Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Roberta Kells Dorr
Publisher: River North
“You will inherit both the blessing and the birthright, and those that come from you will in turn inherit the promise and the blessing. This is a great privilege and a great responsibility,” Isaac is told by his father, Abraham, in Roberta Kells Dorr’s novel, The Sons of Isaac.
At two hundred and sixty-four pages, this historical Biblical fiction targets those looking for a reenactment of a few famous stories from the book of Genesis in the Old Testament. Due to the subject matter of sex and murder, it would be not apropos for immature readers.
Using Scripture as the main source, Dorr maintains mostly Biblical facts as she weaves the romances of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Rachel into the birth of the nation of Israel. Although fictitious characters and slightly changed circumstances are added to enhance the story, the theme of believing in the one true God called Elohim is forefront.
From Sarah being with child at almost one hundred years old and Abraham offering his son as a sacrifice to the Creator, the main part of the book covers Isaac’s adult life marrying one of his relatives instead of the king’s princess at age forty and having twins, Esau and Jacob. As he and Rebekah raise the two boys, there are marked differences and loyalties to each son.
When Esau gives up his birthright in exchange for sustenance and is cheated out of his father’s blessing, the story follows Jacob’s fleeing to Haran, where he meets his relative, Rachel, and serves her father more than fourteen years, having been tricked into marrying her sister first.
With repeating sins of the father, having wives determined to become pregnant, murdering to protect a sibling, and worshiping idols, Jacob, now called Israel, and his household return to the land promised to his descendants.
As the story evolves back to the aging Isaac, readers recall a family where covetousness, greed, jealousy, manipulation, and deception along with idolatry, famine, and cultural nuances were overshadowed by hope, faith, and love for each other and God.
Dorr’s style of writing illustrates Scripture while adding fictional images to remind us how important and true the Bible is and how the twelve tribes of Israel became God’s chosen people.
Thanks to River North Fiction for furnishing this book at no charge in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.