The Book of Rachael by Leslie Cannold

Leslie Cannold is a well regarded academic in Melbourne, who also writes articles for newspapers and talks on radio regularly.  The Book of Rachael is her first novel and an enjoyable read it is.  It is a fictionalised story of Rachael, brother of Joshua.  Rachael, being a girl leads a restricted life, even though her father allows her to listen on some of the lessons her brothers get.  She is passionate, and falls madly in love with Judah, who eventually betrays Joshua.  The book describes how a poor, Jewish family may have lived in Israel while it was occupied by the Romans, and the character and influence of a healer and midwife who takes Rachael under her wing, is a fascinating side story.  The book has stirred up a bit of debate which is always a good thing, so if you are fervently Christian, this book might not be for you.  $32.95

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