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    Brings the bible to life!

    The two main women characters, Hannah and Peninnah, are so well written that I found myself fighting off feelings of depression as I read this wonderful book. Hannah’s story is covered in just a few verses in the bible. I can breeze through all of her difficulty in just a few seconds, get to her joy, and move on. The author has done a fantastic job of researching biblical times so that she could write a very believable story based on the short section we are given. I was so burdened down with grief for all that Hannah was enduring at times that I simply had to put this book aside to let my own emotions settle down. Yet I also felt compelled by the depth of the story to return very quickly to progress through the book. I desperately wanted to see Hannah reach her time of rejoicing. Jill Eileen Smith has an incredible gift and I’m thrilled that she uses it to bring the stories and characters of the bible to life. I received a free copy of this book from the author. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion. Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
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    Heart-wrenching Struggles Between Hannah and Penin

    What an incredible book! Scriptures leap to life as they are fleshed out with the daily “might-have-beens” in A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith. I’m not sure what I expected, but what I found was a novel rich in Biblical truth; accurate in Israeli history; strong in Jewish tradition. Hannah and Elkanah and other characters are very well drawn. I quickly felt myself part of the turmoil that was Shiloh with her arrogant, deceitful, and lustful priests. My heart twisted with those of Elkanah and Hannah as they consider the trip to the temple with anticipation, fear, and longing. Smith’s protagonists ask the hard questions: where is God when His temple and offerings are being desecrated, the young women ruined and families threatened by the priests? Lots to love here. I greatly appreciate the spiritual foundation that Elkanah and Hannah’s marriage is based upon. I loved the inside look at Peninnah and her marriage to Elkanah. I was certainly struck by the fact that while the situation was less than ideal, one wife chose to honor God and make the best of it, while the other chose to curse and complain. Their happiness did not lie in their circumstance, but in their response to it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. No positive review is required and all opinions are solely my own.
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