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.)
“When things appear to be falling apart, God is in fact causing them to fall into place.”
In Harvest of Gold, author Tessa Afshar brings the return of Sarah, the Jewish heroine and former scribe of the Persian court from Harvest of Rubies, and her husband, Darius, a Persian aristocrat.
Sarah has come to love the man she was arranged to marry, but Darius, who doesn’t return his wife’s feelings, wonders if he is even capable of loving. As she did in Harvest of Rubies, Afshar conveys the complexity of Sarah and Darius’s relationship, wonderfully illustrating both their passion and their pain. The reader also gets another look at Sarah’s intelligence and skill as a scribe, even though her area of expertise is considered to be a masculine one in her time, and Darius’s side of the story brings danger and suspense to the novel.
Initially, I was disappointed to find that this book is narrated in third person; after Sarah’s first person account in the preceding book, the narration here felt impersonal, and I almost would’ve preferred that Sarah and Darius could have dual first person roles. I got used to the narration after a while, though—a fortunate thing, since much of the book is about Sarah’s cousin Nehemiah overseeing the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. The development of his story feels rushed and sketchy at points, as if it needs to fit in many biblical details from the book of Nehemiah but hasn’t got time to paint them into something more. Still, Jerusalem’s significance does eventually make a compelling connection with Sarah and Darius’s story.
On a more personal note, Harvest of Gold spoke directly (prophetically, really) into this reader’s life, just as its predecessor did, and it’s quite the experience to finish a novel knowing that you’ve been with God, because God was (is) in the writing. Afshar’s work is an invaluable gift.
Harvest of Gold is the sequel to one of my all-time favorite books, Harvest of Rubies.