Review

December 9, 2005

Sarah by Marek Halter

ISBN: 1400052726

According to the book and one review read on Amazon.com, this book is written less than an actual retelling and more of a historical romance. It is light reading and thus should not be taken seriously. I picked up the book precisely because it’s content was about Sarah, one of the most loyal woman, in my opinion in the Bible. To tell the truth, I was expecting the book to do something like what Marion Zimmer Bradley did with Medea, which was to make her human.

That aside, the book kept me glued for hours, and not because it was engrossing. On the contrary, I just wanted to finish it as soon as I could. The character development is strictly physical, and there is no depth to the characters. Some were totally unneccesary, such as the “adopted son” of Abraham. Furthermore, it felt like the author was adding characters simply because he could.

The acceptance of Sarai into Abraham’s tribe, her constant angst about the trouble her beauty has brought her, and most importantly, the interaction between the many different characters feels forced, unrealistic and contrived. It feels very much like a cut and paste kind of book, not a jigsaw puzzle that is unveiled slowly and to the delight of the readers.

Some of the constant fixation on Sarah’s so-called beauty could have been channeled into developing the character into a more believable one. Perhaps he could have explored both Sarai’s lighter and dark sides more. We know that the author thinks that Sarai is a sensual woman. Besides her dancing (which was described in a very flat way) and her beauty, there really seems to be nothing much to her character. His description of Sarah’s jealousy over Hagar could have been much deeper and explored.

Recommended only for light reading and if you want an excerise in how NOT TO WRITE A BOOK. This is one book that will need you to leave your brain at the first page.

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