Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In Israel, before the miracles of Jesus touched many lives, there lived a servant girl, a slave, really. Her name was Zimrah. She was bought by her master, Jesse, when she was only a few days old. No one thought she'd live, but she did and, as she grew up in Jesse's household, she proved her strength of character and her ability to overcome the evil tormentors that haunted her dreams, overcoming them through the power of music and the gift of a lyre which was shown her by Yahweh, the one true God.
Music brings Zimrah joy and banishes the evil that lurks all around. Singing the Songs of King David (the Psalms), Zimrah is like King David as she lets the music fill her heart as well as the hearts of those around her who can hear her singing. She learns to recognize the voice of her real Abba (Father) in heaven and to believe Him when He tells her to rest, sing, read and write. For, yes, unusual as it is for a slave girl, Zimrah can do all of those things and she does them very well.
Zimrah’s music brings joy to others as well, particularly her master, Jesse, who struggles with his own demons. Zimrah's music also brings joy to the young Roman soldier and captures his heart. Music becomes the bridge that connects, the power that brings her faith and her beliefs to the community around her, the community that had so often shunned her as she was growing up. As she and her master, Jesse, read together the stories of Moses and Job, they both learn how to stand up against their tormentors, the demons of their dreams, and how to stand firm in their faith, and they share their stories and their faith with everyone around them, particularly Zimrah’s Roman soldier.
Susan Valles has written a very inspirational story about a young girl in the early part of the first century. Zimrah Dream Singer portrays the power of music, a gift from the one true God. The story is told by Zimrah, from her perspective, and it is as if the reader is sitting beside her listening to her tell her story. Zimrah tells her story in the beautiful form of ancient storytelling, like the prophets once told their stories for centuries before. As she tells her story, gently, quietly, soothingly, we, the readers, can only sit and listen, learn and rest, content in the faith of our Creator. A charmingly lovely story; a powerful story with a powerful message, a message about faith, belief, and the courage to face the demons that try to block the path to the one true God.