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Rebekah by Orson Scott Card


by Orson Scott Card

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Women of Genesis (2)

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    Sarah by Orson Scott Card (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Book 1 of "The Women of Genesis"

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» See also 13 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This is one of Card's "Women of Genesis" series, his historical novels about Biblical figures. It's not at all bad, but I wouldn't say it was Card's greatest work. These books were primarily written to illustrate Card's religious faith, but they do a good job of creating characters that bridge the gap between being historically believable and contemporarily accessible.
Interestingly, in the book the "birthright" of Abraham is not just a collection of blessings (as I have always read it) but the actual physical guardianship of holy, Biblical writings. Card works in a lot about the right to literacy. (Against Abraham and Isaac's will, Rebekah is literate and wishes to read the holy writings).
She's portrayed as a both strong and strong-willed woman, able to competently manage people, but also rigid and intolerant, with an unbending opinion of what she thinks is right, especially in religious matters. She doesn't hesitate to even criticize the patriarch in religious and family matters, and has no sympathy for religious practices other than her own. Card, disturbingly, but not surprisingly, seems to think her intolerance is pretty much a good thing, seeing as, of course, in his opinion, she is Right and the worshipers of Asherah and Baal are Wrong. I don't see things that way (and I totally disagree with the whole Importance of Raising Your Children in the True Faith theme which is a big part of Rebekah's life), so it made his Rebekah a very unsympathetic character to me.
Card's very idealized view of How Families Ought To Be is also a big part of the book, and there's a lot of a message that conflicts between people in families are often based on simple misunderstandings and everyone would get along if they just put more effort into understanding each other. That would be nice - but it's often also not true.
Finally, one hard-to-avoid weakness of the book is that, in this story, the conflict between Rebekah's sons, Jacob and Esau, and Jacob's 'theft' of the firstborn Esau's birthright is originally the main focus and most interesting part of the story. Concentrating on Rebekah as protagonist in this part of the book makes it slightly awkward, when the main drama is happening between other characters. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Very mixed feelings on this book. I enjoyed it for the most part. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
Some thoughts - I liked the fact that men who are prophets can be fallible but they can still be inspired. Abraham & Isaac made poor decisions because of their personal failings and weaknesses, but God could still use them at key moments. I also thought Mr. Card made an interesting observation when Isaac described his father when his mother was still alive. In effect, he said that his father was a different, better man. I also thought the whole exploration of deception was interesting. Fear often drives us to do things we are opposed to in theory. I still can't decide if the deceptions that were made were overall positive or negative. Finally, the impact that poor self-image can have on a marriage was also an interesting thing to see played out. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Oct 14, 2012 |
For some reason, I read Rachel and Leah before reading Rebekah; I'm still not sure why. However, since I am very familiar with the stories on which Card's Women of Genesis books are based, I did not suffer in the slightest.

I do not have an opinion on whether or not Card successfully embodies the female character in writing these novels, particularly because Rebekah places a very strong woman at its center. I do think that the story of Rebekah, Isaac, Jacob, and Esau really gains something from Card's retelling, though.

I enjoyed reading Rebekah just as much as I enjoyed The Red Tent and Card's other Women of Genesis books. I was definitely drawn in and had a hard time putting the book down.
  Esquiress | Aug 5, 2011 |
Out of the three books in this series (there's hopefully a fourth coming eventually), this book was my least favorite. It was still a pretty good book, but the second half ended up being rather tiresome.

As plot tools Card creates a contentious relationship between Rebekah, Isaac, Abraham, Jacob, and Esau. It works well for the plot, especially considering that Card was bound by scripture on major points, but reading 200 pages of quarrels between the characters (3 of whom were prophets and one of whom was the main character) got old and became somewhat strenuous to read. In all fairness, Card's use of these plot tools was quite effective, it made the (otherwise slightly confusing) scriptural account quite plausible, but that doesn't make it any more fun to read about the tension and anger in what could otherwise be imagined as a 'happy' family life of prophet, his wife, and his two sons.

If nothing else, you probably won't walk away from this book thinking 'Hey, I really liked those Rebekah and Isaac characters!' It's just not going to happen. ( )
  yrthegood1staken | Jan 7, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orson Scott Cardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Frederic, Lord LeightonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Zina
alight with all the graces
you are the joy of this old man's life
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Rebekah's mother died a few days after she was born, but she never thought of this as something that happened in her childhood.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 076534128X, Mass Market Paperback)

Born into a time and place where a woman speaks her mind at her peril, and reared as a motherless child by a doting father, Rebekah grew up to be a stunning, headstrong beauty. She was chosen by God for a special destiny.

Rebekah leaves her father's house to marry Isaac, the studious young son of the Patriarch Abraham, only to find herself caught up in a series of painful rivalries, first between her husband and his brother Ishmael, and later between her sons Jacob and Esau. Her struggles to find her place in the family of Abraham are a true test of her faith, but through it all she finds her own relationship with God and does her best to serve His cause in the lives of those she loves.

In Rebekah, Orson Scott Card has created an astonishing personality, complex and intriguing, and her story will engage your heart as it captures your imagination.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:28 -0400)

Rebekah leaves her father's house to marry Isaac, the studious young son of the storied Sarah and Abraham, only to find herself caught up in a series of painful rivalries, first between her husband and his brother, Ishmael, and later between her sons, Jacob and Esau. Through it all she finds her own relationship with God and does her best to serve His cause in the lives of those she loves.… (more)

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