Woment of Genesis: Rachel and Leah

Posted: July 12, 2015 in Book Reviews


Women of Genesis: Rachel and Leah

By Orson Scott Card

357 pages

Most people who have read the Bible or at least are familiar with it know about Rachel and Leah. The story of how Jacob met Rachel at the well and served her father 7 years to marry her. However no one quite knows the story as told by Orson Scott Card.

Orson Scott Card takes to his own imagination of how this story played out in the hearts and minds of the characters involved. Leah being afflicted with near blindness and unable to see well at all spends her life being angry at the world around her. She is quick to anger and slow to forgive. She has for the most part spent her life being jealous of her younger sister who is blessed with great beauty. Everyone in camp loves her sister and finds herself to be an annoyance at best and a curse and obstacle to handle with great care lest she become angry. At least that is how she perceives things to be. She feels useless and that God does not love her. When Jacob shows up however everything changes while she begins to study the words of God while her sister Rachel just keeps to her self and avoids contact with Jacob all together.

Rachel loves the attention she gets and relish on the fact that she is known for her beauty. She is in love with Jacob but as the day of her wedding approaches she becomes more and more nervous and scared of what married life will really be like. Her brother’s wife tells her tales of how all men use their superior strength to hurt and harm the women they marry in the marriage bed. This instills fear in her and she does not want to marry Jacob despite her great love for him.

The Marriage day arrives and Leah stands in the place of Rachel, Jacob only discovers this in the morning after the wedding to his great surprise. After confronting Laban arrangements are soon made to have Rachel marry Jacob as well.

Through out the story each of the women’s handmaids Bilhah and Zilpah guide them in their own way to understanding each other and what the future holds for them.

Orson Scott card has imagined these women in a way that makes me appreciate the roll they played in the history of the Bible so much more. The way in which they are portrayed breaths life into them that would not otherwise be found in the biblical account of their story. They are shown to be women of compassion and emotional aptitudes that you just don’t get in the Biblical account.

Jacob and Laban both are seen to be men of honor and respect. Laban being a man of great compassion and love for his family.

The story is told in a way never before imagined and brings out the heart and soul of the characters. After reading this book you can’t help but feel a deeper connection with more love and respect for these women.

These 2 woman eventually become the mothers of Israel, though not all of the children of Israel they play a vital and important role in establishing the history of Israel and they are bought to life so effectively in this book. I will never look at their story the same way again.

I give this book 10 out of 10 book worms for bringing about  the compassion and love that the reader should have for these unique and important women of the bible. A must read, especially if you are christian and want a better understanding of the story behind Israel.


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