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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Sarai is a beautiful woman. Abram loves his wife very much, but he’s afraid that once they’re in Egypt, the Pharaoh will lust for his wife and cause havoc in the family until he gets what he wants. He insists that Sarai pose as his sister instead of his wife and, when the Pharaoh sends for her to join his harem, she must do as she’s told or suffer dire consequences. Sarai, however, is a strong woman; she is strong in her faith. And it’s her faith that helps her endure these unsettling circumstances. She prays fervently to God to rescue her from Pharaoh’s lust and each time the Pharaoh craves for her, Sarai is protected by elements beyond hers, or anyone else’s control. When the wine turns to blood, or the Pharaoh spits up frogs, or the palace is inundated with pesky flies, Sarai is the only one unharmed. Pharaoh finally sees that the only way to end this purge is to have Abram take his wife and family, and a great deal of wealth, and leave Egypt for good.
Based on a well-known Bible story, Kristen Reed’s novel, Five Nights with Pharaoh, addresses the difficult question of faith and the power that can be found in a faith as strong as Sarai’s. It’s interesting that the author chose to write this story in first person, allowing the reader to fully appreciate Sarai’s predicaments. The reader feels compassion for a woman whose husband must literally hand her over to a lustful man who worships pagan images and believes himself to be no less than a god. The reader feels remorse and fear when Sarai is called, night after night, to attend to a man she knows can cause so much harm to her family. The story is well told and riveting from beginning to end. The author has certainly brought the simple Bible story of faith to life. Well done!