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Harvest of Gold (Harvest of Rubies #2) by Tessa Afshar: A Book Review

Harvest of Gold (Harvest of Rubies #2)
Author: Tessa Afshar
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Biblical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: River North
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 368
Source: My State Public Library

Synopsis: A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success will lead to an unlikely bounty.

    In Harvest of Gold (Book 2), the scribe Sarah married Darius, and at times she feels as if she has married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did not count on in her marriage—Sarah has grown to love her husband. Sarah has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband’s love still seems unattainable.

     Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother’s people. Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life—and even in his marriage?

    My Review: Harvest of Gold picks up where Harvest of Rubies has left off. Sarah has finally come to love her husband, Darius. However, Darius still does not love her and trust her. When her cousin Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem to help rebuild the city’s walls, Sarah and Darius accompany him. Throughout their journey, Darius’s distrust of Sarah causes him to distance himself from her and ruin his marriage. Could Darius ever grow to love his wife? Could Sarah and Darius repair their failing marriage?

     Sarah has matured since Harvest of Rubies. However, she is not as humorous as she was. Instead, she is a supportive wife and is competent in managing her husband’s estates. Even though her husband does not love her, she loves him unconditionally. She accepts that her feelings are unrequited and tries to find other ways to please her husband. She knows her marriage is lacking, but she still tries her best to repair it. She is very insecure with her husband, and accepts it when her husband faults her. Instead of the feistiness that she had in the first novel, she was very submissive to her husband and never stood up against him even when he was wrong. Thus, I was a bit disappointed in Sarah’s submission. While she was not as fun as she was in Harvest of Rubies, I still liked her and hoped that her marriage would end happily.

     I did not like Darius. Darius is really cruel to his wife. He always looks down on her and blames her whenever things go wrong. He does not care about her feelings and only cares about himself. While he does change at the end, his transformation seemed forced and sudden. There was no gradual character development. I came away from this novel not convinced that he had truly changed his ways. Therefore, I felt that Darius was not a good match for Sarah. I wanted Sarah with someone who was just as sweet as Mrs. Afshar’s other heroes. Thus, the romance did not drag me into the story.

     Overall, this novel is about trust, marriage, and love. The message of this book is to never give up even when everything seems hopeless. There were a few new characters that I liked. I did wish that some of the characters would have been in more pages. I found the third person narrative in Harvest of Gold to be very jarring, especially since Harvest of Rubies was first-person. I also thought that this book was very slow and drawn out. I did think that Mrs. Afshar did an excellent job in making ancient Babylon and Israel come alive! Even though I did enjoy Harvest of Gold, I did not like it as well as her predecessor. I think that Harvest of Gold was an unnecessary sequel and the Harvest of Rubies series should have only been one book. Thus, Harvest of Gold was not Mrs. Afshar’s best work! Harvest of Gold is a very forgettable sequel and her other novels are far more superior! Still, I recommend this for fans of Lynn Austin, Ginger Garrett, and Connilyn Cossette!

Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 stars


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