Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Asenath by Anna Patricio

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?

New author, Anna Patricio has written an engaging Biblical biographical novel of high adventure and passionate love amid the turbulent world of Ancient Egypt. Asenath is the biographical story about the life of Asenath, the wife of Joseph of the coat of many colours.

Asenath's real name was Kiya and she was born to a happy family who lived on the banks of the Nile. One day, her village is invaded, her parents killed, and she is separated from her siblings. Kiya survives but is captured and forced into slavery. When Egyptians rescue her, she is brought to the temple of Atum-Re and begins training as a priestess. It is then that she meets Joseph, a most handsome, desirable young man, but a man considered beneath her because of his status as a Hebrew slave. When she marries him, her life is pushed into turmoil and catapults the novel into wonderful scenes filled with tension and conflict. 

Written in first person narrative in Asenath’s voice, it is a compelling story, nicely researched, and well written. For a first novel, it is an impressive effort. The novel is geared toward the Young Adult market, but I recommend it for adults too. On rare occasions, the author slipped into modern vernacular, which pulled me from the story a bit – something that should have been caught and corrected by the editor. However, as I said, this didn’t happen often and it certainly did not keep me from enjoying the story.

All in all, this was a terrific debut novel and a compelling story, recommended for anyone who loves to be swept into fascinating, ancient eras. Anna Patricio has great promise and I look forward to following her career.

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