Sarah: Women of Genesis

Written by Orson Scott Card
Review by India Edghill

As the second daughter of a king-in-exile, young Princess Sarai has been promised as a priestess to the Temple of Asherah.  But when she meets Abram, her destiny changes — for Abram is not only the man with whom she falls in love, but a man chosen by a strange god to be the father of a new people.  Abandoning everything she’s ever known, Sarai follows Abram on his wanderings at the behest of this unknown and unknowable god.

But years pass, and despite God’s promise to Abram — renamed Abraham, Sarai — now Sarah — fails to become pregnant.  In an attempt to give Abraham the son who will be the father of multitudes, Sarah asks her servant Hagar to bear a child for them.  But Hagar’s child, Ishmael, is not to be the founder of the promised nation.  Only after years of hardship and questioning does Abraham’s god grant the aged Sarah the promised son, Isaac.

Providing a number of twists on the biblical tale, this is an inventive and engaging telling of the life of Sarah, the woman who laughed at God’s news (that so old a woman would now bear a child) — and who gives as good as she gets throughout both the book of Genesis and Card’s novel.