Author: Francine Rivers
Published by: Tyndale House Publishers (2009)
My Rating: ★★★★★
SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:
In this compilation of the five books in the best-selling Lineage of Grace series by Francine Rivers, we meet the five women whom God chose—Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. Each was faced with extraordinary—even scandalous—challenges. Each took great personal risk to fulfill her calling. Each was destined to play a key role in the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World.
This is a review of the whole series, rather than each book.
Oh my goodness. This book—or should I say, these books—were absolutely amazing and mindblowing. The author does such a phenomenal job of taking simple, well-known Biblical stories and writing them in such a captivating way, taking true stories and writing them to read like fiction. The way she captures the characters and their struggles wowed me, making the book seem like a fictional story while still retaining Biblical facts in every scene and quite possibly almost every word. Everything is true, taken right from the Bible, but written in a way that is real, flowy, and beautiful.
Characters: The way the characters were done amazed me. The author takes characters everyone knows and expands their stories so to turn them from apparent “stuffy”, briefly mentioned Biblical characters into real, beautiful, well-rounded women, with their own struggles and flaws but still with such beautiful hearts and longings for truths. Through these characters is the forgiveness of God, the love of God, the grace of God, the mercy of God, truly captured in real and relatable terms. Characters nobody thought twice about before are now real, relatable human beings whom you really love by the end of their story.
Plot: The way the plot of each book plays out amazed me as well; for while the story was long and expanded in every detail, it still matched the Bible story shockingly well, down to tiny details. The way the author took a small story and expanded it while still staying true to the story is honestly true talent. The stories not only tell you of the women and their lives, but also better enhance the truths about God.
Setting: As well, the setting was done in an incredible way, too. While the characters are as real as anybody today, the setting was old-fashioned, yet described in perfect detail. The author perfectly captured life in those times and what it was like, doubtlessly making you really think about those times and giving a new light to the world these characters grew up in, and even giving a new light to these stories you thought you knew.
Each story had me smiling the whole time, and had me anxiously awaiting to get back to reading when I wasn’t, looking forward to getting back to the characters. I’m greatly so disappointed I finished it so quickly, for I loved reading it so much. I will doubtlessly be rereading these books in the future. They are so well-written and so well done. Again, I am truly in awe of the talent the author has to pull something like this off.
Lastly, just as a note: there was nothing inappropriate in this book, but it was very real and true to the Biblical times, so there are some scenes and references that younger readers are probably not ready for; this is a very mature book. Amazing, and wholesome, and clean, but still very mature. I’d say probably at least age fourteen and up, even older. (Yes, I’m fifteen myself, but a year ago I probably wouldn’t have been at all ready for this. Just a note.)
Highly, highly recommended.