The prophet Nehemiah's cousin can speak numerous languages, keep complex accounts, write on rolls of parchment and tablets of clay, and solve great mysteries. There is only one problem: she's a woman in a man's court.
In her early childhood years, Sarah experienced the death of her mother and her father's subsequent emotional distance, and she came to two conclusions: God does not care about me, and my accomplishments are the measure of my worth.
Catapulted into the center of the Persian court, Sarah is working too many hours, rubbing elbows with royalty, and solving intrigues for the Queen. Ironically, it isn't failure—but success—that causes Sarah to lose her only source of external validation.
Sarah soon learns that she has something of worth to offer beyond her ability with languages and sums; her very being proves to be a blessing to others, particularly the aristocrat Darius, whom she is given to in marriage.
Sarah and Darius' story continues in Harvest of Gold. Darius may be able to learn to love his wife, but can he ever learn to trust Sarah and her Lord?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After so thoroughly enjoying Pearl in the Sand: A Novel - I quickly purchased Harvest of Rubies with a higher expectation based on my enjoyment of Pearl... and Rubies did not disappoint.
Awkward moments were literally laugh out loud funny (like my hubby came to ask me what was going on after several such outbursts) and yet Afshar also moved me to tears on more than one occasion. Again, she had a great cast of believable characters with motivations I understood and agreed with and God was honored throughout - not to mention a love story that swept my heart up in the story!
I read the whole thing in one sitting (which is unheard of for me) and am eagerly awaiting the sequel! Treat yourself to this book, I certainly found it enjoyable and will be reading it again... and likely again - LOL :)
Added 6/18/12 - Just finished my second...
After reading Tessa Afshar's Pearl in the Sand I was not sure how in the world a better book could be written. But she did! Harvest of Rubies is about a young scribe, a woman named Sarah longs for acceptance, for belonging. Her mother died at the age of seven, her father Simeon doesn't know what to do with her and therefore neglects her most basic need: affection. But Sarah knows how to get her father's attention, she learns to read and to write and captures her Simeon's attention and he begins to teach her. Nehemiah, cupbearer to the king takes notice of her rare talent for writing and for various languages and recommends her to the Queen Damaspia. Soon Sarah becomes the cheif scrie and in so becomming she uncovers a plot to marr the good name of the Queen. In so doing she wins the Queen's favor even more, so much so that the Queen wants to reward her favored scribe. But the Queen's choice of reward is not what Sarah-who finds her worth in her job-wants. The Queen arranges...
What woman comes to her wedding looking a creature of darkness? Sarah does in Tessa Afshar's novel "Harvest of Rubies." I read Pearl in the Sand and waited patiently for Tessa Afshar's next novel. I was not disappointed. Afshar's willingess to create a character that is NOT first presented as an ethereal beauty is refreshing. Sarah is an insecure child who craves attention from her distant and grieving father. She quickly learns to find affirmation in her worth as a scribe, but her life careens out of balance.She has no friends, neglects her personal appearance, and believes her worth can be found in scholarly achievement. Even working for the stunning and powerful queen of Persia, Sarah feels no need to attend to female graces. I felt so much empathy for Sarah as she struggles to find her place as a young woman; but I found myself laughing out loud at her many antics and witty retorts. At first I wondered if perhaps Darius plays the part of handsome nobleman with a little too much...
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