Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Review of Asenath

Here's a description of the book from the author's website:

"Two Destinies...One Journey of Love

In a humble fishing village on the shores of the Nile lives Asenath, a fisherman's daughter who has everything she could want. Until her perfect world is shattered.

When a warring jungle tribe ransacks the village and kidnaps her, separating her from her parents, she is forced to live as a slave. And she begins a journey that will culminate in the meeting of a handsome and kind steward named Joseph.

Like her, Joseph was taken away from his home, and it is in him that Asenath comes to find solace…and love. But just as they are beginning to form a bond, Joseph is betrayed by his master’s wife and thrown into prison.

Is Asenath doomed to a lifetime of losing everything and everyone she loves?"

My Review:

Patricio brings something unique to the current biblical fiction banquet - a focus on an often over-looked and very unfamiliar character. Asenath was the woman who became Joseph's wife, and little is said about her in the Bible. Patricio takes the limited references to Asenath and creates a detailed story that gives a new perspective on the account of a man sold into slavery by his own brothers and ultimately used by God in a powerful way to save many people.

While the book is intriguing, it didn't fully capture me. This is an historical novel, yet it feels very much like a modern one in the way the characters act, what they say, and how certain situations are portrayed. The writing is a bit stilted and not completely engaging. And as a warning to sensitive readers, there are a couple of swear words, some violence, and some references to sexuality (nothing too explicit, though).

That being said, Asenath still holds the reader's attention with interesting relationships and events throughout the book. It's thought-provoking to see the familiar story of Joseph through the eyes of the woman he married. While Joseph is an integral part of the story, as the title suggests this book is really about Asenath and the sorrow, pain, and love that shaped her life in this one fictional account. Patricio has crafted a creative debut novel topped off with a sweet ending that could serve as a good catalyst for further discussion/contemplation of Joseph's and Asenath's lives.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with an advance PDF copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Note: Since this was an Advance Reading Copy, some changes might have been made to the final edition which would not be taken into consideration in this review.

Book Trailer:

2 comments:

Bluerose said...

When I first saw you were reading this one on Goodreads, I thought it was a young adult "paranormal-ish" type book, which seemed really odd. ;)
I honestly can't remember Asenath in the Bible. I will definitely have to read up on what little is said about her.

Amber S. said...

Bluerose,

Hahaha, yes, well...the cover is a bit misleading! ;) And don't worry that you can't remember Asenath! There are only a couple of verses that talk about her in Genesis- mentioning that she becomes the wife of Joseph and that she bears his children. The name certainly wasn't familiar to me, either! But I guess now we know, right? :)

~Amber