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Rebekah

by Orson Scott Card
Series: Women of Genesis #2
416 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Aslan's Lamb

An enjoyable book, with well-developed characters and good values. Some sexual content and violence.

Plot

This is the story of the Rebekah of the Bible, based around what we know about her from the book of Genesis. It is the story of her childhood, her evolving faith in God, her eventual marriage to Isaac, and the rest of her life with him.

Morality

Rebekah has a very strong sense of right and wrong. When she feels someone close to her is acting badly, she tries to correct them. Although she has a quick temper and a sharp tongue, she always apologizes to the people she has hurt and tries to make amends. Sometimes she falls into the trap of pride and self-righteousness but when she realizes this, she begs God to forgive her.
The most immoral thing Rebekah ever does is presented the same way in the book as it is presented in the Bible, as a bad choice with very serious consequences.

Spiritual Content

There are some intelligent and genuinely caring characters in the book who worship idols. This confuses Rebekah sometimes, making her wonder whether idol worship is all that different from her own faith in God. You could say that such arguments are kind of dangerous to read (especially since we are surrounded by so many "good" religions today as well, practiced by so many "good" people). But as Rebekah thinks it through, she realizes that her relationship with God is very, very different from bowing to an imaginary idol.

Violence

Rebekah's father beats a servant when he is very angry with him. Esau beats his wives when they anger him. Both of these incidents grieve Rebekah and she tries to intervene. Esau threatens to kill Jacob. Animals are killed for various reasons, although it's never described graphically.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Some drinking. Some jokes about drinking are made by Rebekah's brother and his friends.

Sexual Content

A slave boy makes an inappropriate comment about Rebekah when she is still a young girl. There are sexual jokes made by various characters throughout the novel but Rebekah clearly considers this to be in bad taste. There are some characters that have sexual encounters before marriage. This is always presented as wrong. Rebekah's and Isaac's wedding night is talked about for a couple of paragraphs, but in a very gentle, careful manner.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

Sexual humor. See below.

Conclusion

Let me just address one issue here. Although this novel is written about people that actually lived long ago, the author takes many liberties with them. So if you expect to see an accurate portrayal of biblical characters, this is the wrong book for you. This book contains a fictional Abraham and a fictional Isaac and a fictional Rebekah. Read it as such. When you read it as fiction, it is a highly enjoyable, clever, funny book, with well developed characters, an interesting historical setting and good values. Readers should be aware of the sexual humor, however.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 3.5
Written for Age: 13+

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