Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers for an honest review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
It’s almost unfair when a protagonist’s journey resonates so clearly with my own experience, as I suspect it moves me even further away from objectivity in what is already a subjective exercise: writing book reviews. Still, I’m pretty certain Harvest of Rubies is, hands-down, an amazing historical fiction novel.
Sarah is an intriguing, witty, and compassionate heroine, a scribe in the Persian court, brilliant at her culturally masculine job, a girly-girl by no means, living her life in fear, struggling with her self-image, and having little along the lines of self-acceptance. Author Tessa Afshar mixes Sarah’s moving inward journey with palace intrigues, humiliating fiascos, touches of comedy, heartwarming friends (even Caspian the dog, dear boy), and Sarah’s arranged marriage to the wealthy aristocrat Darius, a trying and poignant situation.
One of the most affecting aspects of Sarah’s journey is her lifting the question of questioning God, of what it means to ask Him, “Why?” We hear about judging fellow human beings even when our understanding is lacking, but how might God feel when we, not knowing His entire story, judge Him?
There are some novels I consider good that I don’t particularly have to read the sequels to. Harvest of Rubies is not one of those novels. Yes, I have every intention of reading Harvest of Gold, and Rubies here is being added to my list of all-time Favorite Reads.
Update: my review of Harvest of Gold.