Terrified, Jarah fled through the darkening streets of Rameses. She had been late bringing her mother’s weaving to Pharaoh’s palace, and Hebrews were not allowed outside Goshen past curfew. Jarah was almost home when an arm shot out of the darkness and clutched her shoulder….
As a young girl in Egypt, Jarah knew what it was like to live in slavery. She feared the overseers and their cruel whips. She was tired of the never-ending work and the constant danger. Her mother, still limping from a long-ago beating by an overseer, was often angry, especially now that Lemuel followed Yahweh rather than the Egyptian gods. Her father was often tired, sometimes even too ill to go out and make bricks, but her brothers tried to do his work for him.
But now, after Moses and Aaron had come to talk to Pharaoh, the workload became impossible. Jarah was exhausted and full of despair.
Soon, however, strange things began to happen. The Nile turned into blood, and there were frogs and flies everywhere. As the plagues continued, both Hebrews and Egyptians wondered what was actually happening. Was all this trouble from Yahweh? Or from the many Egyptian deities?
I knew this was a first novel when I began to read it, but was only reminded of the fact a few times. Hope Auer has done a good job with a difficult topic. Her story is gripping, true to the Bible (unusual in fiction about Bible times), and largely historically accurate, although at some points a modern evangelical worldview permeates the story. Even so, this is a very enjoyable novel that helps make the book of Exodus come alive.
A Cry from Egypt by Hope Auer is a welcome addition to children’s literature about the Ancient Middle East. Homeschoolers would do well to add it to their general libraries as well as to any study of Egypt.
This post is linked to Saturday Reviews.