Sarah by Orson Scott Card breathes life into the bible story of Sarah and the profit, Abraham. Sarai, the daughter of an exiled king of Ur, is ten years old when she first meets Abram. She has been promised to the Goddess Asherah but Abram tells her that he will return in ten years to make her his wife. This comes to pass and Sarai becomes a devoted wife always working beside her husband. Unfortunately, their union is not blessed with children, and as the years pass, Sarai becomes more and more convinced that Abram must become a father.

The author takes the basic facts of this story and gives it substance, character and soul. As God speaks to Abram and eventually to Sarai they become his devoted servants and follow his wishes. They change their names to Abraham and Sarah. Sarah convinces her handmaiden Hagar to lie with Abraham and conceive a son. This son is called Ishmael and they believe he will be the only child Abraham will have. But God once again speaks to Abraham and tells him he will have a child with Sarah, this child will be called Isaac and he will become the father of a strong nation. Each man in Abraham’s tribe undergoes a ceremony that marks this covenant, and the tradition of cutting away the foreskin was to be continued throughout the generations.

Given the restrictions of having the story already laid out in the bible, I think the author did a good job of fleshing Sarah into a real women, with real emotions, drive and energy. His interpretation of Sarah and Abraham makes an interesting read into a time period we know very little about. I found Sarah to be an engaging and well-researched story.

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