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Miriam and her people have prayed for deliverance from the cruel tyranny of Egypt for generations. She believes her brother is the long-awaited answer to their pleas. But how can the exiled prince-turned-shepherd Moses stand against the most powerful man in the world?


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Miriam and her people have prayed for deliverance from the cruel tyranny of Egypt for generations. She believes her brother is the long-awaited answer to their pleas. But how can the exiled prince-turned-shepherd Moses stand against the most powerful man in the world?

30 review for Miriam's Song

  1. 5 out of 5

    Josh Olds

    Like all biblical fiction reviews, let me recap what I think makes for good biblical fiction. First, it doesn’t blatantly contradict anything in Scripture. Second, it tells its own story while being faithful to the biblical text. Third, it is able to make sense of the biblical setting’s context—that is, it is accurate to what we know of the historical and cultural contexts. This puts Jill Eileen Smith in quite a difficult spot with Miriam’s Song because the time period of the Exodus is both exten Like all biblical fiction reviews, let me recap what I think makes for good biblical fiction. First, it doesn’t blatantly contradict anything in Scripture. Second, it tells its own story while being faithful to the biblical text. Third, it is able to make sense of the biblical setting’s context—that is, it is accurate to what we know of the historical and cultural contexts. This puts Jill Eileen Smith in quite a difficult spot with Miriam’s Song because the time period of the Exodus is both extensively covered in fiction, but also very much disputed academically. I mean, your bar for excellence in any Exodus retelling includes The Prince of Egypt and The Ten Commandments. Smith’s unique modifier is her focus on Miriam, the older sister of Moses who plays an integral part in Moses’s upbringing and in the Exodus journey, yet about whom we have little knowledge. There’s a lot of contextual gaps that Smith could wave her wand of fiction over and indulge readers in a speculative journey. Unfortunately, that’s not what happen. Smith binds herself too tightly to the biblical text, only talking about Miriam at points when she shows up in Scripture. Since the book of Exodus is mainly told from the perspective of Moses within a patriarchal society, that leaves Smith with very little to work with. Miriam’s Song is really the story of Moses told from the perspective of Miriam. This becomes very evident when Smith gives readers a few chapters in the perspective of Moses and even Moses’s wife, Zipporah. Smith writes in the afterword that she had to do this, “because all three people saw things from completely different perspectives,” but this is supposed to be Miriam’s story. It’s Miriam’s Song, but the novel casts her aside in favor of Moses. Smith never tells the story of Miriam. It’s simply Scripture with some flair rewritten mostly, but not entirely from Miriam’s perspective. Smith also struggles to integrate the historical reality of Israelite enslavement into the book. There is the actual sentence “They’d had a good life these past five years, despite the slavery.” And…I just can’t. This is a story that begins with infanticide and comes in the context of 400 years of oppression, but, hey, not so bad, right? Another historical inaccuracy comes in the dispute over Moses marrying a Cushite (Num. 12). For some reason, Smith writes this as some sort of secret love affair that happens after the death of Zipporah and Miriam and Aaron’s disapproval stem from a quick remarriage. But it is far more likely that Zipporah is the Cushite of Numbers 12 and that Moses only married one person. Cush and Midian are sometimes used interchangeably (see Hab 3.7) and while there is scholarly debate, the consensus is that Zipporah is the Cushite of Numbers 12. Altogether, Jill Eileen Smith failed to pull me into the story, never really said anything interesting or new, or provided context backed by the history and culture of the time. Though styled to be the story of Miriam, it fails to be even that. Miriam’s Song fails to tell a cohesive story, or an interesting one. It’s a collection of scenes that read more like biblical fanfiction than a coherent story. I do appreciate the themes of female empowerment, but the positives of this book are outweighed by the negatives and I cannot recommend it. Go rewatch The Prince of Egypt instead.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Bartlett

    Jill Eileen Smith is a master storyteller of biblical fiction. Her newest book, Miriam's Song, doesn't disappoint at all. It made me think of Miriam's story in a new way which I loved. It was a wonderful book and I am glad I was able to devour it! Jill Eileen Smith is a master storyteller of biblical fiction. Her newest book, Miriam's Song, doesn't disappoint at all. It made me think of Miriam's story in a new way which I loved. It was a wonderful book and I am glad I was able to devour it!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    quote is a favorite of mine because it is Moses telling Joshua " You understand much already, Joshua. It is hard to wait on the Lord, for He sees far beyond what we can see.  Excellent advice my friends! God's timing is not ours. His ways can be hard to understand. " Yes, God's ways are hard to understand but the way Smith writes this story makes it a lot easier to. Miriam's point of view from the story of Moses was wonderful! It's like Moses's story has taken on a whole new and fresh look at this quote is a favorite of mine because it is Moses telling Joshua " You understand much already, Joshua. It is hard to wait on the Lord, for He sees far beyond what we can see.  Excellent advice my friends! God's timing is not ours. His ways can be hard to understand. " Yes, God's ways are hard to understand but the way Smith writes this story makes it a lot easier to. Miriam's point of view from the story of Moses was wonderful! It's like Moses's story has taken on a whole new and fresh look at this beloved story of our Biblical hero. Moses was wise beyond his years and I liked how he really listened to God in his later years. Sometimes we just have to grow up and grow with God in those years. I enjoyed Miriam's story because it offers hope through the book and wisdom too. My favorite thing of this book was learning about Miriam's life and I was tickled pink to learn that she had a family of her own.  I loved her integrity and I think that we can all relate to Miriam at one time or another. Most especially in her feelings. I loved that she was flawed.  Lessons as well. It's the lessons I liked the most. Lessons on the patience of God's love and how far and how much He can taken of our sins. God is merciful and mighty. His Love is greater.  God knows when we are ready to listen. He has plans for us that we could never begin to imagine. Smith did an excellent job with Miriam. I finished the book in one day. I love Smith's books and this one is my favorite. This book has earned a place on my list for my favorite 2021 reading list. 5 stars for this favorite story!  I highly recommend! My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own. Received from Revell/Baker books publication

  4. 4 out of 5

    Raechel Lenore

    2.5 I'm sorry to say that this book was a miss for me. I so enjoyed the author's past two books that I had been eagerly anticipating this one, but "Miriam's Song" did not sit well with me.As it started out, I was pulled in and interested, moved by the glimpse we got into the time of Moses' birth, how his life was spared when so many baby boys were killed by the Egyptians. But as the novel continued, and much time passed, my concerns grew. With how much the book jumped from time period to time per 2.5 I'm sorry to say that this book was a miss for me. I so enjoyed the author's past two books that I had been eagerly anticipating this one, but "Miriam's Song" did not sit well with me.As it started out, I was pulled in and interested, moved by the glimpse we got into the time of Moses' birth, how his life was spared when so many baby boys were killed by the Egyptians. But as the novel continued, and much time passed, my concerns grew. With how much the book jumped from time period to time period (sometimes only days, or months, but then other times by a decade or more), I didn't really get the chance to bond to the characters themselves. But even so, I held on, knowing that covering such a significant time span would be difficult but necessary. However, I got such a feeling of disrespect from the female characters for the male characters and God even, that it could not sit well with me. Miriam came across extremely prideful for the majority of the book, but it wasn't portrayed as if that was bad. And from each of the female characters, it was so often stressed that they were the real leaders, and stronger at least emotionally than the men...and the men came across as much weaker characters. I'd even go so far as to say that the way Moses was portrayed for a portion of the book was almost wimpy. He never stood up to his wife, and just came across as weak. I don't like to give a book a low rating, but for many reasons, I'm afraid I can't personally recommend this book. Even the portrayal of the Holy character of God felt watered down. Yes, it was stressed how Holy He is, but when I read the sections revolving around Him in this book, they didn't seem to really be of Him, but rather a watered down portrayal of a fictional character.Perhaps this book won't sit this way for others. And I'm hoping that I will enjoy the author's next works as I have her previous two. I received a copy from the publishers as apart of Interviews and Reviews program. All thoughts expressed are entirely my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mayda

    This work of historical fiction begins with Miriam as a very young girl, and follows her throughout her life. When her mother directs her to follow the basket that holds her baby brother Moses, floating through the bulrushes in the Nile river to where the princess is, it is just the beginning of Miriam’s devotion to her brother. And though many things will separate them, both literally and figuratively, that bond never breaks. It was quite interesting to hear the story of Moses through the eyes This work of historical fiction begins with Miriam as a very young girl, and follows her throughout her life. When her mother directs her to follow the basket that holds her baby brother Moses, floating through the bulrushes in the Nile river to where the princess is, it is just the beginning of Miriam’s devotion to her brother. And though many things will separate them, both literally and figuratively, that bond never breaks. It was quite interesting to hear the story of Moses through the eyes of Miriam. Because little is truly known of her from the Bible, author Jill Eileen Smith worked hard to mesh what is known of Moses and Miriam with other facts from that time period, and then to work that knowledge into an exciting and dramatic work of fiction. That she succeeded in doing so is evident in this account of Miriam’s life, a well written and enjoyable tale. It clearly evokes the times and customs as well as the struggles the Hebrew people experienced as they go from being slaves of the Egyptians to wandering in the wilderness, anticipating the promised land. As a work of fiction based on fact, it fleshes out a bare bones account of a character where not much is really known, does it in a credible manner, and perhaps will inspire readers to do more research into the Biblical story of Moses and the Hebrews exodus from Egypt.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Thank you in advance to the publisher, Revell (a division of Baker Books), for providing an advanced review copy through Interviews and Reviews. A positive review was not required and all words are my own. As much as I was new to Historical Fiction as of last year, I am also new to Biblical Fiction. In fact, this is only the SECOND (2nd) book I’ve read in the genre. The first being Tessa Afshar’s Daughter of Rome from Tyndale House publishers. As I’ve sadly seen in too many “Biblical Fiction” re Thank you in advance to the publisher, Revell (a division of Baker Books), for providing an advanced review copy through Interviews and Reviews. A positive review was not required and all words are my own. As much as I was new to Historical Fiction as of last year, I am also new to Biblical Fiction. In fact, this is only the SECOND (2nd) book I’ve read in the genre. The first being Tessa Afshar’s Daughter of Rome from Tyndale House publishers. As I’ve sadly seen in too many “Biblical Fiction” reviews – some readers tend to view the stories with the biased lens of today. One case is Afshar’s Pearl in the Sand. One of the reviews blatantly attacks the author’s telling of it. The reviewer then goes on to attack the credibility of Rahab’s story. Most of the review is clearly (and sadly) due to the reader’s unfamiliarity of the genre (Biblical Fiction), as well as the passages in the bible that mentions Rahab. I am including this more as a warning and a notation so readers know what to expect when reading Biblical Fiction, especially stories taken directly from the bible. Readers do need to take note that some of these stories are taken from Biblical accounts, thus this is what has happened in the past. Also, certain “standards” are markedly different today than they were prior to the birth of Jesus. In addition, the treatment of certain people back then will be far different than it is today. This is my first introduction to Smith’s writing, and this book was a perfect introduction to it. This is a standalone read so readers won’t have to read any books prior to it or after it to know the complete story. I do recommend reading the Exodus chapter in the bible to get a sense of the entirety of the story. For those who are unsure of who Miriam is – in Exodus she is Moses’ older sister. She was five (5) when she placed her baby brother in the Nile River, who was later found by the then Pharaoh’s daughter and raised as her child. Beyond minor mentions, there is not that much is known about this girl/woman, Miriam. She lived, she died. Anyone familiar with the bible knows that Exodus is the story of Moses’ birth, his upbringing as an Egyptian, his return as a Hebrew, the plagues of Egypt, and the journey from slavery out of Egypt. Given the disparities between Biblical history and Egyptian history, it is hard to know with any accuracy which Pharaoh was ruling during the time of Exodus (Approximately 1500 B.C). Egyptian, Hebrew, and Biblical records were not in sync at the time. So, the author does her best (with some errors) to try to bring the two together for this story and to put it in perspective. Miriam’s Song is the Exodus story from Moses’ sister’s point of view (POV). Smith’s novel covers Miriam from about age 5 until her death at around 126/127, about the end of their time wandering in the desert. It is the story in between; written with such authenticity; that is captivating, uplifting, tragic, and draws the reader in. At times, it can feel as if the reader is right there. The use of authentic terms (Ima – mother; Abba – father) gives it a realistic feel and begins to become a visual telling of the story. And, it starts right off with the gorgeous and prophetic looking cover. I loved Smith’s use of short chapters to advance the story. In addition, Smith also doesn’t rush the story, but doesn’t linger on any event and/or year too long. Since most of the story takes place during the Hebrews time in Egypt as slaves; there will be references to slavery, cruelty and abuse, discrimination, infanticide, and potential rape. There are mentions of arranged marriages and by today’s definition, child marriage. Since Miriam’s Song is based on a bible story, spoilers are inevitable as anyone reading the bible or having read it will know what happened. Told over five (5) parts, and 54 chapters with prologue and epilogue; Smith weaves the threads of the story to bring it to life. As most know the story of why Moses was spared – this starts off with the cruel order from Pharaoh to kill every male child to prevent the Hebrews from growing too strong as a nation. Thus, when his daughter finds Moses, she decides to raise him as hers. Though, she knows who his family is. She shows compassion for the Hebrews and honestly wishes they were cast from Egypt, though not completely understanding what that would mean. Due to this arrangement, the Pharoah’s daughter (for this story, Hatshepsut), arranges for Miriam’s family to not labor in the fields as slaves, and to have an allowance. Throughout the story, which can move a bit fast for some – Miriam loses her mother at 13; when she is 15, she loses her father and marries Jephunneh. Also, Hatshepsut ascends as ruler of Egypt. Despite how she originally felt about the Hebrews as slaves, she makes no effort to set them free, obviously as Moses puts it – she has grown accustomed to the finer things. During those years, Miriam also wonders if they are still God’s people and when their suffering will come to an end. And, it is clear that while Moses is raised as Egyptian, he isn’t one of them. Moses is around 40 when he commits a crime, and goes into exile; he is also tired of the Egyptian way of life. As a result, he becomes estranged to his Hebrew family. Even when Hatshepsut passes, the Hebrews wonder how much longer will they be in slavery under the Egyptians. And interesting fact – at 55, Miriam is not only a grandmother, but pregnant. It is revealed one of her friends died in childbirth giving her second husband a child. She lost her first husband to the abuse of a taskmaster if that speaks to the cruelty of what the Hebrews underwent. It isn’t until Moses is 80 that he is told to return to free his people; Miriam has about the same dream since she is a prophetess. But, Moses isn’t easily convinced, at one time telling God to send someone else. At first his wife and children accompany him, but after the journey proves dangerous with a consequence of disobeying God, Zipporah takes the boys and heads home to wait. This isn’t the only instance of God’s punishment for being disobeyed. As everyone knows, Moses then comes back to Egypt to convince the Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go. But, the Pharaoh refuses and we know about the plagues – water becomes blood, frogs, lice, flies, livestock diseased, boils, hail, locusts, and darkness. Smith, without going into detail, highlights the effect on the Hebrews the plagues that God has sent. She doesn’t spend too much time on the Egyptians’ suffering. It isn’t until the death of the firstborn sons that the Pharaoh agrees to let them all go. Though it will not be an easy flight or “exodus”. In Exodus 15:20, there is a passage about “the song of Miriam” when they praise their good fortune in crossing the sea. This is about 64% of the way into the book. From there the remainder of the book is spent with their Exodus out of Egypt, Zipporah and Moses’ reuniting, events prior to Sinai, at Sinai, and after; and Miriam’s observations about it. Smith also details the harshness and complaining of the Hebrews during their delivery to freedom. And, she also shows the family dynamics of belief between Miriam, Aaron, and Moses – even more so when Moses remarries yet another woman not of their tribe. This is not a happily ever after read, but an inspiring and uplifting read about hope, faith, and perseverance under the harshest of terms that life back then had to offer. This is a testament to the will and faith of the Hebrew people. As I said, this is a genre I am VERY new to. To be captivated by such a compelling story, so much so I did not want to put it down, attests to the story telling ability of the writer. Fans of the author and genre are sure to enjoy this particular story.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eva-Joy

    Having recently read and loved Mesu Andrew’s Miriam, I was pretty excited to dive into Jill Eileen Smith’s take on this somewhat enigmatic Bible character. Smith is one of my favorite Biblical fiction authors, after all. But this book was a frustrating disappointment for several reasons, which I will list here. NOT REALLY MIRIAM’S STORY This is one of my biggest complaints. You’d expect a book called Miriam’s Song to be about Miriam herself. But as other reviewers have pointed out, this book is al Having recently read and loved Mesu Andrew’s Miriam, I was pretty excited to dive into Jill Eileen Smith’s take on this somewhat enigmatic Bible character. Smith is one of my favorite Biblical fiction authors, after all. But this book was a frustrating disappointment for several reasons, which I will list here. NOT REALLY MIRIAM’S STORY This is one of my biggest complaints. You’d expect a book called Miriam’s Song to be about Miriam herself. But as other reviewers have pointed out, this book is almost more about Moses than about his sister. Miriam’s thoughts often focus on Moses throughout the book, to the exclusion of her husband and children and life in general. The parts from Moses’ (or, even more bewilderingly, from Zipporah’s) point of view didn’t help matters any. Miriam isn’t mentioned that much in the Bible and I would have loved a rich, deep look into her inner life and what made her do the things that she did. Sadly, that was all but denied me. TIME JUMPS From what I remember of Smith’s other books, time jumps are a thing with her novels. I’m pretty okay with that, usually. But the time jumps in Miriam’s Song border on ridiculous. Because Smith set herself of the task of capturing almost all of Miriam’s life, there were time jumps of near decades that happened from one chapter to the next. I don’t want to compare Miriam’s Song to Miriam (by Mesu Andrews) at every turn (though I could). But what the latter does so well is focus on a specific time in Miriam’s life and really make you feel what she’s feeling–as opposed to jumping all over the timeline so that we never really see the characters grow and change all that much. NO REAL SENSE OF CHARACTERIZATION Miriam was a pretty flat character throughout the book, in my opinion. And kind of annoying as well. I think it probably had a lot to do with the time jumps, as well as how a lot of Miriam’s mind/motives seemed focused on Moses. However, I will say that not all of the characterization was bad. I really liked Moses–at least in the parts where it was other characters observing him, instead of his point of view. (I think Miriam’s Song would have worked much better if only Miriam had had a point of view.) Zipporah and Elisheba (Aaron’s wife) were also quite well-written. But when your main character is meh, it’s harder to be excited about the story. BORINGNESS Which leads me to the boring factor of Miriam’s Song. Despite all the time jumps, the story felt really long-winded, especially once the Israelites left Egypt. Also, if you thought you’d get some excitement with all the plagues…nope. They’re mostly glossed over in a few paragraphs. Probably one of the best words to describe Miriam’s Song is, sadly, ‘dull’. TOO EXHAUSTIVE As I said before, Smith tried to cover all of Miriam’s life from when she was five to when she died. It’s just too much, I feel, unless you’re going for a 600-page epic or something. And in the ‘too exhaustive’ vein, there are multiple, multiple occasions throughout the book where Smith quotes verse after verse as coming from God or one of the characters’ mouths. Paragraphs of Bible verses disguised as ‘dialogue’. I get that the Bible does record what these people/God said, but it just sounds stilted and lame in the text. I don’t know how to describe it exactly, but it annoys me. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend Miriam’s Song to someone looking for a good novel about Miriam’s life. That recommendation would instead be–you guessed it–Mesu Andrews’ excellent book. Also, this is nit-picky, but I do NOT like the cover. For most of the book, Miriam is in her eighties and also she was a slave when she was younger, so if the woman on the cover is her younger self, why would she have eyeshadow, lipstick, and flawless skin??? I know book covers need to conform to genre standards and all that, but it still irks me. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to provide a positive review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Miriam's Song by Jill Eileen Smith Back of the Book: “In her eventful lifetime, Miriam was many things to many people: protective older sister, song leader, prophetess, leper. But between the highs and the lows, she was a girl who dreamed of freedom, a woman who longed for love, a leader who made mistakes, and a friend who valued connection. With her impeccable research and keen eye for detail, bestselling author Jill Eileen Smith offers this epic story to fill in the gaps and imagine how Miriam na Miriam's Song by Jill Eileen Smith Back of the Book: “In her eventful lifetime, Miriam was many things to many people: protective older sister, song leader, prophetess, leper. But between the highs and the lows, she was a girl who dreamed of freedom, a woman who longed for love, a leader who made mistakes, and a friend who valued connection. With her impeccable research and keen eye for detail, bestselling author Jill Eileen Smith offers this epic story to fill in the gaps and imagine how Miriam navigated the challenges of holding on to hope, building a family in the midst of incredible hardship, and serving as a leader of a difficult people, all while living in her brother's shadow. Follow Miriam's journey from childhood to motherhood, obscurity to notoriety, and yearning to fulfillment as she learns that what God promises he provides--in his own perfect timing.” Impressions: Moses’ life is a big timeline to cover in one book. If felt as long reading too. Although I appreciated revisiting Moses’ ministry through a new lens, I’m not sure how I felt about this book. Rating: Plagues, Murder Liked: I enjoyed Miriam’s perspective of Moses ministry and her faithfulness shown during Israel’s slavery and exodus. I always enjoy the Bible told in story form as it expands on life during Bible times and cultural context. It makes the Bible come to life and humanizes the people. Disliked: The length of time this book covered was frustrating. To fit everything in there needed to be time gaps which created a disconnect with the reader in my opinion. Quotes: “He could not tell whether he feared the Lord more than he feared Egypt. He simply knew that he did not want to do this… I am not worthy, Adonai.” – This is so true of how I have felt when God has placed me in challenging situations. “I can’t homeschool my kids… I can’t make this relationship work… I can’t…” But God doesn’t ask me to do these things alone. He asks me to trust Him and be willing. I can only pray that I have a willing heart when God calls because His ways are so much greater than mine. The Bible is full of examples of God calling for obedience and walking along his children to lead them on His path. When they are willing and obedient the reward is great. “’Some of the women resent us. And all of the people resent Moses and Aaron. How are we to help the women if they see us with such disdain?’ She looked at Miriam as they stopped in a patch of moonlight several paces from their homes. ‘We can only do what God allows. We cannot make them see. Hopefully our God will act, and then they will listen to us again.’” – Miriam and her family have survived with little injury over the years of Egyptian slavery. As she tries to reach out to the other women of the community, she hits walls of resentment from those who have suffered greatly. I can see how both women are now hurting. Miriam wants so badly to help these women come back to God while the other women are truly hurting as they try to make sense of their lives on their own. They had lost faith over the years. I can relate to Miriam in this. Sharing my faith can feel challenging when I talk about Gods work in my life. I feel like only the blessings are seen and make me look as if I’m holier than thou and privileged. Miriam’s life was known to those in her community but her struggles and failures were only seen by those close to her. With social media people might think they know me but my stresses and struggles remain private. Miriam’s heart was right with the Lord despite the bitterness from other women and show how faithful she was to Gods desires in her life. I hope that I can bravely pursue the hard conversations in my life despite my fears of rejection or disregard. “We are to be separate and distinct from those around us. We have only the truth to offer them. If we fail to act in obedience to Yahweh, whey should the Egyptians do so? “Do we trust our God or not?” I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review shared here.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    “As she watched the fire of God move and breathe like a spirit ablaze, somehow she knew. He cared for her. She might never see His face, but she had felt His touch. And that was enough.” This may be the first book by Jill Eileen Smith that I’ve read, but it most certainly won’t be the last! Biblical fiction is difficult enough as a genre when using fictional characters who serve as onlookers to major historical events, but taking on the formidable task of writing about some of the main Biblical f “As she watched the fire of God move and breathe like a spirit ablaze, somehow she knew. He cared for her. She might never see His face, but she had felt His touch. And that was enough.” This may be the first book by Jill Eileen Smith that I’ve read, but it most certainly won’t be the last! Biblical fiction is difficult enough as a genre when using fictional characters who serve as onlookers to major historical events, but taking on the formidable task of writing about some of the main Biblical figures is something else altogether. As Smith herself mentions in her note to readers at the end of this book, there is not much information about Miriam in the Bible, and extracting her character means working through that of her brothers Aaron and especially Moses. In doing so, Miriam emerges as a woman who has been called by God to serve, alongside her brothers, in leading His chosen people out of Egyptian slavery. So many aspects of this familiar Old Testament story struck me anew as I read “Miriam’s Song,” not the least of which is a fresh appreciation for the men and women who paved the way for the eventual coming of Jesus. To think that at the time of Moses and the Exodus, the people had not heard from God in four hundred and thirty years! Jochebed refers to her son, the infant Moses, as their “tikvah,” or hope, and years later Miriam’s husband Jephunneh tells Miriam to “Pray God will do something, because if He does not, there is no hope.” Those whom God raised up throughout the Old Testament prove that every person has a propensity for sin, thereby making Christ’s coming and sacrifice necessary to enable God to live among us. As I read, Smith’s perspective of this time in Biblical history revealed connections that I hadn’t necessarily made before. I can see parallels between the Exodus and the coming Tribulation, as well as between some of the Egyptians joining the Hebrews in fleeing Egypt and, later, the Gentiles joining God’s chosen people for salvation through Jesus. Similarly, I don’t think that I had ever really honed in on the fact that the ten plagues which God released on Egypt also afflicted those Hebrews who had followed sinful Egyptian practices, or that each plague was clearly aimed at defeating a specific Egyptian god. As Miriam attests, “She had never considered that God would judge His own people as well as their oppressors. But sin was sin, and she knew deep within her that no sin went unnoticed by their God.” Miriam learns that they are the ones holding themselves back from the Promised Land, and instead of becoming frustrated and angry with God and with Moses, she recognizes that “If only the people would realize that to obey was freedom. To rebel only brought heartache and loss.” Some things never change! Related in five parts with third-person narration, “Miriam’s Song” by Jill Eileen Smith delves into the largely-unknown life of Moses’ older sister, Miriam. While fictional, it remains true to the Biblical account in regard to historical events, taking artistic liberty to explore the possible perspective and life of Miriam, prophetess of God and leader of women during the Exodus and afterward. Time lapses in the narrative can be a bit abrupt but are understandable and handled well, with a succinct explanation of the intervening years. I highly recommend this Biblical fiction novel to fans of the genre and to anyone interested in the Exodus and the life of the Hebrews during that time. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Yakira Goldsberry

    If there’s one story in the Old Testament that’s my favorite, it would be the story of Moses. Partly because of the movie, The Prince of Egypt, and partly because of just how amazing it all is. So, obviously, when I saw the book Miriam’s Song, I just had to read it. I was curious just how Smith would dive into Miriam’s mind to tell the story. It was okay. Granted, I had very high expectations for this book, and not a lot of them were met. But first, let’s list the things I did like: The fact that M If there’s one story in the Old Testament that’s my favorite, it would be the story of Moses. Partly because of the movie, The Prince of Egypt, and partly because of just how amazing it all is. So, obviously, when I saw the book Miriam’s Song, I just had to read it. I was curious just how Smith would dive into Miriam’s mind to tell the story. It was okay. Granted, I had very high expectations for this book, and not a lot of them were met. But first, let’s list the things I did like: The fact that Miriam wasn’t super annoying, and her actions had reasons. In the Bible, Miriam is portrayed as a griping older sister who nags Moses all the time for marrying Zipporah, who wasn’t a Levite. She also never seems to stop Aaron whenever he comes up with another horrible idea. In Miriam’s Song, all of Miriam’s decisions seem to make sense now, even if some weren’t the best. But it really helps to flesh her out and portray her as a real person. The research was good, to an extent. I like how she adheres to the Biblical story, despite the timeline she put the story in, instead of taking some kind of weird artistic liberty. Now the things I didn’t like: As I said, the research was good, up to a point. Being of Jewish descent myself, and because my mom has had a lot of Jewish friends, I know a thing or two about Jewish traditions and such. And because of this, a lot of points in the story bothered me for being very inaccurate. Let’s take Miriam’s wedding for example. She and her husband, after being betrothed, would have waited a year before getting married. During that year, husband would be building a house for their soon-to-be family. They would not have gotten married three weeks later. Everything about it had a very Western feel to it and the only thing that I felt was accurate was the wine drinking. Other than that… The way the children spoke at such young ages. Smith has Miriam, at age five, stringing together long, comprehensive sentences that sound like something that came from the mouth of a fifty-year-old. And then she does the same with Moses, calling him wise for his years. I just found all of that to be weird, including the part where ten-year-old Moses and thirteen-year-old Aaron are setting up a husband for Miriam while their father is dying in the corner. Aaron, I can see. But Moses? Nope. He couldn’t have been wise for his years, after all, later on in his life, he murdered an Egyptian for beating on a Hebrew slave. I wouldn’t really call that a wise move. Moses was pretty ordinary and had a speech impediment. At least, that was the impression I got from reading my Bible. Also, the fact that Smith kind of glazed over the slavery aspect of Egypt. She made Miriam have an almost naive perspective on the whole thing, thinking that life was good despite the slavery. Ummm…excuse me? Slavery isn’t good, no matter what the context! I could go on all day about the cultural inaccuracies, but I won’t. I feel like I couldn’t fully enjoy the story as much as I wanted to because of the inaccuracies which makes me feel sad because I did really want to like it. I did. But unfortunately, I couldn’t really see past the inaccuracies to Smith’s engaging and wonderful writing. And because of this, I was unable to finish reading the book. I got up to 100 pages in before giving up. NOTE: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher for review purposes only. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn S.

    This is a difficult review to write, in so many ways. First, to be totally honest, I had trouble finishing this book. Like, I was finishing the book earlier today, when I was supposed to have the review already written and posted . . . a problem with procrastination? Maybe. But I seldom procrastinate when it comes to reading. This was a great concept, to be honest. The story of the Exodus, told from Miriam's perspective? Sounds like I'd learn a great deal! I mean, Miriam would have a different p This is a difficult review to write, in so many ways. First, to be totally honest, I had trouble finishing this book. Like, I was finishing the book earlier today, when I was supposed to have the review already written and posted . . . a problem with procrastination? Maybe. But I seldom procrastinate when it comes to reading. This was a great concept, to be honest. The story of the Exodus, told from Miriam's perspective? Sounds like I'd learn a great deal! I mean, Miriam would have a different perspective than Moses, being that she didn't experience everything Moses did, and being that she was raised as slave and Moses was raised in opulence, and being that she's a girl, and Moses is a guy. And maybe, if the book had a different cover and a different title, the whole concept would have worked. But there isn't enough of Moses, and Miriam is older during most of the story, and I'm pretty sure I went into the book expecting more of Miriam and less of Moses. The storyline and plot followed the biblical account really well -- and I really enjoyed that. But I *know* the story of Moses, and when it comes to Biblical fiction, I like to leave thinking, "hmm . . . I've never considered that before . . . " andI just didn't with this book. There were one or two parts, but in a 400 page book, I'd like a few more of those "hmm . . . " moments. And then there were the parts when the story *didn't* follow biblical guidelines and there was way too much "modernness" to fit into the biblical account. Women in this period of history had little to no voice -- that is the historically accurate fact. And there were times when Miriam came across as a bit pushy, a bit too forward, too opinionated, too . . . liberated, almost. For her to be the only woman in a council meeting and speak up and share her thoughts and not one man to say anything to her is a bit far fetched, to my thinking. There weren't many of these scenes, but still. These were details added to the biblical account that I wish weren't, while I wish more details and musings had been added to Miriam's earlier life that we don't know. And I kinda had trouble following the time gaps and the leaps in the years. It made the story seem choppy, and I was never able to connect with the characters, really. To me, it seemed like an historical narrative of the exodus, and not an historical fiction book. Which there's nothing wrong with, per say, but I just wasn't expecting that. Bottom line: This would be great to read if you homeschool and like living history books and want to study ancient Egypt in a safe way. The historical facts were amazing, even if they did bog the story down some, and I did learn about the ancient Egyptian culture. There were discreet mentions of birth, a few beatings and murders, and the story mentioned the gods the Egyptians worshiped in a *safe* way. I would hand it to a 12 year old for a school assignment, but as a fictional book, it just didn't work for me. As a history book, it was pretty great! *I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley, and was under no obligation to enjoy this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

  12. 4 out of 5

    Prairie Sky Book Reviews

    In the acknowledgements at the end of the book, Jill Eileen Smith claims that she has been certain a couple of times before that she had just completed the hardest book she’d ever write... but now, without question, “Miriam’s Song” is her most challenging book to date. From the flip side, I keep thinking that Jill’s latest Biblical fiction story simply can’t be beat, but the next time I pick up a new story with her name on it, she has outdone herself once again! “Miriam’s Song” is a sweeping sag In the acknowledgements at the end of the book, Jill Eileen Smith claims that she has been certain a couple of times before that she had just completed the hardest book she’d ever write... but now, without question, “Miriam’s Song” is her most challenging book to date. From the flip side, I keep thinking that Jill’s latest Biblical fiction story simply can’t be beat, but the next time I pick up a new story with her name on it, she has outdone herself once again! “Miriam’s Song” is a sweeping saga spanning decades of one of the most remarkable and well-known stories in the Old Testament, but is told through a different set of eyes than we normally view the book of Exodus - those belonging to Moses’ sister, Miriam. Our story begins when Miriam is just a little girl whose mother is expecting a baby - but instead of this being a joyous occasion, it brings fear and heartache because Pharaoh has just announced that all Hebrew baby boys must be killed at birth. Of course you are familiar with what happens next, but this story brings the timeless tale to life as though we are actually in Egypt hiding behind the reeds, watching the princess as she orders her maids to draw a floating basket - with precious cargo inside - from the Nile. And so continues the story that takes us through years of hardship at the hands of the Egyptians, decades of despair after her beloved brother is forced to flee Egypt, and the hope mingled with fear when the time finally comes for God to deliver Miriam’s people from the hands of their captors. I adored Miriam as the primary character of this story, for with her imperfections combined with a hopeful and trusting heart, she helped me understand the feelings of God’s people before Jesus Christ came to give His life for us, bridging the gap between our sinfulness and God’s holiness. “Miriam’s Song” came into my life at such an opportune time, right when I was studying the lives of the faithful ones in Hebrews 11, and specifically Moses and the Exodus story. This novel is so much more than just a work of fiction, because Jill Eileen Smith has clearly spent countless hours of research, prayer, and Bible study to capture the heart of Miriam’s story, and bring the emotions of the Hebrews and their slavery to life in such breathtaking and memorable ways. It makes us take time to ponder what the world was truly like before we had the forgiveness of our Savior, while at the same time reminding us that we are once again waiting for His return, now for the second time. If you enjoy Biblical Fiction even a little, you simply cannot miss out on this incredibly intense, far-reaching, and profound story that is about a woman named Miriam - and yet it is also about so much more. I received this book courtesy of Revell Publishing, in participation with a Revell Reads Blog Tour.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karis Bronowski

    Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Goodreads Rating: 3 out of 5 Rating Breakdown Plot: 4 out of 5 Characters: 3 out of 5 Writing Style: 3 out of 5 Personal Enjoyment: 2 out of 5 As an avid reader who can, on occasion, devour historical fiction based on known historical individuals, I do also enjoy reading some Biblical fiction. Miriam’s Song by Jill Eileen Smith, is in part the story of Miriam, the older sister of Moses. Spanning decades in the lives of the main characters - and multiple momentous events in th Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Goodreads Rating: 3 out of 5 Rating Breakdown Plot: 4 out of 5 Characters: 3 out of 5 Writing Style: 3 out of 5 Personal Enjoyment: 2 out of 5 As an avid reader who can, on occasion, devour historical fiction based on known historical individuals, I do also enjoy reading some Biblical fiction. Miriam’s Song by Jill Eileen Smith, is in part the story of Miriam, the older sister of Moses. Spanning decades in the lives of the main characters - and multiple momentous events in the history of the Israelites - this book covers events that truly fit the description of epic, from the perspective of those who lived them. What I Loved Reading events from the Bible in this fictional format always helps to bring a fresh perspective to those events. While creative liberties are obviously taken, since exact details and the thoughts of the real-life individuals aren’t fully known, I love the way that Biblical fiction gives me the opportunity to pause and consider these events and the way that God worked through them. Miriam’s Song was no different - and it certainly gave me more understanding of what Miriam, her family, and her people must have felt as they prayed and continue to have hope that God would deliver them. Miriam’s Song highlights a wide range of people from this period in Israel’s history, including some that I wasn’t expecting to have point-of-view chapters. It was also interesting to see how Miriam and the others might have interacted and read about the kinds of events that might have precipitated those that we read about in the Bible. Most importantly, it reminded me of the importance of having faith in the Lord and His plans, even when we do not understand them - and when we wish for faster answers. What I Didn’t Love Miriam’s Song spans a huge amount of time, starting from when she is very young, and is nervously awaiting the arrival of her youngest brother. In order to cover all of the major events of her lifetime, the book not only covers many decades, but jumps in time constantly to include all of these key points. Personally, I found this approach, while thorough, to be a bit too exhaustive for a single book, and would have preferred to see it focused on fewer key time periods in her life. At the same time, while it was definitely interesting to read from other perspectives throughout this book, Moses included, it felt strange to me that Miriam’s point-of-view didn’t seem to hold the vast majority in a book called “Miriam’s Song.” I think that I would have enjoyed it more if the book had spent more time with Miriam and maybe only visited other perspectives for select events. Read if You Love Biblical Fiction History-Spanning Epics Disclaimer: I received this book as part of the Revell Reads program in order to write a review. The statements of the review are entirely my own, honest opinion of the book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Conny Reviews

    “Though she knew God had called her to help Moses lead, she had lost some of the connection she once felt for Him–as if He had given it to Moses and no one else,” Jill Eileen Smith writes about the prophetess in her Biblical fiction, Miriam’s Song. ~ What ~ This four-hundred-and-six-page paperback targets those who enjoy an enhanced version of the Biblical story of Miriam from being a young girl to dying en route to the Promise Land. Containing no profanity or explicit sexual scenes, topics of pla “Though she knew God had called her to help Moses lead, she had lost some of the connection she once felt for Him–as if He had given it to Moses and no one else,” Jill Eileen Smith writes about the prophetess in her Biblical fiction, Miriam’s Song. ~ What ~ This four-hundred-and-six-page paperback targets those who enjoy an enhanced version of the Biblical story of Miriam from being a young girl to dying en route to the Promise Land. Containing no profanity or explicit sexual scenes, topics of plagues, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. An author’s note, acknowledgments, biography, and advertisements complete the book. In this loosely retold story taken from the Old Testament, Miriam’s journey covers protecting her baby brother in the reeds along the Nile, witnessing the plagues of the Egyptians, escaping with Moses across the Red Sea, eating manna, and dying in the desert before reaching the Holy Land. In her trials and tribulations, not only does she encourage the Israeli camp to focus on Yahweh, but she also deals with insecurity, jealousy, and yearning to feel special to God. ~ Why ~ If you do not know much about a woman mentioned limitedly in the Bible, this will give you a synopsis of the book of Exodus and the holiness of God seen through a woman. The reader can tell quickly that the author has done plenty of research while adding her imagination and creativity to the Old Testament stories of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. ~ Why Not ~ Those who do not like fictionalized Bible stories may pass on this one as the author uses ample liberties to enhance the story. With the focus on Miriam having dreams and multiple added characters, it is fabricated, especially at the emotional level. Some may find some of the well-known scenes underwritten or without Biblical clarity, yet the author states it was a hard novel to pen. ~ Wish ~ Having read other books by Smith, I found this one a struggle to connect with its protagonist. It seemed Miriam often was the one with all the right answers and responses even though her desire to be needed by God and others was promoted (which is not noted in the Word). ~ Want ~ If you enjoy learning about the Miriam in Scripture, this one shows how God loves each of us in a special way and will always be with us, but realize, the read may not be emotionally or spiritually true to the Bible. Thanks to Revell for this complimentary book that I am not obligated to review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Libby May

    I'm gonna start this review off by saying that Biblical fiction isn't really my favorite genre. I'm also gonna add a quick note that I have not finished this book yet, but I'm about half way and should finish either tomorrow or the day after and if anything changes I'll hop on and update this review. The Characters Miriam was good. I liked her character development, her kindness towards those she loved, her sense of responsibility, and her level-headedness (do you see a theme here? I tend to appre I'm gonna start this review off by saying that Biblical fiction isn't really my favorite genre. I'm also gonna add a quick note that I have not finished this book yet, but I'm about half way and should finish either tomorrow or the day after and if anything changes I'll hop on and update this review. The Characters Miriam was good. I liked her character development, her kindness towards those she loved, her sense of responsibility, and her level-headedness (do you see a theme here? I tend to appreciate level headed girl characters.) I did not like Moses from the beginning. That being said, I don’t think the Biblical Moses and I would be very close friends either, even if he was chosen by God to lead the people (and God bless him in it). I did not like Moses's wife at all. The Plot Like Biblical fiction tends to be for me, I didn't really get pulled in. The author is retelling a story that I already know and have heard many times. enough times to develop these people and their personalities in my own way. So this isn't really a negative towards the book, just a personal preference. That being said, I HAVE found biblical fiction that has pulled me in and I've really enjoyed. That's why I still read them once in a blue moon. The pace was a little slow for me. The scenes in the Bible were much shorter than and I felt like they didn't need to be elaborated on as much as they were?! Again, personal opinion. The Content. So far, there wasn't too much content. After Miriam was married it does mention "marital duties" and her husband wanting a kiss. Obviously (I hope you have read the stories in the Bible before reading a fiction version, otherwise, spoiler warning! XD) Moses kills an egyption and there is mention on blood. Also there is a couple of child births on screen, but not graphic. more blood is mentioned. Hebrews are beaten and there is mention of welts, sores, screaming and one mention of stabbing. For the most part this story is clean for most ages! Probably 14 and up. Especially if you're reading your Bible on your own. In summary. If this Is your genre, go for it! It's got some good descriptions and era setting, and the writing style is not hard to keep up with! This one has potential for a lot of enjoyment. *I'll add my favorite quote after I finish it* Thank you to the author and publisher for a copy of this book. A positive review was not required and all opinions are my own!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Connie Saunders

    Miriam's Song is a new biblical fiction novel by veteran author Jill Eileen Smith, and I feel blessed to have the chance to read it. I love biblical fiction because it prompts me to go back to check the true source, God's Word, and Miriam's Song is no different. Much of this story is Smith's conjecture, but it's apparent that she devoted a lot of time and effort in her research. Miriam was the older sister of Moses, and Smith paints her as a very human person. She is portrayed as deeply loving h Miriam's Song is a new biblical fiction novel by veteran author Jill Eileen Smith, and I feel blessed to have the chance to read it. I love biblical fiction because it prompts me to go back to check the true source, God's Word, and Miriam's Song is no different. Much of this story is Smith's conjecture, but it's apparent that she devoted a lot of time and effort in her research. Miriam was the older sister of Moses, and Smith paints her as a very human person. She is portrayed as deeply loving her family, and being especially protective of Moses, but there is also aggravation and jealousy that is common is all sibling relationships. As Moses continues to do God's bidding, Miriam wants her brother to be present in her life but she realizes that "There was nothing they could do. God wanted her brother, and her brother seemed to want God more than he wanted anything else." One of my earliest memories of Sunday school is of hearing the story of baby Moses, and seeing a picture of him in a basket, hidden in the reeds along the river bank. My young mind thought that it was amazing that his mother was the one chosen to help Pharaoh's daughter care for him, and that his young sister was there to make it happen. As I've grown in my knowledge, I now know that God was orchestrating all of this, and this book heightens my appreciation of His Plan. Miriam's thoughts and actions are only assumed as she witnesses the many events of Moses's life, but they are very poignant. The extreme cruelty of the Egyptians, the desperate attempts of the Hebrews to escape, and the parting of the Red Sea are all mentioned, and Smith also shows Miriam's regrets when the people continuously complain about God's actions. "No food,,,nothing but manna...we want meat." Complaining people even then --- some things never change! If you love Old Testament history, you will certainly enjoy this book. Miriam's Song has a powerful faith message, and it's a story that I won't soon forget! I give it 5 stars. This book was provided courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews. These are my own thoughts.

  17. 4 out of 5

    June Jacobs

    This novel, set in Biblical times, features the family of Miriam and her younger brothers, Aaron and Moses. I felt one of the most powerful themes in this novel was the close bond that these three prophets/spiritual leaders had with each other. They were the core of a large extended family which included their spouses, children, and grandchildren. It seemed as if the entire family did everything they could to support and help each other. The book opens with the well-known story of baby Moses bein This novel, set in Biblical times, features the family of Miriam and her younger brothers, Aaron and Moses. I felt one of the most powerful themes in this novel was the close bond that these three prophets/spiritual leaders had with each other. They were the core of a large extended family which included their spouses, children, and grandchildren. It seemed as if the entire family did everything they could to support and help each other. The book opens with the well-known story of baby Moses being discovered in a basket woven by his mother, floating in the Nile River near the palace of the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose I. The baby was discovered by the pharaoh's daughter, Hatshepsut, who decided to raise the baby as her own even though she was very young at the time. Moses's biological parents had a strong sense that their son was destined to carry out God's will for the Hebrew people, so they were willing to make the sacrifice to have him raised by the Egyptians rather than being killed. The remainder of the novel is filled with fact and fiction about the lives of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, and the Hebrew people. There is good amount of graphic violence depicted in the book. A lot of cruelty was perpetrated by the Egyptians against the Hebrew people whom the Egyptians had enslaved for centuries. I found the beatings, inhumane treatment, and killings to be disturbing. The violence brought a negative tone to the story for me. There is a strong faith element running throughout the manuscript, with God portrayed in a manner that appears different from the teachings found in the New Testament. There were many incidences of God's wrath and anger toward the Egyptians and the Hebrews documented in this book. The author has done a fine job of researching this time period, and her descriptions of the daily lives of the Hebrews was interesting and gave me an insight into their lifestyle which I did not previously possess. I received a paperback copy of this book from the publisher. My opinions and views expressed here are solely my own. # # # # # # # # #

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Jill Eileen Smith's tribute to Miriam, Moses' sister, is a wonderful addition to her biblical fiction library. Very little is known about Miriam other than what the Bible tells us about her taking care of Moses and finding a nursemaid for him when Pharaoh's daughter finds him in the Nile. We are also familiar with her song after the Israelites have crossed the Red Sea on dry land and watched the Egyptians drowned where they had just crossed safely. We also are aware of her criticism of Moses lat Jill Eileen Smith's tribute to Miriam, Moses' sister, is a wonderful addition to her biblical fiction library. Very little is known about Miriam other than what the Bible tells us about her taking care of Moses and finding a nursemaid for him when Pharaoh's daughter finds him in the Nile. We are also familiar with her song after the Israelites have crossed the Red Sea on dry land and watched the Egyptians drowned where they had just crossed safely. We also are aware of her criticism of Moses later on prompted by her jealousy and God covered her with leprosy for seven days. In "Miriam's Song", Smith captures our imagination with her fictional story based on Miriam's life as a slave and as a heroine of the Israelites. It is clear from Scripture that the parents of Miriam, Aaron and Moses raised them to have faith in God. Even though Moses was probably five at the time of his adoption by Pharaoh's daughter, he still remembered much of what his mother taught him. They sought God and prayed for God to take them away from their slavery to Egypt. Miriam's story has always been a little sad to me because of her jealousy and pride at the end of her life, but Smith uses Miriam's story to help us see that God can use us no matter where we are, who we are or what we've done. Her research into the culture gives us a peak into what it was like to be a slave in Egypt and what it must have been like to wander around the wilderness. She puts real-life emotions into the people so that we can better feel what it was like to live back then. I have always enjoyed Jill Eileen Smith's style and imagination. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, as part of its Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  19. 5 out of 5

    YoungLlamaReader

    This book was really fun to read. I love historical fiction, so the moment I saw this I wanted to read it, and I really enjoyed it. It was adventurous, inspiring, and an incredible Bible story. Based on the story of Moses and the Israelites, this book goes through the life of Miriam, the sister of Moses. Miriam was there when Moses was born, and her family knew from the start that he was special, but the Egyptians want all the baby boys gone. To save his life, Miriam places her baby brother in a This book was really fun to read. I love historical fiction, so the moment I saw this I wanted to read it, and I really enjoyed it. It was adventurous, inspiring, and an incredible Bible story. Based on the story of Moses and the Israelites, this book goes through the life of Miriam, the sister of Moses. Miriam was there when Moses was born, and her family knew from the start that he was special, but the Egyptians want all the baby boys gone. To save his life, Miriam places her baby brother in a basket and places him in the river near Pharaoh's palace where his daughter finds him. This famous story has been told time and time again, but this book takes it in a whole new direction. The story is told from Miriam's perspective. Going from the time her brother was born to the Isrealites life in the wilderness. It tells her story; how God spoke to her and used her to help save her people. Now, this book uses a lot of poetic license, that's why its called historical Fiction. We don't know what Miriam's life was like other than what we're given in the Bible, however, this story gives a beautiful view of what she could have been like and how she lived. This book gives you a new look on the famous story of Moses and is perfect for young adults. There are a few cons to this book. (Though I would barely count them as cons.) This book is not meant for kids or young teens. It is written for adults and possibly older teens. (This isn't really a con, but I do need to mention it.) The real con I have is the ending is very fast. Unlike the rest of the story, the last couple chapters of this book go by at lightning speed and don't give you as much as the first chapters. Honestly, this book could have been 20-40 pages longer. But other than these cons, this is a wonderful book. Overall, if you're an adult looking for a great Bible story to read, this is the book for you. It gives you a new look on Moses, the Isrealites, and especially Miriam. I really enjoyed reading this book. I will definitely be looking for more like it. I hope you liked my review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Leona Atkinson

    Book Review: "Miriam's Song" by Jill Eileen Smith Miriam, was Moses and Aaron's sister, she is first mentioned in the book of Exodus verse 2:4: "and his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him" The bible verse is in regard to the time when Moses' mother, Jochedbed, placed baby Moses in a basket in the Nile River near the place where the Egyptian Princess, Hatshepsut came to bathe, in order to hide him from the Egyptians who had been ordered by Pharaoh, to kill all newborn Hebrew ma Book Review: "Miriam's Song" by Jill Eileen Smith Miriam, was Moses and Aaron's sister, she is first mentioned in the book of Exodus verse 2:4: "and his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him" The bible verse is in regard to the time when Moses' mother, Jochedbed, placed baby Moses in a basket in the Nile River near the place where the Egyptian Princess, Hatshepsut came to bathe, in order to hide him from the Egyptians who had been ordered by Pharaoh, to kill all newborn Hebrew male babies. Jochedbed and the family felt the baby Moses was chosen of God for a special purpose, and so prayed that he would be found and rescued by the Pharoh's daughter, Hatshepsut, who was not in favor of her father's order to kill male Hebrew babies. Young Miriam, who was Moses older sister, was told to hide in the bulrushes near the river and watch to see what would happen to her brother, baby Moses. Have you ever wondered how Miriam thought and felt about all of this? She was a young Hebrew girl, who had to face an Egyptian princess, she had to be brave to speak up, and she had to watch as the princess took her baby brother away. Then, in later years, she had to go through those terrible years of bondage that was put upon her people, always wondering, praying and waiting for deliverance. Not knowing what was happening to her brother, Moses, yet keeping up hope that maybe he would be the one who would somehow set the Hebrew people free. Jill Eileen Smith did a wonderful job of imagining what possibly might have taken place during that time by combining fact with fiction to weave this wonderful story about Miriam, Moses, and Aaron and that period of time between the years Moses was born until the time the Israelites reached the promised land. I enjoyed reading this book very much and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading old testament biblical fiction. I received a copy of this book from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review. All comments are my own.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Morgan

    Miriam lived in Egypt for over 80 years as a slave before the nation was thrust out by Pharaoh and wandered in the wilderness for the rest of her life. It was a hard life, and one of which we only get brief, intriguing glimpses in the Bible. She was the older sister of the man whom God chose to save his nation, who, after such high hopes by their parents, stayed in the palace for almost forty years, then emerged only to commit a murder which forced him to flee the country for another forty years Miriam lived in Egypt for over 80 years as a slave before the nation was thrust out by Pharaoh and wandered in the wilderness for the rest of her life. It was a hard life, and one of which we only get brief, intriguing glimpses in the Bible. She was the older sister of the man whom God chose to save his nation, who, after such high hopes by their parents, stayed in the palace for almost forty years, then emerged only to commit a murder which forced him to flee the country for another forty years. Even when he returned, the path to freedom was far from clear, since Egypt's economy relied too much on the work of the slaves for Pharaoh to be willing to let them go until God's strong hand forced him to. And once in the wilderness, the nation of ex-slaves needed strong leaders... I've read the story of the exodus and the wilderness wanderings many times, but as I so often find with Biblical fiction, I found this fictional account intriguing and thought-provoking. We really know very little about Miriam and her life, so there is necessarily a lot of fiction in the story, but the author did a great job of bringing together what we know from the various Bible records and from history into a coherent, persuasive and inspiring story. She obviously does lots of research and endeavours to make sure that her story fits in with what we know from the Bible - though there were definitely a few minor things in this that I didn't feel quite fitted, though it's hard to be sure at times. I was pleased, though, that the presentation of Miriam's role was untainted by modern-day feminist ideas. Told from both Moses' and Miriam's points of view, this is another great piece of Biblical fiction from the author. Highly recommended. Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Miriam plays an important place in Bible history, but we do not really know much about her life except where Moses is concerned. Author Smith gives us a fictional account of what may have transpired for Miriam and her family. Here we start Miriam's story before Moses is even born. We watch her as a little girl as she witnesses the cruelty of the Egyptians in the slaughter of innocent Hebrew baby boys. We watch as her family keeps her baby brother's birth a secret and tries to hide him from their Miriam plays an important place in Bible history, but we do not really know much about her life except where Moses is concerned. Author Smith gives us a fictional account of what may have transpired for Miriam and her family. Here we start Miriam's story before Moses is even born. We watch her as a little girl as she witnesses the cruelty of the Egyptians in the slaughter of innocent Hebrew baby boys. We watch as her family keeps her baby brother's birth a secret and tries to hide him from their slave masters. We go with her as she acts as guardian for him until he is found by the princess and until he must live at the palace permanently and all the way to when the spies are about to enter the Promise Land. I was brought into the story of Miriam's life, her young one, as a wife, as a mother, and eventually as a continual helper to her brothers. I watched her grieve, rejoice, pray, and most of all to wait. That stood out to me the most, how even when she felt like giving up, she continued to pray for deliverance. Even though God remained silent through the 400 years of their slavery and her faith sometimes waivered she continued to trust in the God of her ancestors. I have read author Mesu Andrews work on Miriam and the Pharaoh's daughter that had me going back and researching history. Author Smith takes a different direction on who Pharaoh's daughter was and I found that intriguing as well. There is also some poetic license taken on who was Miriam's children. We do get to see the events as they unfold through the other women's eyes, and I found that a great help to see from different perspectives. I did enjoy this book and found the weaving of Author Smith's research into the Biblical account interesting. I did receive a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own. https://pausefortales.blogspot.com/20...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    If you are looking for an imaginative re-telling of a Biblical story that doesn't stray far from the Scriptures, then Miriam's Song by Jill Eileen Smith is an excellent place to start. Looking at Moses's story and Israel's redemption from Egypt through Miriam's eyes is a challenging task to write. Mainly because there is so little about Miriam in the Bible. We know she was a prophetess and watched over Moses when his mother placed him in the Nile as a baby. That's about it. So the author did a fa If you are looking for an imaginative re-telling of a Biblical story that doesn't stray far from the Scriptures, then Miriam's Song by Jill Eileen Smith is an excellent place to start. Looking at Moses's story and Israel's redemption from Egypt through Miriam's eyes is a challenging task to write. Mainly because there is so little about Miriam in the Bible. We know she was a prophetess and watched over Moses when his mother placed him in the Nile as a baby. That's about it. So the author did a fantastic job of extrapolating what might have been and gives the reader a sense of being there during the turmoil of living as slaves in Egypt. And as they try to live as a people chosen by God. One of the things that hit home to me in this novel was the differences between how Christians come to God now compared to how the Israelites approached Him. It made me wonder if we are too familiar with our mighty God. As if we have lost our reverence or awe of Him. We approach whenever we want and at times almost too casually. Yes, we have that privilege because of Jesus, but it is good to remember once in a while that we have a powerful and fearsome God. Something the author portrays quite brilliantly in this novel. While the author brings the Bible to life through Miriam's eyes, I, unfortunately, felt nothing for these characters. I hoped for more of a back story from Miriam and the love story between her and Jephunneh. However, the author stuck to the story in the Bible and didn't really deviate from it. This is a good thing if you want the Bible brought to life, but not if you like to be invested in the story's characters. While Miriam's Song didn't quite hit the mark for me, I still look for Jill's next book with anticipation. If you like the Bible brought to life, you would enjoy this book. I received this book courtesy of Revell through NetGalley.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn Fonseca

    I'm new to the Biblical Fiction genre and this is my third book. I've read Francine Rivers' "A Lineage of Grace" and Mesu Andrews' "Pearl in the Sand." These were great and got me excited to read more biblical fiction, however, Miriam's Song was a disappointment. As several other reviewers have noted, this book is more about Moses than Miriam. I feel like we get more from Moses' point of view than Miriam's and when we do get an insight into her POV, her thoughts are mostly on Moses. The characte I'm new to the Biblical Fiction genre and this is my third book. I've read Francine Rivers' "A Lineage of Grace" and Mesu Andrews' "Pearl in the Sand." These were great and got me excited to read more biblical fiction, however, Miriam's Song was a disappointment. As several other reviewers have noted, this book is more about Moses than Miriam. I feel like we get more from Moses' point of view than Miriam's and when we do get an insight into her POV, her thoughts are mostly on Moses. The characters are not well-developed and Miriam's character is extremely unlikeable and shallow. She comes across as prideful, jealous, and whinny. There isn't much character development either. The majority of the novel felt rushed and focused on events rather than on Miriam; her thoughts, her growth, her spiritual life, etc. I was looking forward to reading about Miriam since Scripture doesn't tell us much about her. I was expecting to read more detailed accounts of Miriam's life during the exodus, instead, two-thirds of the novel is spent in Eygpt. I was especially waiting for the account of Miriam's leprosy and her thoughts, and experience of said event however, we only get like 2 pages briefly touching upon the incident and the next thing we know, Miriam is on her deathbed, and a few pages later, the end. I could go on but it would require a much longer review than I feel like writing at the moment. The main problem with the book is that it covers too much time in 400 pages. The author squeezed in too many events and the main character really is Moses, not Miriam. I'm interested in reading Mesu Andrew's rendition of Miriam's story, I hear it's better. I received a copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kimmie

    "Miriam's Song" by Jill Eileen Smith was an impressive book. As the author mentioned in her note at the end, not a lot is historically known about Miriam. Somehow, Ms. Smith managed to take the historical record, combine it with the records of Miriam's contemporaries, and mix it all in with various other histories of those times and events, and end up with a story that was both fascinating to read and educational. While I was familiar with the basic details of Miriam's story going in, I found I "Miriam's Song" by Jill Eileen Smith was an impressive book. As the author mentioned in her note at the end, not a lot is historically known about Miriam. Somehow, Ms. Smith managed to take the historical record, combine it with the records of Miriam's contemporaries, and mix it all in with various other histories of those times and events, and end up with a story that was both fascinating to read and educational. While I was familiar with the basic details of Miriam's story going in, I found I learned a lot about life in those times, and was provided enough information to really try to imagine what I would have felt and experienced had I been living then. It also left me with plenty to think about regarding the nature of God and his relationship with his chosen people. I'd love to discuss my thoughts with other readers. The actual story was very interesting to read. Miriam is a great character, and although not much is known about her, the author did a great job in bringing her to life in a realistic way that felt true to both the known facts about her life and the events she lived through. I enjoyed getting to know her, and watching her grow from a brave little five-year-old to a mature woman of faith. In reading about Miriam in between the major historical events she witnessed, I learned a lot about what daily life was like for the Hebrew people, both during their enslavement in Egypt, and after they gained their freedom and moved toward their new land. Reading this helped me to better understand some of the things that happened, and the mindset of the people that brought those events about. I highly recommend this book. Read it for the quality storytelling. Read it for the in-depth character study of a lesser-known historical woman. Read it for the thought-provoking insights. Just read it. You'll be glad you did!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Based on the Biblical story of Miriam, Moses’s sister, this book documents Miriam’s life from a young girl through her death. It addresses what it’s like living in slavery in Egypt and to live in the shadow of the great leader, Moses, who talked to God as a friend. Although this account is fictional, I enjoyed the story and speculating what it was like to live during the Israelites slavery in Egypt. I did think the author could have speculated more and expanded on some of those details. And I ap Based on the Biblical story of Miriam, Moses’s sister, this book documents Miriam’s life from a young girl through her death. It addresses what it’s like living in slavery in Egypt and to live in the shadow of the great leader, Moses, who talked to God as a friend. Although this account is fictional, I enjoyed the story and speculating what it was like to live during the Israelites slavery in Egypt. I did think the author could have speculated more and expanded on some of those details. And I appreciated Miriam’s perspective while they were wandering in the desert and what it was like for a woman. I thought the author did a nice job with her account. I did feel there were parts of the book which concentrated too much on Moses and not enough on Miriam. And I was surprised the author didn’t mention how Miriam lead the women in a song of deliverance after crossing the Red Sea; after all, the book’s title was Miriam’s Song. I appreciated that the author didn’t make all the Egyptians out to be bad guys. Sprinkled here and there were people who were kind to the Israelites. The emotion portrayed in the novel was well described and I found myself being caught up in the drama of some of the characters. Another thing I admired was the relationship between Moses, Aaron and Miriam. There were periodic times of connecting and renewing their bond. I didn’t particularly care for the section about Moses taking a second wife, it all sounded covert and illicit. And earlier in the book it sounded as though Moses had no time for a wife. Overall, it was a good effort to document Miriam’s story as there is very little information about Miriam in the Bible.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    When it comes to biblical fiction Jill Eileen Smith is my favorite author. She has a way of weaving true biblical truths with fictional details that make it easier to connect and understand what life was like during Bible times. For me, it helps me see these true biblical heroines as real people. So often the Bible is short in its descriptions that we forget that they are real people with real feelings. I think it's important to remember while reading biblical fiction that it's just that....a f When it comes to biblical fiction Jill Eileen Smith is my favorite author. She has a way of weaving true biblical truths with fictional details that make it easier to connect and understand what life was like during Bible times. For me, it helps me see these true biblical heroines as real people. So often the Bible is short in its descriptions that we forget that they are real people with real feelings. I think it's important to remember while reading biblical fiction that it's just that....a fiction account of a biblical truth. God tells us the beautiful story of Miriam in his word and I always like to go back and read the story from the Bible after reading the biblical fiction account. This book was so beautifully written, but just remember it's for entertainment so to speak. Jill Eileen Smith always gives a great look inside of her research and thought process at the end of the book and I enjoy reading this about as much as I enjoy the book itself. I love to see how author's come about their stories and while reading Miriam's Song it is evident that much research was put into this book. One thing that was challenging with Miriam's story is the time span. From the start of her young life of protecting her baby brother to her death is quite a story. All fit into one novel had to be a hard task, but it was very well written and I enjoyed getting to know Miriam on what feels like a more personal level. Christian fiction is always a plus to read if it challenges you to draw closer to God and read His Word more. This book is such a book. ***Thanks to Revell Reads for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Randi Sampson

    I must admit that I am a little iffy in general when it comes to biblical fiction... I love the idea of it as it can be a great way to give us a better idea of who these faces in the Bible might have been outside of their mentions. While these are works of fiction and should be treated as such, a good Biblical fiction has put in the research and really just helps to bring these stories to life in a more reader friendly way. That said, I'm a little more picky on books in this genre... the stories I must admit that I am a little iffy in general when it comes to biblical fiction... I love the idea of it as it can be a great way to give us a better idea of who these faces in the Bible might have been outside of their mentions. While these are works of fiction and should be treated as such, a good Biblical fiction has put in the research and really just helps to bring these stories to life in a more reader friendly way. That said, I'm a little more picky on books in this genre... the stories have to be good to make me want to read them. I was drawn in when I saw the title of this one. Miriam is a name that we are all quite familiar with as the sister of Moses and I thought it would be interesting to see more about her--- yes, even in this fictional avenue. I really expected the story to focus on her and her life based upon the title. I found this one to be more about Moses' story... just from Miriam's POV. There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but was a bit of a disappointment from what I had been expecting. While I am far from knowing all the ins and outs and history of the Bible (perhaps another reason why this genre isn't as high on my list as it could be), it seemed to be well researched and thought out. It was well written and while I personally struggled a bit to get into, I can always appreciate good writing and evident thought when I see it. If you are a fan of Biblical fiction and are looking for a fictional take on the life of Moses, this is definitely one to check out. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Higgins

    Fans of Smith will likely enjoy her adaption of the story of Miriam. Miriam and her family have been living during the Israelite oppression in Egypt. While they have been praying for deliverance, it has been quiet. When the Pharaoh becomes threatened and decrees that all male Hebrew babies shall be killed, she knows that her mother’s new baby is likely to die soon. Fortunately, Pharaoh’s daughter finds him and raises him as her own. Miriam’s little brother, Moses, will change the world for the Is Fans of Smith will likely enjoy her adaption of the story of Miriam. Miriam and her family have been living during the Israelite oppression in Egypt. While they have been praying for deliverance, it has been quiet. When the Pharaoh becomes threatened and decrees that all male Hebrew babies shall be killed, she knows that her mother’s new baby is likely to die soon. Fortunately, Pharaoh’s daughter finds him and raises him as her own. Miriam’s little brother, Moses, will change the world for the Israelite people. I have always enjoyed Smith’s ability to tell a well-known biblical story from a different perspective. I enjoyed her previous book with the story of King Herod told from his sister’s perspective and felt that this one would be interesting as well. I was able to get into the story pretty easily having well known characters, but it took a little while for me to get through it. I’ve done a lot of research on the books of law and had to go back to double check some events based on this book. I know that fiction is subjective and can be interpreted differently. I’ve read past authors that have even moved actual events to different timelines to support their stories. With this story, there were some things that didn’t seem to sit correctly, which took time to research and understand her point of view. Fans of hers will likely still enjoy this book, but I’m hoping the next one turns out to her usual standards. I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    In Miriam's Song we get the Exodus story from Miriam's point of view. The difficult part in Ms. Smith's undertaking of this is that Exodus is told from Moses' point of view and as Ms. Smith states in her note to the reader "in order to understand Miriam, I had to follow Moses' journey. In doing so I found that I had to give him a point of view, and I also gave one to his wife Zipporah, because all three people saw things from completely different perspectives." Those are a lot of perspectives to In Miriam's Song we get the Exodus story from Miriam's point of view. The difficult part in Ms. Smith's undertaking of this is that Exodus is told from Moses' point of view and as Ms. Smith states in her note to the reader "in order to understand Miriam, I had to follow Moses' journey. In doing so I found that I had to give him a point of view, and I also gave one to his wife Zipporah, because all three people saw things from completely different perspectives." Those are a lot of perspectives to understand and create just one character from. Ms. Smith is a wonderful storyteller; creating characters that you care about and a story that you can get lost in. I understand that historical authors take liberties with the facts to work them into a cohesive story however, for me, Moses having complete knowledge of the plagues after his encounter with God at the burning bush as well as the plagues correlating with different Egyptian gods was my only negative. I found myself combing through my memory bank and Exodus to see if I missed something which is what I love about biblical fiction. It always takes me right back to the source. The beauty of the story is the sibling relationship that is shown between Moses and Miriam. No matter the calling on his life Miriam is still his older sister who is looking out for him just like she did as he floated in a basket down the Nile River. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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