Tamar: A Novel of Ancient Israel
by Irene Elizabeth G. Williams

"God shall wipe all tears from their eyes and make all things anew."

When people think of major female characters of the Bible, they generally think of Ruth, Sarah, and, of course, Mary. One of the lesser known females to merit a story in the Bible is Tamar, a princess of Palestine. Her story is not long, getting a total of three mentions. It includes the ordeal of her rape and exile.

Williams' book is equal parts Biblical fact and the continuation of her story wrought through fiction. It begins with a dramatization of Tamar's biblical tale. Her half-brother Amnon claimed to be sick, and when Tamar tended to him, he raped her. As a result, she was sent out of the kingdom, and Amnon was killed by Absalom, Tamar's full brother. However, the real purpose of the book asks what happened next. How did Tamar survive? Surprisingly, she finds an inner strength earlier unknown to her. She becomes an important member of her community and even a surrogate mother to her niece.

The author tells the story using a cadence you might expect of literature written in Biblical times. She also demonstrates a knowledge of customs, traditions, and even how sons of kings would live in that. The book is illustrated with watercolor drawings depicting the characters and action of the story. It is this attention to detail and these delightful drawings that bring to life this Biblical tale. This story of perseverance will appeal to more than those familiar with the genre.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home