To expand a few chapters in the Book of Genesis into a novel about Leah, the first wife of Jacob, would not be easy, but Cynthia Davis does so in a way that breathes human emotions into the many characters of the story. The account is well-known to Old Testament readers: Jacob, son of Isaac, arrives in Haran to visit kin. He is smitten with Rachel, the youngest daughter of Laban, yet Leah, the eldest, must be married first. Unfortunately for her, "Leah was dull-eyed, but Rachel was graceful and beautiful." In return for marrying Rachel, Jacob agrees to work seven years for Laban, but on the wedding night the wiley father subsitutes Leah. Another seven years to get Rachel! Told mostly from Leah's point of view, Davis is adept at showing the strains and jealousies in the growing nomadic household: seven children are born to Leah, two to Rachel and four others to the women's two slaves. Description and dialogue fill in the starkness of the Genesis account, which takes us through to the reunion with Joseph in Egypt and Jacob's final realization of the dying Leah's devotion. "You are my faithful Leah...the strength of my family."
I loved this book! Reading novels is new for me in recent years but since I have discovered Biblical Fiction.........I can't get enough! They seem to bring the Bible alive for me and I use my Bible to reference the facts in the novel. It has made the Bible new again.
I love the character of Leah as she is not perfect as most women in most novels are presented. She has many flaws and one of them being jealousy and envy. There is a lot of that in the Bible. She is not beautiful and agrees to trick Jacob into marrying her, instead of his true love and her sister, Rachel. Though her father does trick Jacob again into working seven more years in exchange for marrying Rachel a week later after marrying Leah. I felt sorry for her through out the book, but I know that was how things were done in Bible times. Sharing my husband with a sister would be hard to do! After Rachel dies though, Leah does fill the roll of his wife and he seems to love her more like a wife then.
Very good read... I had just read Sarah and Rebecca by another author... so it was good to continue the story with Leah even though it was a little different... I still enjoyed the read... Leah turns to the living Lord, to know what love is all about... dg
This was a great book. The author did a very good job making the story come alive and describe life in Leah's day. There is only so much about her in the Bible, so much guessing must be done to make a full story, but it is very well done. I enjoyed the book very much and will read all of Cynthia Davis' series.
The author brings to life dusty characters from the Genesis. Leah is the very responsible older sister to the vibrant and pretty younger sister, Rachel. If you've read the Bible, you'll know the story, but the author allows us to see what Leah's feelings might have been like for her father, for Jacob, for Rachel, and the sons. I enjoyed the book. You don't have to be Christian or interested in Christian fiction to enjoy Beloved Leah. And you don't even need familiarity with the Bible to follow the story.
Author: Cynthia Davis
BELOVED LEAH is the second in Cynthia Davis' series of Biblical portraits from the Old Testament. Davis brings the Old Testament saga to life in the setting of Haran, four thousand years ago. Leah's life-long journey in the shadow of her sister, Rachel, has consumed her with jealousy and bitterness. It is rumored that she will never marry; but, by the clever deception of her father, Leah is finally wed to her cousin, Jacob bar Isaac. To her distress, the man her father has chosen as her husband is the man who is deeply in love with Rachel. One week after Leah's marriage, the father's agreement reaches fruition, and Rachel is wed to Leah's husband. Leah finds comfort in her ability to please Jacob by bearing many sons in order to carry on his legacy; however, when Rachel is blessed with her first son, Joseph, whom Jacob deems the "special son," jealousy ensues throughout the family. Ultimately, Leah's faith in God is put to the test as she spends a lifetime competing with her sister for the love and affection of Jacob. Can she come to an understanding of the love of her husband and his God before it is too late? Davis remains true to the Biblical account of Leah and reveals the power of compassion, humility, and forgiveness through the grace of God.