4 out of 4 stars
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Into the Hand of a Woman by Carla C. Ohse is a modern take on the Bible’s story about Barak and Deborah. In this version, Deborah is a judge and an advocate for upholding women’s rights. After presiding over a case, she learned about women being captured and traded in a secluded part of Northern Israel. Seeing her purpose as a defender of women’s rights, Deborah travelled to Israel under the guise that she is on a sabbatical leave. In Israel, she is placed under the protection of Lieutenant Barak Cohen. To accomplish her goal, Deborah realized that she needs to gain the trust and support of Lieutenant Cohen. As Deborah convinces Lieutenant Cohen to assist her in her personal mission, she also starts to experience threats from one of the members of the military.
What I like about this book is that it provided a wonderful retelling about the story of two Biblical characters who are not as eminent as Noah and Moses. That is, grounded from my own perspective as a reader. Through Carla C. Ohse’s narrative, I was able to learn about the story of Deborah and Barak. In spite of studying in a Catholic school, I have to admit that I am not really familiar about these two Biblical characters. I also like how the author described the settings in the story. I have always pictured the Middle East as an interesting place to visit. Through reading the story, the author somehow gave me a vivid picture of the places mentioned in the book, such as the Church of Transfiguration, Kibbutz Kinneret, and Jordan River. At the same time, in following Deborah’s journey, the reader is able to feel the scorching heat of the dessert and find comfort from an oasis.
On the one hand, I like Deborah’s determination in pursuing her purpose and her unwavering faith in God in spite of the difficulties she encountered. On the other hand, what I disliked most about the book also happens to be Deborah’s tendency to make hasty decisions. Based on my opinion, some of her spur-of-the-moment judgments resulted in more harm than good. Also, I would have liked reading more about Barak’s point of view. In this book, the reader could only view Barak’s emotions and way of thinking through the perspective of Deborah. I understand that the author’s intent is to highlight Deborah’s experiences and emotions since she is the heroine of the novel. Nonetheless, it would have been nice to read about Barak’s perspective.
With the exception of some minor errors, I still find the book to be well-written. An intimate scene is included, although the author generally focused on the emotions of the characters rather than the physical act. However, there is one death scene in the novel which is graphically described.
I am rating this book 4 out of 4 stars. I find the retelling of the characters’ story to be interesting and entertaining. I would recommend this book to readers who like modern retelling of stories. Furthermore, since March is Women’s Month, I would recommend this novel to those who are looking for books that are focused on women and their triumphs in in life.
Into the Hand of a Woman
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