Title: A Passionate Hope
Author: Jill Eileen Smith
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Description from Goodreads: “Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.
Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah’s cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?
Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.”
Review: I don’t know how she does it, but every one of Jill Eileen Smith’s Biblical stories is absolutely amazing. She truly brings the people of the Bible to life, and makes their story real. I read the Bible on a regular basis, but I am never able to get the feel of these people the way I do when I read Jill Eileen Smith’s Biblical Fiction. She has a way of drawing me into these stories from the very first page, and not letting me go. This book is just as addicting and difficult to put down as any thriller I have read.
Hannah’s story was so intriguing to me. How do you share your husband, especially with a woman so mean and vindictive? How do you deal with the scorn and pity as a barren woman? Her plight was so moving and I felt the pain so acutely, it was as though I was the one going through it. At times, I forgot that I wasn’t the one sharing my husband. The way she was able to endure it all, and never lose her faith is such a wonder.
I admire the way Hannah and Elkanah trust in and honor God. Their faith waned a bit, as one would expect with such difficulties and suffering, but not much and it never failed. In the end, it gave them such wonderful blessings. This is such a powerful and important message that we all need to remember, especially when we are going through difficult times, though it may seem hopeless, God still has blessings for each one of us and his timing is always right.
As always after finishing a book by this author, I now need to go back and read the Biblical story of Hannah, Elkanah, Peninnah, and Samuel.
*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*