The story is somewhat contrived. Card tries to balance between apology for strict scripture interpretation and rational interpretation of old Hebrew legends. Read the AFTERWARD before reading the story, it will give you a better idea of what he is trying to accomplish. The characters are a bit one dimensional, Sarah is all good and has endless faith while her sister Quari, [the one whom myth says was turned into a pillar of salt] is self centred and godless. I do like the interpretation of why Hagar and Sarah did not get along after Isaac was born. Overall not as good a read as 'The Red Tent" but thought provoking for we non-bible believers.