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Sarah by Marek Halter
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Sarah (2004)

by Marek Halter

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English (15)  French (1)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
The first in his "Canaan Trilogy" about Biblical women, author Marek Halter takes the wife of Abraham and primarily weaves a backstory for her.  He ignores the possibility that Sarah was actually Abraham's half-sister, and instead makes her the daughter of a lord of Ur.  He comes up with an interesting premise for her infertility and her lasting beauty.

I very much enjoyed this novel.  It is fiction, so it does not bother me at all that Halter took "liberties" with Sarah's story.  Her story (as well as that of Abraham, his father Terah, and so on) is slightly different in the Biblical book of Genesis, in rabbinic tradition, and in Islam, and there is no other historical source material, so she is a perfect character for fiction.

I was surprised to learn Halter is a man, as the book has a somewhat feminist tone, and the female voice rings true.  I felt he depicted life at that time - especially for women - quite well.

The audiobook was an abridgment; nevertheless, there was still plenty of description of the settings of the story.  Kate Burton (daughter of Richard Burton) was the narrator.  Her deeper voice was fitting, but I felt the book was read too quickly - or sped up to make it fit in just four discs.

© Amanda Pape - 2016

[This audiobook was borrowed from and returned to my university library.] ( )
1 vote riofriotex | Aug 20, 2016 |
This was the worst book I've ever read, or rather, listened to. I usually like bibical historical fiction and I kept hoping it would improve but it never did. Full of tedious rantings and far more discussion of menstrual blood than anyone would ever care to read. Furthermore, this sort of fiction should take the facts in the bible and embellish the story. This author couldn't even get the facts straight.


( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
Really, really good...until the end. It just ENDS. It goes to a prologue-type narrative where it sums up everything in Sarah's life after Hagar and Ishmael left the camp. And then it was just over. Feels like there should be a sequel. I liked it so much until the end. Then it turned into disappointment. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
This is the first book in the Canaan trilogy, I read the second one Zipporah a couple of years ago. I was more familiar with the story of Zipporah, having watched Prince of Egypt with the kids many times. I was not as familiar with the story of Sarah, wife of Abraham.

This is one of those books that starts with Sarah as an old woman telling us her story and then goes to Sarah as a young woman. Sarah is the daughter of a lord, and has just had her first blood and is therefore of a marriageable age. Her father has selected a husband for her. Sarah is frightened and runs away, beginning the chain of events that leads her to Abram and all that follows.

I found this book quite easy to read. I enjoyed the story of Sarah as a young woman and the trials she has to face. She had a lot of inner strength but still had character flaws that made her seem down to earth and realistic. ( )
  Roro8 | Mar 24, 2015 |
The story of Sarah, wife of Abraham, as told by a Harlequin Romance novellist. (Or he ought to be, anyway.) I gave up at page 165, though a quick skim of the later pages revealed no improvement.

Halter has re-cast the traditional Sarah (half-sister of Abraham, of Ur of the Chaldees) as the daughter of a mighty noble of Ur, while Abraham is a foreigner who lives outside the city walls. When they first meet, it becomes clear that they do not speak the same first language. Luckily, he speaks her language (albeit with a weird accent), and the issue never comes up again: when she goes to live with his people and marry him, she is immediately subject to everyone's gossip and gets not a moment of peace through incomprehension. This is, of course, after he rescues her from the temple of Ishtar, where she danced half-naked within arms length of an angry bull (repeatedly). Right... ( )
  Heduanna | Jan 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Translated from French; first of a trilogy about Canaan. The Old Testament story of Sarah, beautiful wife of Abraham, covering her early life as daughter of the lord of Ur, first menstruation and attendant ceremonies, running away from Ur for marriage to Abram (later Abraham), the tribe's years in Canaan, her barrenness, the court and bed of Pharaoh, Abram's impregnation of Hagar, the births of his sons Ishmael (from Hagar) and Isaac (from the aged Sarah), and his near-sacrifice of Isaac, prevented in this version by Sarah's maternal prayer.
The book has no glossary, bibliography or Biblical references. The style is trite (e.g.: `He waited for her to go on, a severe expression in his eyes'; ); this is pop Biblical history.
added by KayCliff | editNewBooksmag, Hazel K. Bell (Jun 8, 2016)
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553816497, Paperback)

People may know that Abraham, the great Patriarch of the Old Testament, was the first man to spread God's word. But how many know of his wife, Sarah? How she was born into a wealthy and powerful family in the Sumerian city of Ur? Or how, at the age of twelve, escaping her own wedding ceremony, she ran to the banks of the Euphrates river and into the arms of a young stranger camped on the outskirts of the city. His name was Abraham and, although he was a member of a poor nomadic tribe, their encounter that night was enough to convince Sarah that their future lay together. And so Sarah abandoned everything - wealth, family and status - to follow Abraham and his alien God; a God of whom no one had ever heard; a God who was invisible and who appeared to communicate solely through her husband; a God who, one day, would command Abraham to kill their beloved son in his name, and before whom Sarah would beg for mercy...Set against the epic backdrop of the Sumerian cities of Ur and Babylon four thousand years ago, and in the arid wastelands of the Arabian desert, Marek Halter brings an ancient world vividly to life through the eyes of a beautiful and passionate woman.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:27 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Sarah's story begins in the cradle of civilization: the Sumerian city-state of Ur, a land of desert heat, towering gardens, and immense wealth. The daughter of a powerful lord, Sarah balks at the marriage her father has planned for her. On her wedding day, she impulsively flees to the vast, empty marshes outside the city walls, where she meets a young man named Abram, son of a tribe of outsiders. Drawn to this exotic stranger, Sarah spends one night with him and reluctantly returns to her father's house. But on her return, she secretly drinks a poisonous potion that will make her barren and thus unfit for marriage. Many years later, Abram returns to Ur and discovers that the lost, rebellious girl from the marsh has been transformed into a splendid woman, the high priestess of the goddess Ishtar. But Sarah gives up her exalted life to join Abram's tribe and follow the one true God, an invisible deity who speaks only to Abram. It is then that her journey truly begins. From the great ziggurat of Ishtar to the fertile valleys of Canaan to the bedchamber of the mighty Pharaoh himself, Sarah's story reveals an ancient world full of beauty, intrigue, and miracles.… (more)

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