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.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
Perhaps it was his use of the word half-breed, but in that shadowy chamber I realized why Achish hated me. I was not a mistress, not a slave. Not a Philistine, an Israelite, or even a Canaanite. Not a Cushite, not an Egyptian. Not worthy of any kind of respect or recognition.
I was an other.
I wondered what kind of angle author Angela Hunt would take on such a notorious woman from the Bible in Delilah: Treacherous Beauty. And I respect the angle.
I’ll admit I had a hard time deciding whether or not I would read this book. Though I’ve read and enjoyed many novels from this ChristFic publisher, it’s not hard to see they don’t put out many books with brown faces on the covers, especially books unrelated to slavery/the American Civil War. I wasn’t exactly thrilled when, finally seeing a new release with a brown face, it was there to portray a figure widely regarded as nothing more than a seductress: a woman who must appear in the Scriptures only to warn people of the dangers of unfaithfulness, manipulation, and sexual indiscretion. Because there is a wider problem in the arts world concerning women of color being relegated to sex symbol roles—yeah. I wasn’t sure if I’d read this novel.
Yet, considering this is an author whose work I trust, I eventually figured there had to be something deeper she’d be doing with this character. And the author does indeed humanize Delilah. She’s not depicted as a perfect person, of course, but she’s fully human. As is Samson. They’re both outcasts, in different ways. And their artfully woven story is a human story.
Now, I do feel that in a couple places, Delilah and Samson don’t make total sense. It seems their characterizations and the story’s timing isn’t always the most natural, as if the flow of the novel has an awkward time meshing with some of its necessary biblical points. Still, I accept that ancient stories won’t always make complete 21st Century sense, and the way the author ultimately brings it all together in the last few chapters is what tipped me over into five stars. In tears.
It’s a tragic story in so many ways, but its illustration of the impact of faith and love in imperfect people’s lives gives this novel its power.
Delilah is the third of the Dangerous Beauty novels. See my review of Esther: Royal Beauty.