(Book review) A Passionate Hope


Reviewed by: Miss Rylie Harrison, a professional writing major at Taylor University.

 


Introduction

Title: A Passionate Hope

Author: Jill Eileen Smith

Publisher: Revell

Publication Date: 2018

Format: Print book

Length: 358 pages

OVERVIEW

As this novel opens the time of the judges is over and the priesthood is tainted with sin. Hannah is a young Israelite woman living her faith in God while bound in a morally corrupt era. Hannah stands out as a woman of uncommon faith and exceptional devotion to the Lord. It is this love that catches the eye of Elkhanah, who asks for Hannah’s hand in marriage. The two begin a modest life together and, as the years go by, the couple remains childless. Finally, they must come to terms with the fact that Hannah will probably always be barren.

Pressured by his parents, Elkhanah takes another wife, Peninnah, who quickly bears children. She uses her children as an opportunity to taunt and shame Hannah at every turn. Despite her prayers, Hannah remains childless for years. Does God hear her prayers? Do her devotion to Him and His law mean nothing?

The story of Hannah explores the idea of faith and its role in the lives of all believers. What does it look like to have faith in the midst of seemingly unending trials? Even after years and years of mockery and barrenness, Hannah remains faithful to God. The book also includes lessons about the sovereignty of God.  As Hannah and Elkhanah pray for Hannah to have a son for years, God seems deaf to their cries. This forces the couple to ask themselves what reason God could have for withholding such a blessing from them. However, by the end of the novel, Hannah and Elkhanah are able to see the work the Lord has been doing all along in their lives.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

This book is likely to appeal to a female audience. As the subject matter is of an older nature, the book might appeal more to an older readership. Generally, a wide age range of adult women would enjoy this novel.

Christian Impact

Overall, A Passionate Hope brings a beautiful story of love, grace, perseverance, faith, and hope to life. Smith creates three-dimensional characters and a tangible world for her characters to inhabit. Though some facts of culture may be fuzzy, they are minor and do not compromise the integrity of the story. Smith masterfully crafts her story, asking the deep questions about God and humanity while never straying into lecturing or preaching. A Passionate Hope is a solid and enjoyable story.

 

 


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The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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