4.1 out of 5 stars
Before Samson was an Old Testament legend, he was a prodigal son, an inexperienced suitor, a vengeful husband, and a lost soul driven by his own weakness. This is his story as told by three strong women who loved him-the nagging, manipulative mother who pushed him toward greatness, the hapless Philistine bride whose betrayal propelled him into notoriety, and the emotionally damaged seductress-the famous Delilah-who engineered his downfall and propelled him to his destiny. Desired celebrates the God of Israel's to work powerfully in the midst of hopes, fears, desires, and sorrows.
To be honest, I have mixed feelings about Desired. It was written well, offered a compelling story, drawn out and real characters, and everything that is worthy of a five star review. Yet, this book also had some serious draw backs for me personally.
Desired is very dark. While Ginger Garrett never glosses over the Biblical realities we so often miss when studying our own Bible, she's been known to point out the darker side of stories that we may not think on. This story felt a tad too dark for me.
Yet, nothing in Samson's account gives any indication that it should be anything other than a dark story. This man was a man of war. Despite this truth, I could have lived without the graphic violence.
This book also contains a lot of sensuality. I don't really mind the sensuality between those who are married--no Christian literature will ever make me blush as much as reading Songs of Solomon. So I can handle that. The opening scene, however, left my stomach retching. While it may have been common practice among the Philistines to esteem homosexual marriage, I felt like it could have been implied without describing one of the men as having a "virgin's blush."
In spite of all of this, Ginger Garrett truly manages to bring one back to the truth and lessons that we glean from Samson. She brings the reader back to reflect on how Samson's life may resemble our own, what we can do differently, and how God is merciful in spite of what we've done.
Desired is not a book I would recommend to the average reader. If you're able to handle the darkness this book deals with, you will definitely gain so much from it. If you're not, my recommendation is that you should start with Ginger Garret's first book, Chosen, and work your way up to this one.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from David C. Cook Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author
Ginger Garrett is the critically acclaimed author of Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther, which was recognized as one of the top five novels of 2006 by the ECPA, and Dark Hour. An expert in ancient women's history, Ginger creates novels and nonfiction resources that explore the lives of historical women. A frequent media guest and television host, Ginger has been interviewed by The New York Times, NPR, Billy Graham's The Hour of Decision," The Harvest Show, Fox News, and many other outlets.
In 2007, Ginger was nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award for her novel Dark Hour. A graduate of Southern Methodist University with a degree in theater, she is passionate about creating art from history.