Biblical fiction is not my favorite to read. It really has nothing to do with anything theological, but more with the fact that it seems authors write about the same few characters over and over. This year there has been a small shift, Tessa Afshar wrote about the woman who touched Jesus' hem. Yes, it is on my TBR pile, but my book club is reading it later this year, so I am waiting to read it. Now Angela Hunt has released a book about Delilah as part of her Dangerous Beauty series.
Now there is one we don't read about much, the woman who brought Samson down. I am not supposed to like her because she caused Samson to be captured and later killed, but when you read a story that gives her a backstory (true or not) you begin to remember that the characters in the Bible are human with stories that we don't always know or understand. Why would Delilah want to take Samson down? Why was she working for the Philistines?
Angela seems to have asked herself these questions and set about finding answers. What we get is an interesting Biblical read about a women most of only know as the "bad guy" in the Samson story.
Delilah was a daughter of a well-off widow who has just remarried. She and her mother are adjusting well to the new household. Delilah believes her new life won't be much different from her old life, but that thought quickly changes. When her step-father dies, and her step-brother forces her to be his concubine, life spirals out of control.
In some ways this is the familiar Bible story, but it is so much more than that. It is a story of a woman who takes everything life gives her and survives. Delilah has grown into a villian and yet she was a woman who did what she thought she had to do to live. Does that make what she did right, no, but sometimes people feel like they have no choice in the matter.
I think one other interesting aspect of this story is Samson's story. I am not sure I ever 'warmed' up to Samson as he always seemed a bit arrogant. And yet you meet a young man who has the safety of his country on his shoulders. He and his parents knew that he was promised for great things from day one and I think that makes his arrogance a little more understandable.
Once again Angela proves that she is a top writer of Biblical fiction. I have heard more than once that it is her passion and that really shines through in this story. Even if Biblical fiction isn't your thing, this book is well worth the read.