Friday, February 13, 2015

Unveiled: Tamar (Lineage of Grace #1) review & audiobook excerpt

About the book:
"Unveiled" is the story of Tamar, one of the women in the lineage of Jesus. Francine brings the story to life in her trademark style, showing the grace of God in the life of Tamar and her father-in-law, Judah. "Unveiled" is the first in the Lineage of Grace series of five novellas covering the stories of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.


Many readers know Francine Rivers from her book Redeeming Love. I enjoyed that book so much that I picked up Unveiled: Tamar thinking it would be along the same lines. It is different from Redeeming Love in that it is not a parallel story based on the same bible plot points but with different characters, but rather a direct interpretation from the bible told from Tamara's point of view.

I didn't know who Tamara was, so a book about her and her importance made me want to read it, especially if she was art of the lineage of Jesus. Looking at the cover, it isn't something that would really stand out in a sea of books at the bookstore or library, but looks can be deceiving. And this story was interesting.

This story is based on characters in Genesis in the bible. I recommend reading Genesis 25-45 before starting this book in order to give you some background. Rivers does a good job giving you some of this in the beginning, but there is so much more. For example, the book references Jacob's sons and what they did in Schechem (Genesis 34), but this wasn't given in the book. It also references what Judah and his brothers did to Joseph, but Genesis 37 gives readers more details. Since this event impacted Judah so much, it is referenced several times throughout the book, and a base knowledge makes it easier to read.

The story of Tamar is very serious in tone and isn't very kid friendly, so I'd recommend this for adults. The basic storyline is about Tamar trying to get pregnant with an heir to continue Judah's family line. So yes, there are definitely sex scenes in the book, though these are done as tastefully as can be while Rivers tries to remain true to the facts in the bible. Be warned, the facts aren't always pretty though.

Poor Tamar. Your heart goes out to her, and yet I wanted to shake some sense into her! She started out in an abusive relationship with Er. Then she was forced on to Onan who was selfish, arrogant and refused to do what is right. When she pleaded with Judah to step in with Onan, he refused to help. The shrewd Bathsua tormented Tamar all throughout the story. Readers can't help but to dislike Judah's family. And because Tamar remained so loyal to them when she was wronged, she makes me admire her for her loyalty. Still, I want to tell her to wake up and punish Judah for the way he dishonored her!

Tamar is smart though. She comes up with a plan to force Judah to do what the laws at the time obligated him to do. When everything comes out into the open, readers see Judah finally do what is right. He even restores his relationship with God.

This is a novella, so there were 130 pages to the story, and then about a 40 page study guide at the end. The story can easily be read in a day, if not in one sitting. It would be perfect for a church small group.

Audiobook excerpt:
Want to know more? Check out the first five minutes from the audiobook!

About author Francine Rivers:

New York Times best-selling author Francine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English and journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market, and her books were highly acclaimed by readers and reviewers. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, a mother of three, and an established romance novelist.

Francine and her husband, Rick, live in northern California and enjoy time spent with their three grown children and every opportunity to spoil their grandchildren. She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.

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