Sunday, February 11, 2018

Book review: A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith

About the book:

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love for each other, for their God, and for His tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband's new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah's cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

My review:

Getting into the heads of Biblical characters is something I love about biblical fiction, and in A Passionate Hope it is done well.  I loved Hannah, with her love, joy, and devotion to God.  She repays ridicule with kindness, and took her pain and disappointment to God.  Elkanah was a hard-working, loving husband who carried the weight of everyone else's expectations.  He sought to honor the Lord in his life.  As well as chronicling their account from the Bible, we read a story of a couple for whom living life gets in the way of living.  Through hope in God's plan, they find their way.

As well as great characterization, the book had interesting sub-plots that carried throughout the book.  

I highly recommend this book for those who want an insider's view into the life and times of Hannah, mother of Samuel.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Revell, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the author:

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and The Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.

When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Contact Jill through email (, her website (, Facebook (, or Twitter (

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