27 October 2010

Pearl in the Sand: Review & Christian Fiction Book Club Discussion

Authoress: Tessa Afshar
Pages: 316 (Paperback)
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Tagline: "Striking beauty comes at a price."

My summary: Forced into prostitution by her father at the age of fifteen, Rahab believes she will live out her days as a lonely high prostitute. Until the walls of Jericho are threatened and Rahab unexpectedly finds God. Through God, Rahab finds forgiveness, a new life, and even love.

My say: I read what I would say is a fair amount of Christian Fiction. I love them. They are like chicken soup; they usually lift me up, make me smile, and leave me inspired. But Pearl in the Sand was different for me. Pearl in the Sand accomplished something I do not remember any other CF book ever accomplishing. It moved me to tears several times. I didn't weep, but I can honestly say I felt Rahab's longing to be forgiven, redeemed, and made anew. This beautiful, swift, yet deliberate tale not only moved me but it stayed with me long after I had finished the book and dried my tears.

My cover thoughts: Rarely am I so pleased with a cover. Everything about this cover perfectly fits the novel. Even the skin tone, eyes, and significance of the red cord is in tune with the book.

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My kiddie-o-meter: While everything is tasteful, there is plenty of death and mentions to child sacrifices and prostitution.

My recommendation: If you enjoy Historical Christian Fiction, then you MUST try this book. This story lives up to the cover and the cover truly honors the story.

My Christian Fiction Book Club Discussion Q & A:

Pearl in the Sand was the Christian Fiction Book Club pick for October. After reading the novel, each member picks one discussion question from the back of the book to feature and discuss in a blog post. This is mine.

(SPOILER WARNING! Please highlight to read)

Q: Salmone calls Rahab his Jericho. What does he mean?

A: God told his people to go to Jericho and take it down. When they arrived they found an impossibly strong wall and army. But because his people had faith in spite of the insurmountable odds, God brought down the walls of Jericho. When Salmone calls Rahab his Jericho, he is referring to the huge seemingly impenetrable walls around Rahab's heart and mind. He seems to be saying that just like God brought down Jericho, God will see to Rahab's walls.
My final say: This is by far one of the best Christian Historical Fiction stories I have read all year.

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

Thank you to Moody Publishers for making this review possible.


  1. Oooh - this one looks really cool. Rahab is one of my fave OT women! I haven't heard of this author but I'll have to track this down (and put it on my Christmas wishlist)

    I agree - the cover is really stunning@!

  2. I love Rahab. We have a local non-profit called 'Rahab's Rope' that works with women in the Middle East who have been forced into prostitution ~ Rahab's Rope offers a way out, teaching the women viable trades and then selling the goods in the US and sending the profit back to the women...a really cool set up. Anyways, this sounds like a wonderful book that I will definitely have to get my hands on! Thanks for the awesome review!

  3. Oh, I am SO with you. It was so hard for me to write an objective review I love it so much!
    I loved your review & thoughts.
    It was shocking to me how the author was able to me me feel like I did. It was so emotional & I generally do not like emotional books.
    Great idea for the spoiler - I'd never thought of that but think I'll do the highlighting thing in the future - it was perfect!

  4. This book also moved me deeply. Rahab's longing reminded me that no matter how many folks I have in my life who truly love me, there is that longing for God that never goes away. Only He can heal my hurts and make me new. I loved this story!

  5. Fantastic review! Unfortunately I haven't gotten around to reading this one yet. So glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  6. I loved this one as well.....!! I thought it was almost as good as Redeeeming Love my Fav CF...Have you read that one that? So good!!

  7. I've had this on my TBR pile for a while. The subject matter sounds intense, but I've been reading a lot of Christian fiction lately, and I (like you) find that it's so uplifting. I'm glad to hear you loved this story :)

  8. Great review Juju. I haven't really read a lot of this genre. My mother has and enjoys it. I've always been curious.

  9. Wasn't it a fantastic book?! I absolutely love the cover too. It's perfect for the book.

  10. I haven't read any Christian fiction, but this one sounds powerful--thanks for the recommendation!

  11. This sounds fantastic. I enjoy Christian Fiction, but don’t read nearly enough.

  12. I'll definitely try this one...Thanks!☺

  13. Can't say I like Christian historical fiction, but, this cover just screams read me

  14. This was such a powerful book; I'm so glad I had the chance to read it and have pretty much the same reaction as you.

  15. i love the cover. it's stunning even though i have to say i never read CF before. great review!

  16. Yay, another Christian historical to add to my list! I had a good feeling about this one and your 5 star review has me anxious to read it! (Btw, have you ever read Francine River's A Voice in the Wind?)

  17. Wow, although not usually my forte, I can certainly appreciate the way this one affected you. Sounds like the author captured the struggles and triumphs of the characters just right. Moving review Juju...thanks for sharing.

  18. Wow 5 stars! Sounds great :) also I love the cover

  19. I LOVED this book. One of my favorite reads of the year.

  20. Fantastic review, Juju! I'm so excited that I actually have this one already! I agree about the cover, I liked it when I saw it online, but when I actually got the book in the mail, I was like WOW this is amazing!!

  21. I don't know why I haven't read Christian fiction -- I really should give it a try. When I do, I will come back to your reviews. Thanks! (I should look into Mary Connealy as I grew up in Montana.)

  22. Such a wonderful review, Juju! You've really made me want to read this one. I absolutely agree with you on the cover. It is so beautiful. Thanks so much, Juju! =)

  23. Great review, as always :) I'm not a big CF reader, but my mom is. This one is probably going to wind up being part of her Christmas gift. Of course, then I can borrow it haha

  24. I am very open minded when it comes to books. Even though CF isn't in my norm I think I should pick this one up

  25. I don't read Christian fiction but the cover looks great and the story sounds really good. I might look into this title.

  26. I enjoy reading books about women in the Bible. I will have to read this one!

  27. Thanks for the comment about my etsy shop, juju! i appreciate it :)

  28. Thank you so much for sharing this review Juju, it sounds like a really powerful book. I will definitely have a look at it. Have a great day.

  29. I loved reading this book, it was so good and the characters where fantastic. Awesome review.

  30. Really great review Juju, touching books are wonderful.

  31. It's next in my pile - I can't wait!! Thanks again, Juju! :-)

  32. Shannon: Yay! I can't wait to hear what you think :)

    Marce: Thanks darling :)

    Nina: Agreed :)

    Willa, Alyssa, Bere, Cari, GMR, Darlyn, Tammy, Christie, Blodeuedd, and Meredith: Thank you for dropping by :)

    Carrie: Totally! Us vintage loving girls have to stick together :) Oh soooo true about the cover. Sometimes the textures make a world of difference.

    Midnight: I bet you will love this one :)

    Jenny N.: Ahhh thanks :)

    Cleverly: I feel so honored :) *fingers crossed that you love it*

    Lizzy: Yay! Your mom will LOVE this one. I know I'm giving it as a gift too :)

    Kim: Ooo totally Mary's books are great because her characters are loveable and funny :)

    Jen: Agreed :)

    Pirate: Whoot! I haven't tried Francine River but everyone tells me she is amazing and basically the queen of Historical CF. Have you read it? :)

    Bookworm and Kara: Welcome welcome fellow book club reads :) I can't wait to see what we'll be reading next month :)

    Michelle: Definitely recommend this one to your mom :)

    Tina: I haven't! But I totally need to. That's another one I've heard great things about :)

    Melissa: It is intense. But also quite moving and beautiful. :) I hope you decide to check it out :)

    Ruth: Oh Ruth you must :)

    Renee Ann: Oh how very true! I could really relate to that feeling.

    Gina Hott: Right? Me too. It totally took me off guard. The highlighting idea I think came from Andrea The Little Bookworm. I just love everytime she does it. It keeps me from ever accidentally reading a spoiler :)

    Stacy: That sounds like one amazing organization! :)

    Nomes: Yay! I hope you love it too :)

  33. this book sounds like I need my emotional armour to read with...

  34. This sounds fantastic! Most of the gals in my book club love historical fiction and since it's a church (Christian) based group this sounds like it would be perfect! I'm going to recommend we read it. :o)

  35. Cherry: You're so clever. I like that term "emotional armor" :)

    1st daughter: O they will LOVE this one!

  36. Juju - I emailed you & haven't heard back. Could you send me an email at reginahott at gmail dot com, please?

  37. I was reading Sandy's review of this and saw the link to your review and decided to come check it out. Between the two of you, I definitely plan on digging out my copy and finally reading it. I know it's around here... somewhere.

    1. Oh I'm sooo glad to hear you say that. It's truly great. :)