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?
Book Review: ★★★★★★
When I was first contacted, and asked if I would be interested in reading this book, I jumped at the chance. As a history lover, as well as a historical fiction enthusiast — I find I am particularly interested when I come across a book dealing with a story I am already familiar with. And this one was not only one I am familiar with — but one of my favorites as well. Since I was first introduced to the Biblical stories — this one has always been my passion. I started reading about, and studying Joseph at a very young age — and that passion has never left me. So the offer of reading this historical fiction account of Asenath — and her life with Joseph is one that I simply could not pass up. As a novelist I believe that Patricio has a long and successful future ahead of her — and her talents, so ably presented in this — her first novel — I foresee increasing in both ability and skill as she has demonstrated a real passion for the historical fiction genre.
Both Joseph and Asenath come to life in these pages. And while developing Joseph as a character is something that is viewed as a simple feat — I don’t feel that it is an easy task. Taking a larger than life individual — with so many different opinions and points of view in regards to who he was, and what he was like, and I would consider the task of trying to live up to the myriad expectations, while still maintaining an individual voice would not be an easy one. However, Patricio manages to to do both in this fun story. Asenath was probably a little easier going, as there is very little that is known about the woman who eventually became the wife of the controversial patriarch of this family. And yet she also develops into a strong presence throughout this book. Patricio’s strength is certainly in her character development — and I believe that she sets herself apart as being truly gifted in this area.
An area that I see as a place where Patricio’s skills will continue to develop is through the story development. At times there were places in the story that I felt like it was being rushed, and I was missing the full spectrum of the subtleties of the story. But I don’t feel that this was so much a weakness, as part of a learning and developing process in a new author. It didn’t detract from the story, but it was something that as reader I noticed. However, with time and practice I believe that Patricio is on the right track and will eventually overcome this. It isn’t so much a draw back as I would find myself reading a scene or passage and I would expect it to keep going on, when she would shift to another part leaving me feeling like what I had been reading wasn’t quite through. The time I particularly noticed this was during conversations. But again — I feel this is an experience issue, and not a lack of talent or ability.
Finally, I would have like to see the setting developed a little more. But this is a personal preference thing — and not a draw back to the writing style. I am a reader that loves to feel that I have stepped into a time and place, and the rest of the world around me just simply goes away. This, I realize is a hard challenge to obtain for any writer, as I have only experienced in on a few occasions. And some readers find it frustrating to have such fully developed place and time settings. But I am one that prefers to have the setting become more than an element of the story — I like my settings to be almost a living presence in the book. I didn’t feel that there was as much on the setting as I prefer in this one — particularly since the mystique of ancient Egypt is so all consuming for any lover of history. But for most readers I believe that this is a fun and well envisioned read.
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