Asenath by Anna Patricio
ARC, Paperback, 222 pages
September 24, 2011
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Source: Received from author for review
“Two Destinies...One Journey of Love
In a humble fishing village on the shores of the Nile lives Asenath, a fisherman's daughter who has everything she could want. Until her perfect world is shattered.
When a warring jungle tribe ransacks the village and kidnaps her, separating her from her parents, she is forced to live as a slave. And she begins a journey that will culminate in the meeting of a handsome and kind steward named Joseph.
Like her, Joseph was taken away from his home, and it is in him that Asenath comes to find solace...and love. But just as they are beginning to form a bond, Joseph is betrayed by his master's wife and thrown into prison.
Is Asenath doomed to a lifetime of losing everything and everyone she loves?”
I picked up this book because it is set in Ancient Egypt, a setting that I absolutely adore. I didn’t have any idea that it was based on the Biblical story of Asenath and Joseph (of the Coat of Many Colors fame). So I not only got a story set in Egypt, but also a little more Biblical knowledge to boot (because of course I then went and looked up the Biblical passages). I always find it so interesting to see how an author takes what is typically just a few short sentences from the Bible and can turn it into an entire novel.
One of the strengths of the author was creating a vivid world in which her characters existed. It was very palpable and visible. It was almost its own complete character. One of the areas I found to be a little weak was in characterization; they seemed to belong to either pole – pure or evil. With this tendency, I became quite frustrated with some of the characters from time to time.
The pacing of the book also could use some improvement. It was difficult to get into the book, even though there was action right from the first sentence. I think the issue was that we didn’t know any of the characters yet to get the emotional punch that the scenes intended. That was a real missed opportunity. While the beginning moved too quickly, there were other parts that were much too slow. Asenath was frequently too introspective and this was a common cause of the drag.
Overall, the story was an entertaining, short, quick read.
This is Anna Patricio’s debut novel. You can visit Anna’s blog for additional information about the book.
You can also watch the book trailer below.
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