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Pearl in the Sand: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Tessa Afshar
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable
to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible's
answer is yes.  

Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab's untold story.
Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of
Jericho. Other walls surround her as well-walls of fear, rejection, unworthiness.


A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith ... of pride; a
marriage only God would conceive!  Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship,
Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another's worth and find healing
in God.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 855 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B004MKK27A
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (Aug. 24 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004089202
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #39,456 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars MARVELOUS. Aug. 12 2013
By G.C
Format:Paperback
Evocative, masterfully-written, riveting, Tessa Afshar strings together words in a debut that will knock the wind out of readers with its sheer beauty. Many have most likely said this and it's true: Pearl in the Sand is a rare pearl in its genre. The depths to which this story isn't afraid to go is astonishing. Piercing through the thick walls of Jericho and crossing over the river to Israel's camp, Afshar turns the spotlight on a masterful contrast between inhumanity and humanity, leaving me flipping pages as though they were on fire. Then she goes even deeper. 'Pearl', in my eyes, is like baptism. Characters are immersed into a thickness of sorrow so great, it's almost too much to bear, until Grace yanks them out of nowhere, bringing people that are gasping for air, into a light that can only be divine. Afshar has accomplished something very few authors are able to do. Not only could I not stop reading this book but the message at its foundation - a message on trusting God - tugged at my heart with a magnetic intensity that sprung tears to my eyes. I cried, to be honest, and it's been a while since I've cried in a story. I cried as I noticed that Rahab's insecurities and fears starkly mirrored some of my own. I ached as I watched her take baby steps toward The God of the universe and most of all I understood, oh did I understand, her longing, thirst and hunger for the One True God. For all the differences in our backgrounds, she's proven to be the most relatable heroine I've encountered so far. Wholly trusting God is one of my big aims, and several times have I felt Him speak to me on this. Tessa's work has provided a good dose of His Word. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pearl in the sand May 8 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really entertainning. I like it very much.

I will soon start to read the second book.

Thank you for having this books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book Dec 3 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book. It really helps one get out of the judging people. People like the heroine were used by God to witness about God's grace.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Oct. 26 2014
By Deb O.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loved this book !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  448 reviews
90 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for 2010 Sept. 3 2010
By L. Germany - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Historical fiction is one of my favorite books to read, but historical Biblical fiction? My all time favorite. Although I was supposed to be finishing another book I just couldn't resist sitting down to sneak in a few pages of this book based on the story of Rahab. However, once I had read a few pages I just couldn't quit.

I have always thought one way about Rahab, but reading this book with the explanations of their culture brought in made me think differently. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Salmon asks for her hand in marriage. I won't tell you what he says, but it took my breath away. I am probably showing my ignorance, but it was so beautiful to me because we are all like Rahab.

"Pearls in the Sand" ranks right up there with "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers and "The Chronicles of the Kings" by Lynn Austin.

It goes on my "must read" list for 2010!
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Biblical Story of Finding Worth After Rejection Just as Relevant Today Sept. 8 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Picture a woman who is betrayed by people she trusted, whose whole world falls apart and who builds emotional walls around herself to survive and avoid feeling the pain. Is this the author of a New York Times bestseller or a guest on the latest Oprah? Not exactly.

This woman is Rahab - the prostitute mentioned a few times in the bible - so skillfully brought to life by first-time novelist Tessa Afshar in "Pearl in the Sand" (Moody Publishers, 2010), that the story which takes place during and after the fall of the wall of Jericho transcends time and breathes life into a character full of the same fears, heartbreaks and joys we experience today.

The first reference to Rahab, in the Old Testament book of Joshua, tells how she hides Israeli spies in her house built into the wall of Jericho, brought down by Israel. Later we learn that she and her family, all spared during the siege because of Rahab's actions, settle permanently in Israel. She's referenced in other books, but no further clues about her destiny appear again in Scripture until we read in the Gospel of Matthew that she was married to a man named Salmon and had a son named Boaz.

Afshar has merged these few details with historical, biblical and archaeological information to create a sweeping tale of a woman's life and the complex relationship between her and Salmone (the author chooses an alternate, less "fishy" spelling for the name of her novel's hero). Just how does a prostitute from Jericho end up married to an important leader of Israel and the mother of Boaz, who was in Jesus' genealogy? The answers and the details laying their foundation make for excellent historical fiction, wrongly classified by some as romance.

The story involves some romance, of course, but the relationship between Rahab and Salmone hardly follows the formula of a handsome hero rushing in on a white horse to save a beautiful damsel in distress. Rahab has spent her whole life taking care of herself and doesn't exactly relish the thought of men coming into her life after having been sold into prostitution by her father as a means of providing food for the family. Society and religion brand her worthless and ruined. Salmone agrees, at least at first, until he's rebuked by Joshua.

"Pride is the bane of the righteous," the leader of Israel tells his soldier friend. "On the outside you may seem more upright than a woman with such a past, but God sees us from the inside."

Joshua places Rahab and her family under Salmone's care and he starts to get to know the woman hiding behind a wall of hurt and emotion.

The two marry, but the honeymoon never really begins as the couple can't figure out how to chip through the bricks of pain and insecurity that Rahab has erected, fortified by Salmone's judgment. Metaphorically, the fate of Jericho's and Rahab's walls are the same when God razes years of history and purges the past. It isn't until the dust clears that Rahab can see herself as a treasure, just like the pearl in the earrings given to her by her husband - a gem formed by years of protective layers protecting an initial hurt.

"Pearl" is a moving book. These are richly penned characters whom we get to know slowly and very well, much like we get to know people -- by journeying alongside each other through good times and bad. Discovering the depth of Salmone's feelings speaks to Afshar's skill in not depending solely on the point of view of the female protagonist.

The novel remains with us because of its relevance in modern times. Rahab's are lessons we're still learning today.

"I was really disappointed with God," yesterday, Rahab reflects, when he fails to answer her prayer request. "Why wouldn't the Lord answer my cry?"

She later comes to realize, however, that by not answering her prayer, God was able to enact a plan much bigger than the one she envisioned and one which offered an immediate solution to her being ostracized by the women of the village while bringing her faith to the attention of the man who would become her husband.

The story also remains with us because we'll never read again about the battle of Jericho without remembering there were people on the other side of that wall, or trudge through those long lists of "begats" without realizing that all of those names were real people with real stories just like ours.

Rahab struggles with her father's betrayal, with her self worth, with trying to separate past sexual encounters from the marriage bed and with forgiving herself. At one point she wonders whether she'll ever be remembered for anything besides her profession. Today we know her as a direct ancestor of the Messiah. That God can use any one of us, despite our pasts and mistakes, just like he did Rahab, isn't a bad lesson to learn in 2010 either.

Likely to be a contender for a 2011 Christy Award, "Pearl" is an oasis in the sometimes rather barren desert of Christian fiction. Readers must agree since the book, just released days ago, already is in its second printing.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praiseworthy Jan. 31 2012
By Sara Goff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
No work of fiction has deepened my faith in God's unconditional love like Pearl in the Sand. The story weaves together scenes from the Bible to show how Rahab, a prostitute who has accepted her life as an outcast, captures the attention of Israel and the heart of one of their greatest leaders, Solmon. The most profound aspect of the book is how Rahab and Salmone, newlyweds, wrestle with jealousy and guilt, following God's commitment to forgive, rather than give up on their marriage.

With every scene, I peeled away layers of my own self-condemnation, until, at the end, I could look at my life with more love and understanding. Beautifully written, to the point and sincere, Pearl in the Sand is truly a life-altering book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A God-honoring, heart-warming story May 7 2012
By Digitlchic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rahab is someone I feel a connection to, so I was excited to find this book - but I with Unashamed: Rahab (The Lineage of Grace Series #2) as a favorite of mine to live up to, I honestly wasn't sure how this book would fair with me. I'm happy to say it FAR surpassed my expectations!

I could hardly put the book down I was so thoroughly engrossed in the story and how Afshar weaved biblical truths with fictional plots and motivations all the while continually pointing back to the One who wrote the original story and His ideas and ways of reaching His children.

I felt connected to the characters and felt their interactions and motivations were plausible and realistic. I was moved to tears a number of times. But what I loved most is how Afshar consistently worked to highlight the Father and His character, but did so without making you feel like she was beating you over the head with it. Her characters simply loved Him and as you listen to their conversation (both internal and with one another) and watched their walks with Him progress, certain biblical truths were showcased and gave pause for one's own internal reflection.

Suffice it to say, that having just finished reading my first response was to like Tessa Afshar's Facebook page, then to buy Harvest of Rubies and now I'm leaving this review :)

If you - like me - are a fan of Oke, Rivers, etc - give this book a try I think you will be glad you did!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Biblical Retelling Filled with Awesome Lessons! July 20 2011
By Katie Garvin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Pearl in the Sand not only retells the story of Rahab in a wonderful, vibrant way, but also has many wonderful lessons that are sure to speak to each reader. When I first began this book, I thought the story would ended after the battle of Jericho with the marriage of Solmone and Rahab...but that was only the beginning!

The bible doesn't tell us about Rahab's adjustment into the Israelite camp after they destroyed Jericho, or how she ended up marrying Solmone. Tessa Afshar, using her amazing creativity, has crafted together a plausible, meaningful, and wholly believable story of what might've happened for this woman of Faith to end up being the mother of Boaz. The plot was amazing, with surprises along the way that kept me interested and glued to the pages, eager to find out what would happen next.

Both Rahab and Solmone were well defined characters that were deep, meaningful, and each struggling with different issues. I loved how the story really took off after their marriage. That was something I wasn't expecting, but totally loved! The writing style did a bit more telling of the characters thoughts and feelings than I usually like, but it wasn't that noticeable. Maybe I'm just picky.

As should be obvious (this being the story of Rahab the harlot) there is quite a bit of adult content in Pearl in the Sand. But I was amazed at how the author handled it. Leaving out sensual descriptions, she kept it very factual and clean. In fact, one of my favorite scenes was when Salmone helped Rahab get past old scars and memories of her past life so that she could find joy in their marriage bed. Very sweet, touching, and so true.

With her gift of retelling biblical stories with vibrancy and creativity, I can't wait to see what Tessa publishes next! Pearl in the Sand, while dealing with some serious issues of how Rahab healed from her former life, had so many small lessons that will speak to each readers heart. The event behind where the book got its name was amazingly beautiful and my respect for Solmone's everlasting love for Rahab only grew. Pearl in the Sand is one book that biblical fans will not want to miss!

I reviewed this book for Moody Publishing. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.
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