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Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.

Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#1 by Kelebogile Mbangi
» 05 Aug 2017, 11:02

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Rabbi's Gift" by Chuck Gould.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by Kelebogile Mbangi
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The Rabbi's Gift: Retelling an Ancient Tale, by Chuck Gould, is based on the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus. It falls under the historical fiction genre. Chuck Gould makes this biblical story his own and adds interesting details and twists to the tale.

Mary is known in this book as Miriam. She is the daughter of Eli, the richest man in Yudea. She has come of age and must soon wed. This presents a challenge for Eli. Miriam is strong-willed, loves her independence, and is rumoured to be dabbling in dark magic. Finding a match for her will be no easy task. Yusuf, a craftsman, is of humble means. He bears an inherited curse, making finding a wife an impossible task. When an unlikely friendship sparks between him and Miriam, neither of them dare to hope for more.

Set just at the beginning of the first century, The Rabbi's Gift gives a glimpse of life in Ancient Palestine. I enjoyed learning about the general attitudes of both Judean (known in the book as Yehudim) and Roman people. It reveals the expectations that people of that time had of the Messiah. This was eye opening for me, though the book is fiction, it is true to the time on a general plane.

The society that the author painted often left me frustrated (and thankful that I am living in the twenty-first century). It is a society where marriage is used for political and financial advantage. Eli promises Miriam that he will never give her away against her will. It was shocking to see the extent to which he is willing to go to manipulate her into “wilfully” agreeing to a suitor. This society is flawed in another way.

Social status overrides ability. It was enraging for me to see master builders take credit for work that was not their own. Entitled, pompous men from aristocratic families were perceived as better suitors than hardworking, gifted men with well-rounded personalities. Women with gifts of healing were labelled as witches. The injustices in this society are enough to enrage any reader with a sense of justice. The author evokes emotion from the reader through his depiction of soceity. This enriched the story and served as the perfect backdrop for Miriam's tale.

The book only contained a few errors. I counted around ten, which is minimal for a book of 328 pages. The errors did not distract me, perhaps I only found them because I was looking.

I heartily rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I cannot give it any less than a 4, not when I enjoyed reading it as much as I did. I found nothing to dislike about this book. I recommend it to all historical fiction lovers.

******
The Rabbi's Gift
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#2 by juliusotinyo
» 10 Aug 2017, 01:04

I love this genre, I'll look for this book. Nice review
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#3 by akeseh
» 10 Aug 2017, 01:30

I have suddenly developed an interest in this book after reading this review. Thanks for such a wonderful review. This deserves a big PLUS!
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#4 by Kelebogile Mbangi
» 10 Aug 2017, 01:33

Thank you both. :)
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#5 by Jem Tomarong
» 10 Aug 2017, 02:36

:D Beautiful review. I am really interested when the story is about Jewish Cultures and costumes. It gives me ideas about their lives. And I agree with you that we are so blessed for we live in the twentieth century.
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#6 by Rosemary Okoko
» 10 Aug 2017, 02:59

Sounds like an interesting book to read. I can't imagine visualizing Mary as one who is involved in dark magic! Nice review.
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#7 by Kelebogile Mbangi
» 10 Aug 2017, 03:21

Jem Tomarong wrote::D Beautiful review. I am really interested when the story is about Jewish Cultures and costumes. It gives me ideas about their lives. And I agree with you that we are so blessed for we live in the twentieth century.

I agree, although yes, the 21st century has its negatives, I feel it is better for women.

-- 10 Aug 2017, 03:23 --

Rosemary Okoko wrote:Sounds like an interesting book to read. I can't imagine visualizing Mary as one who is involved in dark magic! Nice review.

Glad you liked it. :)
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#8 by Mtsweni Nelsy
» 10 Aug 2017, 04:24

Thanks for the review, the book seems to be interesting.
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#9 by emmanuelmba
» 10 Aug 2017, 05:47

wow i love this review..i must get myself a copy of this book
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#10 by Kelebogile Mbangi
» 10 Aug 2017, 05:50

Mtsweni Nelsy wrote:Thanks for the review, the book seems to be interesting.

Yes it really is :)

-- 10 Aug 2017, 05:51 --

emmanuelmba wrote:wow i love this review..i must get myself a copy of this book

I promise you, you won't regret it!
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#11 by kandscreeley
» 10 Aug 2017, 07:19

I enjoy stories like this where biblical characters are expounded upon as long as they still stick close to the original story. Thanks for the review. It was another good one.
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#12 by Kelebogile Mbangi
» 10 Aug 2017, 09:37

Glad you liked it. :)
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#13 by alwaysdaddygirl
» 11 Aug 2017, 15:25

Kudos! I am going to check out this book. I went to Catholic School for twelve years. I love your review and how you explain why it is a 4 star and social injustice. Truly looking forward to your next review.

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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#14 by Kelebogile Mbangi
» 11 Aug 2017, 23:08

Thank you for reading my review and for your lovely comment. :)
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Re: Official Review: The Rabbi's Gift by Chuck Gould

Post Number:#15 by Miriam Molina
» 12 Aug 2017, 06:03

Hi, Kelebogile Mbangi! Another inspired review! I am sure this is an excellent story, and the main character amazing. The name alone ensures it haha.
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