Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review: Asenath by Anna Patricio

By: Anna Patricio
Pub. Date: September 24, 2011
Publisher: Imajin Books
Pages: 224
Source: eARC from Author
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?

In 1554 BC, nine year old Kiya loses her mother and father when their village is attacked. When the Pharaoh's army saves the orphans from a life of slavery they are sent to Heliopolis to be educated. It is here that Kiya gets adopted by Lord Pentephres and his wife, Lady Satsepdu, who very badly want a child of their own. Kiya becomes Asenath and begins her upper class life.

Through her travels with her parents she meets Joseph, a slave to Lord Potiphar, but within the next few years will be able to earn his freedom. Asenath is instantly attracted to Joseph and the two of them write letters to each other for many years, until they finally meet again.  The romance between the two was very sweet. I sometimes felt it was a little unrealistic though, but the writing wasn't too bad, which helped me to get through it.

Anna Patricio retold the Biblical story of Joseph the Canaanite, and I think she did a wonderful job with it. I don't know many from stories from the Bible, but I did look this one up and found it interesting.

I did have some problems with the writing. I felt that some of the mannerisms that were said and some of the word usage would not have been said or done during this time period. I would have also liked to see more descriptions about Egypt, the prisons, and the home that Asenath lived in.

Overall, I did enjoy Asenath. Having a masters degree in Social Studies education, I can definitely appreciate Patricio's work.  I think religious historians would be pleased with this romance. 

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