Item description for Rachel and Leah: Women of Genesis by Orson Scott Card...
In this third volume of his Women of Genesis series, Orson Scott Card paints a vivid picture of the intertwined lives of four celebrated women. We meet Leah, the oldest daughter of Laban, whose "tender eyes" prevent her from fully participating in the daily work of her nomadic family, and Rachel, the spoiled younger daughter, the petted and privileged beauty of the family -- or so it seems to Leah.
There is also Bilhah, an orphan who is not quite a slave but not really a family member, a young woman desperately searching to fit in, and Zilpah, who knows only how to use her beauty to manipulate men as she strives to secure for herself something better than the life of drudgery and servitude into which she has been born.
Into the desert camp comes Jacob, a handsome and charismatic kinsman who is clearly destined to be Rachel's husband. But that doesn't prevent the other women from vying for his attention.
Tracing their lives from childhood to maturity, Card shows how these women change each other -- and are changed again by the holy books that Jacob brings with him. Ambition, jealousy, fear, and love motivate them as they vie for the attention of Jacob, heir to the spiritual birthright of Abraham and Isaac.
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ORSON SCOTT CARD is best known for his science fiction novel Ender's Game and it's many sequels that expand the Ender Universe into the far future and the near past. Those books are organized into the Ender Quintet, the five books that chronicle the life of Ender Wiggin; the Shadow Series, that follows on the novel Ender's Shadow and are set on Earth; and the Formic Wars series, written with co-author Aaron Johnston, that tells of the terrible first contact between humans and the alien "Buggers." Card has been a working writer since the 1970s. Beginning with dozens of plays and musical comedies produced in the 1960s and 70s, Card's first published fiction appeared in 1977 -- the short story "Gert Fram" in the July issue of The Ensign, and the novelet version of "Ender's Game" in the August issue of Analog. The novel-length version of Ender's Game, published in 1984 and continuously in print since then, became the basis of the 2013 film, starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, and Abigail Breslin. Card was born in Washington state, and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, he runs occasional writers' workshops and directs plays. He frequently teaches writing and literature courses at Southern Virginia University.
He is the author many sf and fantasy novels, including the American frontier fantasy series "The Tales of Alvin Maker" (beginning with Seventh Son), There are also stand-alone science fiction and fantasy novels like Pastwatch and Hart's Hope. He has collaborated with his daughter Emily Card on a manga series, Laddertop. He has also written contemporary thrillers like Empire and historical novels like the monumental Saints and the religious novels Sarah and Rachel and Leah. Card's recent work includes the Mithermages books (Lost Gate, Gate Thief), contemporary magical fantasy for readers both young and old. Card lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, He and Kristine are the parents of five children and several grandchildren.
AARON JOHNSTON is a New York Times bestselling author, comic book writer, and screenwriter who often collaborates with science-fiction legend Orson Scott Card. He and his wife are the parents of four children.
Orson Scott Card currently resides in Greensboro, in the state of North Carolina. Orson Scott Card was born in 1951.
Orson Scott Card has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Rachel and Leah: Women of Genesis?
Engaging and insightful Jul 9, 2008
I was so excited when I came across a copy of this book, and it is an amazing read, that takes us through the lives of four incredible young women later to be mothers of the Nation of Israel.
First we read about Bilah, a clever young girl, who is taken by a a friend of her late father's to Laban's camp at Padan Aram, after her father's death in a tragic work accident, before we are introduced to 'tender eyed' Leah, the ravishing Rachel and the other handmaiden Zilpah. Rachel and Leah are introduced to us at the ages of eleven and fourteen respectively. Bilah is a similar age to Rachel and Zilpah a similar age to Leah. As we read of the lives and interactions of four beautiful girls, each with their own unique personalities and characters, I grew to love and care about them all.
The entry of Jacob fleeing from his brother Esau's wrath shapes the lives of all four girls who will later bear Jacob's twelve sons.
Card departs very little from the Biblical novel while filling in the caps in a most skillful manner. It is an interesting insight into the intricacies of the lives of the characters who shaped the history of the nation of Israel. A very sensitive insightful, and compassionate portrayal that kept the right amount of humour and intrigue. Fascinating insights into the Book of the revelations of Enoch as Enoch, who walked with the people of Zion, is taken up to heaven, as Jacob teaches Leah and Bilah. The only flaw may be that the author seems to downplay the love of Jacob for Rachel who was in fact the center of his attention, and he turns Laban, who is not well though of in Jewish and Christian scripture into a sympathetic character.
But we feel as if we are really there in Padan-Aram as we share the lives of Jacob and four fascinating young women. Card shows a deep understanding of women and of men and of their interactions. It is a novel and a work of historical fiction that is at once engaging and enlightening. It really deepened my perspectives of these events and people. I am determined when I am next in Israel to visit Rachel's Tomb between Gilo and Beit Lechem and the Tomb of the Matriarchs in Tiberias where Zilpah and Bilah are buried, having visited the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron where Jacob and Leah are buried.
Disappointing Feb 22, 2008
I was excited to read this book because I really enjoyed "Sarah" and "Rebekah." Unfortunately, I found this particular book to be filled with inaccuracies and sexual references. It is in no way as disgusting and offensive as the account of these four women in "The Red Tent," but it made me wonder if Orson Scott Card was trying to capitalize on the success of that book by imitating it. I understand that historical fiction is just that -- fiction. But it's difficult to take the word of God and ancient stories that have been passed down for thousands of years and change them around just to suit an author's whims. I would have appreciated this book more if it had built a story that was more faithful to the accounts in the book of Genesis.
solid, uplifting fiction with strong female characters Feb 1, 2008
The third book in Card's Women of Genesis series, this intertwines the stories of four women - the two sisters from the title and their unlikely handmaidens, Bilhah and Zilpah. Similar in tone and style to the previous entries in the series, Sarah and Rebekah, it remains faithful to what is shown in the Bible while breathing full life and spirit into the characters.
While the book is clearly one about faith, it does not shove that down the reader's throat. The women have normal hopes, fears and dreams. They are shown to be as strong as the men around them, which isn't a common view from biblical times. It is not often you can find spiritually uplifting fiction that flows this well.
Card is an excellent writer, and fans of his better known science fiction and fantasy works would be well served to try out this series.
Complaint Nov 13, 2007
I have already mentioned to you that I never recieved this book, I am expecting you to do something about this Rachael and Leah,also Zipporah wife to Moses and also Rebecca. These are three books I never recieved. Please correct this Carolyn.
Bibically shamed Oct 19, 2007
The plot was okay other then too much dialouge and people argueing, but after reading three books in the series of Women in Genensis I was increasingly trouble by things the books claim didn't happen. Of course I know this is fiction and the author has every right to fill in missing places of the Bible with speculation and imagination, but to repeatly have the characters claim a part of the Bible isn't true distrubs me. At least twice in two of the books it's said that Isaac never tried to pass his wife off as his sister like Abraham did. However the Bible says they did. If the author didn't like that part of the story he could have just left it out, not called the Bible false. There are other Bibical problems with the books, but I wouldn't fault the author for not being totally bibically correct. We can't memorize the whole Bible and get every detail right. I may have kept reading his books anyway because I do really like that a central theme in the books is that there's only God and He loves us and has a wonderful plan for us even when it doesn't seem likely. However something I read in the afterword of the book Sarah made me reject any more of his books. If you don't mind the quote it said, "...I believe in the Bible so seriously that I think it really is what it claims to be - a record, written by men, of stories that seemed important and truthful to them at the time of writing, using the standards of truth available to them at the time. This means that the idea of inerrancy of Biblical scripture is silly on its face." The Bible never claims to be just a book of records. It is inerrant as evidence by how little it has changed over the centuries. We can't just pick and choose what we want to believe or there really isn't a guidline. Maybe next an author will say not all of the ten comandments are real and God probably didn't really tell people not to murder. Maybe that's unlikely, but you get the idea.