In this imaginative re-telling of the biblical story of Deborah, Etzioni-Halevy makes the prophetess’ struggles between femininity and tribal leadership come alive, from the discontent in Deborah’s marriage to her experiences with Barak, the handsome Israelite military leader who waged war against the Canaanites. But, writing in sharp contrast to Deborah’s experiences, Etzioni-Halevy weaves in the story of another woman, an Israelite slave who is also the daughter of the Canaanite king. The two tales intermingle to create an inspired narrative that brings the biblical story to its full color.
The author’s third book on biblical women, this engaging novel is appropriate for readers of many interests. Certainly those interested in the biblical period will enjoy the descriptions of Deborah’s judging, while those more interested in gender studies will find the tales of her leadership intriguing and insightful. Historical note.