The talented author of the books Praying the Names of God, Finding the Peace God Offers, The tender words of God, Ann Spangler has re-established her reputation by writing “Wicked Women of the Bible”. In this book, the term “wicked” should not be taken only to mean “evil”, in fact, in the context of few stories, another meaning of the wicked is utilized, “awesome”. In this book, various gems of the Bible are being held by the thread called wicked.
The first tale is of the famous “Eve” and how she was influenced by the serpent to disobey God’s direct order. She and Adam ate apples of the forbidden tree and ended up discovering the hidden emotions of the human beings. When confronted by God, both of them started blaming each other, God and serpent for their actions. Ann has rightfully titled this chapter as “Wicked Lies.”
The story of Sarah follows Eve’s story. This is a story of a woman named Sarah and her husband Abraham. She was distressed due to her inability to give birth and, therefore, she asked her Egyptian maid, Hagar, to sleep with Abraham in order to provide an heir. But soon after she gave birth to a boy named Ishmael, Sarah got pregnant. This is shocking as she was a ninety-year-old pregnant lady. Against all odds, she managed to give birth to a son who was named “Issac.” The moment Issac turned three, Sarah asked Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael packing as she did not want Issac tp share his fortune with anyone. Ann has titled this chapter “Wicked Old.” The story of Sarah and Abraham is full of twists and one can not put the book down before finishing this story.
Other stories are fascinating to the same extent as the ones mentioned above. As the book includes 20 stories, summarizing each of them is not feasible. Here a glimpse of each of the story is provided for the readers to know what to expect while reading it.
The Story of Tamar is written under the title “A wicked Disguise” and this is definitely the aptest title. This is the story of a woman who got married twice, only to be widowed both the times. Devastated by the fact that she did not give birth to a child from either of her marriages, she dressed up as a harlot and slept with her father in law to produce twin heirs of her family.
The story of Miriam is included in the chapter “A Wicked Revolt.” She was born in a time when Egypt’s ruler instructed Hebrew midwives to throw their sons int Nile river as soon as they take birth. When Miriam’s mother Jochebed, gave birth to a son, she put him into a basket and placed it into the river. As fate would have it, the princess of Egypt got smitten by the child and decided to raise this son as her own. Miriam talked princess into hiring Jochebed to take care of the child while he is too young to take care of himself. And princess agreed. Of course, the story has more to it but the wicked revolt of Miriam is the essence of the future of her brother.
A Wicked Woman of the Night chapter unfolds the story of Rahab who lied to the king’s soldiers to rescue Israelites. The Israelites, who were determined to own Jericho, in turn, spared the life of Rahab and her family.
The Story of Deborah and Jael explores how a surprise can be turned into a wicked one. The episode of Delilah unravels how wicked can a girlfriend be. The chapter with the title “Wicked Times” exhibits the importance of time in our life. It includes the story of Naomi and Ruth to support the wickedness of time.
Ann has identified and presented in front of us another wicked attributes by adding incredible stories of Hannah, Peninnah, Michal, Abigail, Bathsheba, Jezebel, Gomer, Esther, Mary Magdalene, Herodias, Salome etc. The stories are written in an engaging language. Making way for the arrival of Jesus, each story follows a beautiful path. One can not help but praise the flow of the stories. This differentiates this book from any other book with a collection of short stories. The reader is not left wandering aimlessly while jumping from one story to another, rather is spell bounded by the slow movement towards its final destination – Jesus.
Ann has divided each chapter into three parts: The Story, The Times – includes in-depth analysis of the time when this story occurred and other fascinating facts related to the background information of each tale, The Takeaway – incorporates a number of mind-boggling questions perfect to be discussed in a book club.
I am glad to have come across this wonderful book and the stories contained in Bible. My thirst to read more continued throughout the book and I was never disappointed by any of its chapters.
For these reasons, I will rate this book 5 out of 5.
This book will amuse readers who are excited by the short stories and also, those who wish to explore Bible. I will recommend this book to everyone as this will prove to be a gem in every reader’s bookshelf.