What Is Most Precious Is Also Most Fragile
Maryam is stuck in an abusive marriage, living with her in-laws, in a conservative, toxically religious Middle Eastern setting. A few years back, her father was given a jar of priceless perfume by a dying leper and it seemed as if their fortunes would improve, but then Maryam’s father contracted leprosy and was exiled by the village. Maryam and her brother, Eleazar, and sister, Marta, experience the shame and ostracism this brings. The precious jar that was meant to bring them freedom, but it only seems to have brought destruction. But rumours abound concerning a new doctor; perhaps hope is on the horizon…
Chris Aslan was born in Turkey, and has spent much of his adult life living in Central Asia. He wrote a book (part memoir, part travelogue) about his time in Uzbekistan, called, A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Seven years on the Silk Road. He is currently studying in Oxford for Anglican ordination.
This is a short story that gives you a fictional account of the first century Middle East. It may be a short story but the message isn't.An abusive marriage, Maryam lives with her husband's family in a very religious village. Maryam's father contracted leprosy and thus the family was shamed. What started all of this, was a gift from a dying leper of a jar of perfume that was worth a great deal. But now that perfume has brought devastation on the family. Time passes and then Maryam weds into a family that doesn't care about her. She is only 15 years old when she marries. The man she married is mean to her. The one man who should love and care for her, is the one who is the meanest and most hateful to her. Now the man who does love her, her father, has been sent away from where she lives. Why? Leprosy!
The author writes this from Maryam's eyes. Taking place when Jesus was among the people, even though it is a fictional read, much is put in the story about the time The story is Christian fiction but the author doesn't push religion. True, Jesus is one of the characters but only appears towards the end of the book. Of course, he is the one who can heal the leprosy. I felt the book was more about the woman, Maryam and the women of the times. Their lives weren't easy, they were hard and women were often mistreated. Women had to be strong.It's also about a disease that was horrible. People were ostricized and a cure wasn't known of. They suffered not only physically but mentally. The author gives the reader a lot to think of in this short read. He doesn't put icing on the bad parts to cover them up. He brings them to light and tells how women were not only mistreated but sexually insulted as well. Often the author leaves things to the imagination of the reader instead of putting it in words. The words are sometimes not necessary. You know what is going to happen or what has happened. I wanted to reach out and hold Maryam and tell her it would be alright but in those times, things weren't always alright.
I received a copy of this book from Kregel Blog Tours and the author and voluntarily decided to review it.
I WOULD GIVE THIS BOOK 5 STARS.
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