“As she walked into the middle of the camp, she saw the other women and the children playing. She carried on praying and asking God to at least show her the purpose for her pain. Just then, Judah ran towards his mother and hugged her.”
Leah is the story of one of the most incredible characters in the Bible. She is a woman we often forget about, quiet and in the background. This book shows us her strength and beauty. I don’t think I have ever asked myself what their lives would have been like. Leah and Rachel, two sisters.
I have always felt Leah’s desperation for her husband’s love in the way she named her older boys, and it was one of my favourite scenes in the book when Leah finally grasps the truth, and names her next son Judah. Such a very poignant moment.
Amanda Bedzrah, the author, has done an amazing job in drawing us into the Biblical account. Weaving around the Bible verses, she has brought in Jewish historical accounts as well as other research. This brought out some astonishing details, which I really enjoyed. One of the reasons I loved this book is that it brings to life a well-known Bible story. Characters we are familiar with, events we know so well. Bethel, Laban’s tricks, Esau… Suddenly we get to know them even better.
Leah gives us a wonderful insight into everyday life, not just at the time, but the lives of people whose names are familiar. As soon as I started reading the book, I thought, “Yes, I wondered about this! What will Jacob say? What is Leah going to say?” Reading Leah, I was so pleased to be able to picture the Biblical account in greater detail.
The characters are really brought to life by Amanda. I must admit, I agree with her portrayal of Rachel, haha. I know Rachel was beautiful and greatly loved by Jacob, but she has never really struck me as a warm, caring person. I loved how Amanda brought this out when describing the wedding meal.
The book covers Leah’s entire married life, although in less detail once they leave Laban. The best thing about Leah’s story is how Amanda shows Leah’s faith. She shows how through it all, Leah relies on God, trusting Him and loving Him. That is what, for me, made the book absolutely beautiful. It’s not just a book about a dysfunctional family, a book about a Biblical family, but it’s a book that shows how we can cope with life. Amanda uses Leah’s example to help other women to understand their lives, to overcome bitterness, and how to serve God and not those closest to us.
One minor detail that I really liked was how Amanda has inserted the Bible references at the start of each part. That is such a thoughtful detail, very helpful indeed, and just adds to the book in such a meaningful way. I enjoyed the book and felt I had learned so much about myself as well as these Biblical characters.
I received a review copy, but was under no obligation or pressure to provide a favourable review. These views are my own.