Rachel: Wives of the Patriarchs, Book 3
Rachel is tired of living in her father’s house, tired of her older sister, Leah, and tired of life as a single girl. She dreams of marriage, motherhood, and a new life in a faraway land. When a handsome stranger named Jacob --- a cousin from a distant land --- arrives at her father’s house, Rachel feels an immediate attraction and is sure he feels it, too. But she is not alone. Leah is equally enamored by Jacob and, as the older sister, has waited longer to wed and by all rights should wed first. Despite Leah’s desire for Jacob, she is not the one who has captured his heart. Jacob asks for Rachel’s hand, offering her father seven years of work as a bride price. It is more than fair, but for beautiful Rachel, he would do anything.
"RACHEL brings the Bible to life in brilliant colors, whisking the reader back in time to an ageless love story, fraught with deception, heartache, and love so powerful it can overcome anything."
A man of his word, Jacob works diligently shepherding the sheep and goats. The animals thrive under his care, and Rachel’s father enjoys newfound prosperity. Seven years later, Jacob is anxious to wed his beloved bride-to-be. But Jacob and Rachel are the only ones feeling elation over the upcoming nuptials. Rachel’s father doesn’t want his best worker to leave, and Leah doesn’t want her little sister tying the knot with the man of her dreams. The two come up with a deception that will alter the course of many lives.
Preparing to dress for her long-awaited wedding, Rachel is summoned to meet with her father, who keeps her hidden and guarded during the wedding feast. He makes sure Jacob drinks too much wine, then brings Leah to the wedding tent. With a veil covering half her face, Leah pretends to be Rachel. The plan works beautifully. A furious Jacob is told he can marry Rachel in a week, but must now work another seven years to pay the bride price for Leah, the wife he didn’t want.
Instead of her dreams coming true, Rachel must contend with sharing her husband with her sister and living on her father’s land. Worse, Leah bears son after son, while Rachel is unable to conceive. When Rachel feels forgotten by God, Jacob stays true to his faith, but longs for peace among his wives and aches to return to his homeland.
RACHEL is the third book in Jill Eileen Smith’s Wives of the Patriarch series, which followed her Wives of King David novels. Like her previous work, RACHEL brings the Bible to life in brilliant colors, whisking the reader back in time to an ageless love story, fraught with deception, heartache, and love so powerful it can overcome anything. The author is a master researcher and storyteller, who uses her unique talents and imagination to portray the courageous women of the Bible. I thoroughly enjoyed every page and can say the same about all of Jill Eileen Smith’s novels.
Reviewed by Susan Miura on February 19, 2014