Anticipating a romanticised version of a time when Jerusalem has a queen…one of whom I have never heard…Jerusalem’s Queen by Angela Hunt was a surprise! It is a phenomenally accurate historical journey through a very difficult time in lives of the Jews. Written from a first-person perspective, the story begins by switching between a young Jewish girl Salome Alexandra and an Egyptian slave girl, Kissa and follows their journey and friendship into old age.
It’s a horrible time to be living in and, if you are a sensitive reader like me, the slaughter of humans and animals alike is traumatic!
Focused on the generations of Jews when the Bible is silent, the history was unfamiliar to me as were the characters and I enjoyed learning about them in the novel and then, digging deeper into the facts behind it. Salome Alexandra is an amazing queen of Judah and lives and rules just a few years before Jesus arrives in the world!
If you love historical, biographical fiction, this one’s for you! It is the third in a series but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by starting on this one. Whilst I won’t be reading more in this line (I can’t read with my eyes closed), I have to give it a four out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale as the writing is fantastic and the story moving and enlightening!
From the back cover:
Born in the small village of Modein, a town made famous by the warrior Maccabees, Salome Alexandra knows better than to harbor grand dreams for her future. She pales in comparison to her beautiful older sister, and though she learns to read at an early age, girls are not valued for their intellectual ability. But when her father and sister are killed, John Hyrcanus, a distant relative, invites Salome and her mother to live with his family in Jerusalem, where her thirst for knowledge is noticed and indulged.
When her guardian betroths her to a pagan prince, she questions HaShem’s plan. When Hyrcanus finally marries her to a boy half her age, she questions her guardian’s sanity. But though Salome spends much of her life as a pawn ordered about by powerful men, she learns that a woman committed to HaShem can change the world.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.