Book Review: Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes. At the age of fifteen Rahab is forced into prostitution by her beloved father. In her years as a courtesan, she learns to mistrust men and hate herself. Into the emotional turmoil of her world walks Salmone, a respected leader of Judah. Through the tribulations of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth in God and find healing from fear and rejection.

Release Date:  September 1, 2010
Publisher:  Moody Publishers
Age Group:  Adult
Pages:  336

This was a stunning debut novel.  I like Christian fiction that retells the stories of biblical characters; such as Liz Curtis Higgs' Scottish Rose trilogy and Francine Rivers' Mark of The Lion trilogy.  After reading both of those outstanding series, I thought I would never find another Christian fiction author whose writing I enjoyed as much.  Then Tessa Afshar came along and proved me wrong!

The plot is outstanding, the characters were relatable (despite the fact that the story takes place in B.C. Old Testament days), and the writing was excellent.  I'll definitely be back for more from Tessa Afshar. 

Just One Gripe:
Don't read the author's notes before chapter one.  If you do, you'll spoil the ending of the story for yourself.  Of course, if you know the story of Rahab from the Bible you will already know what happens anyway. 

The Best Thing About This Book:
The emotions Afshar elicits in her readers---I out-and-out cried twice and teared up at least two more times.

Appropriate for a younger audience:

Characters:  5/5
Plot:  5/5
Setting/Imagery:  5/5
Originality:  5/5
Ending:  5/5
Total Score:  25/25

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an impartial review.


  1. Wow. Sounds like a great story. Thanks for your review, and the note to skip the author's notes. I usually read those!

  2. You're welcome! It was outstanding! And I was so disappointed to spoil the ending for myself. :(

  3. Your review has single handily sold me on this one. I must add this to my TBR shelf :)

  4. Dear Kelli,

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful review of Pearl in the Sand. I really enjoyed reading your comments. Your "just one gripe" was especially insightful, not to mention funny.

    One big favor. Would you consider posting it on Amazon? That would be brilliant.



  5. @ Juju---it's most definitely shelf-worthy. I am giving it to my mom for Christmas, as a matter of fact!

    @ Tessa---wow, thank you so much for your comment! I posted my review to Barnes and Amazon this morning. Looking forward to your next book!


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