much more depth to the tale. It made for a very interesting read.

If you have ever wondered about what went on in the 400 years between the history recorded in the Old Testament and that of the New Testament, I’d highly recommend you read Angela Hunt’s Jerusalem’s Queen. It is an intriguing introduction to the people and events of the intertestamental period of history.

Many thanks to Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the copy of this novel for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂

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Praying with Jane by Rachel Dodge

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About the book:

The charm of Jane Austen and her novels has been enjoyed for over 200 years by readers around the world. Much has been written about her fascinating life, yet little is known about Jane’s spiritual side. In this lovely 31-day devotional, you will get an in-depth look at Miss Austen’s vibrant, steadfast prayer and faith life. Her intimate relationship with the Father comes to life through her exquisite prayers, touching biographical anecdotes, intimate excerpts from family letters and memoirs, and illuminating scenes from her novels.

Spiritual insights and Scripture references shed light on the profound meaning behind Miss Austen’s prayers and the enduring truths they contain. Each day ends with a key Bible verse and invitation to “pray with Jane,” helping to ignite and deepen your own vibrant relationship with the Father.


My review:

I have always been a Jane Austen fan, so when I saw a new devotional based on her prayers, I had to check it out. And I found it to most certainly be both a beautiful devotional and a lovely examination of the faith of Jane Austen.

While there are only three prayers written by Jane Austen in this devotional, Rachel Dodge has broken each prayer down into bite-sized pieces, that the reader might savor them and learn from them. She takes each piece of each prayer and expands upon it, parsing the prayers, then showing how they are reflected in Austen’s works, and finally demonstrating how they can be put to effective use in our lives today.

Praying with Jane: 31 Days through the Prayers of Jane Austen is more than a must read – it’s a devotional to be treasured by any Austen fan and anyone who desires to draw closer to the Lord through prayer. I have been blessed by this devotional and have no doubt that you will be, too.

Many thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for the advanced digital copy of this devotional for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂