Friday, July 20, 2012

Tessa Afshar's Harvest of Rubies ~ Reviewed

Harvest of Rubies [Paperback]  

Tessa Afshar (Author)
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: River North; New Edition edition (April 20, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802405584


The prophet Nehemiah's cousin can speak numerous languages, keep complex accounts, write on rolls of parchment and tablets of clay, and solve great mysteries. There is only one problem: she is a woman.

In her early childhood years, Sarah experienced the death of her mother and her father's subsequent emotional distance and she came to two conclusions: that God does not care about her, and that her accomplishments are the measure of her worth - the measure of her self.

Sarah, the talented scribe and cousin to Nehemiah, is catapulted into the center of the Persian court, working too many hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and solving intrigues for the Queen. Ironically, it isn't failure but success that causes Sarah to lose her only source of external validation.

Sarah soon learns that she has something of worth to offer beyond her ability with languages and sums - her very being proves to be a blessing to others.


Set in an ancient Persian empire, Harvest of Rubies is rich with historical elements and contains a strong romance thread. Nehemiah is the cupbearer to the king and his cousin, Sarah, like Esther before her, finds favor with the royals. Her skills with languages, reading and writing make her invaluable to the queen. When Sarah does the queen a good turn the queen bestows a gift/blessing on Sarah as a reward. However, this reward has challenging, seemingly disastrous results in Sarah’s life. 

The strong faith element within the book is of an ancient Hebrew vein vs a salvation message. Times of teaching crop up through Nehemiah, a wise old gardener, and Sarah’s own thoughts. Interestingly, the author added a few mysterious happenings that Sarah investigates so the story clipped along.  

There were a few times at the beginning that I wondered if I was going to like Harvest of Rubies. However, I found myself drawn in by the story and finishing it up quickly so the story conquered minor annoyances. If you love a bit of intrigue, romance and history this is a book you should check into.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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