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A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story (Daughters of the Promised Land #4) by Jill Eileen Smith: A Book Review!

A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story (Daughters of the Promised Land #4)
Author: Jill Eileen Smith
Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction, Biblical Fiction
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: 2018
Pages: 370
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: 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.

     My Review: A Passionate Hope tells the story of Hannah, who is the mother of Samuel. Hannah has married the love of her life, Elkanah. She believes that she will have a happy life for him and bear him a son. However, Hannah’s dreams do not come true. After years of being barren, Elkanah is pressured by his family to take another wife. Hannah is forced to watch in humiliation as the other wife bares her husband’s children while she has none. Hannah questions why God will not grant her deepest desire? Hannah embarks on a deep journey of her faith and devotion to God.

   I have always been intrigued by Hannah’s story. She is one of the strongest believers in the Bible. She never once lost her faith in God. In A Passionate Hope, Mrs. Smith focuses on Hannah’s long years of suffering. The novel begins when Hannah is young and optimistic. She marries the man she loves and believes that she will soon give him children. Hannah is a very sympathetic figure. I felt her despair when she is forced to watch her husband marry another and now the other wife gives her husband what she cannot. Penniah was not a kind woman to her. She would often laugh and torment Hannah. Therefore, I empathized with Hannah’s sorrow. However, Hannah’s trials  made her stronger. While she did question God, Hannah never wavered in her faith. She never gave up hope that she would bear Elkanah a son.

   Overall, this novel is about faith, trials, and hope. The message of this book is to never give up. It is because of Hannah’s persistence and trust in God that she was finally granted a son. I thought all the characters were well-written. The story is richly detailed, and it was a very faithful retelling. There were some repetitive scenes in A Passionate Hope, and a few parts of the book read like a soap opera. However, Jill Eileen Smith proves why she is one of the top authors of Biblical fiction! Mrs. Smith astounds us again with another uplifting read! A Passionate Hope will thrill fans of The Red Tent, Rachel and Leah, and The Pharaoh's Daughter.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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