Cover Image: Miriam's Song

Miriam's Song

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Member Reviews

I think this was a decent book, but it just was not for me. Biblical retelling are not a subject I usually go for, so as much as I liked the book, it just is not really my genre. 

Thank you, Jill Eileen Smith for an ARC of your book. It is potient and true. It just is not the genre I am most interested in.
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This was an outstanding book about Moses’ sister, Miriam and told the story of Moses from infant to when Miriam died sometime after Joshua and Caleb’s first trip into the Promised Land.  The story was timely and was a spiritual experience for me. I could not put it down.  

This book was well researched and I felt like I was along for the journey.  This is another one of this author’s wonderful Biblical historical novels.  I highly recommend it to fans of this genre.

I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from NetGalley.  All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
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A story of Miriam, Moses's sister that guarded him in the bulrushes when he was rescued by the Egyptian Princess. All boys born to the Israelites were subject to death. Due to the careful planning of his mother, Moses was saved. Even though he is Israelite he is raised as an Egyptian prince. His heart is with his people and his greatest desire is to see them released from slavery.
A great story. The author has taken artistic liberties but it adds to the smooth reading of the story.
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Miriam's Song is a great story. Miriam is one who has always fascinated me, especially with 'how could she have lived through all that, and still speak against Moses?' This book does a remarkable job of answering that. 

Following Moses' journey through his sister's eyes was both fun and hard. You could see just how it would be possible for her to be a prophetess, and a leader, and follow God and Moses her whole life, and still fall into trouble. Little bits of pride and 'self' can skew your worldview. 

I loved how the author wove Miriam's story into the known facts of the time, and was left satisfied at the end. I love how God uses us to do things only He can do. As long as we remember that We're not the ones doing these things, God is, it'll go well with us!

I received a copy of this book from #Netgalley and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own.
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Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC for an honest review.

This book was very well written.  The characters were well developed and the action moved.  The fictional characters were well thought out and the real ones were very well researched..  At times I wondered if I was reading the actual Bible.  I gave the book 4 stars for that reason.  I don't like to bring the rating down for my personal opinion.  For me, the book seemed to drag.  Maybe because I am familiar with the story, I wasn't drawn back to the book after having put it down.  I'm not sure how the author could have made it more interesting for me.  But if you are not familiar with Miriam, this is a good book to read.
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This was my first book by this author, It was pretty enjoyable. I would give this book a 5 star rating! It was a pretty Quick and easy read!
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3.5 stars

This is the first book I’ve read by this author. So I’m not familiar with her other Biblical fiction stories for which she is known and praised.

The story begins with young Hatshepsut. She is the only child of Pharaoh Thutmose’ I first wife. From the young age she dreams of wearing her father’s crown. She eavesdrops on his conversations as she wants to find out the fate of the Israelites. He told her previously that “they had to be cruel to people who could oppress them.” Now, he says they have to be harsher. What does it mean? The heads of the Hebrew midwives are told to kill all newborn boys.

When Miriam’s brother is born, young Miriam understands she needs to keep this as secret. What she doesn’t understand is her mother’s plan. After weaving a basket, the mother places the baby-boy in it and puts “the basket in the water near the bulrushes along the Nile, where the princess comes to bathe.” Hatshepsut finds the baby and makes an arrangement with Miriam’s mother to care for the baby until the child is weaned. Hatshepsut names him Moses, because she “drew him out of water.”

With passing of Thutmose I, Hatshepsut and Thutmose II are to wed. Will the fate of Hebrew slaves change?

The story has a very strong beginning, but then it becomes obvious it’s a retelling of Moses’ story without any fresh edge to it. It fails to bring a compelling story. I was very much drawn by the character of Hatshepsut and thought she would take integral part in this story as she is the adoptive mother of Moses. But that’s not the case.

Also, the character-development, the sense of place and suffering are not well-depicted. There is constant forward time jump, and because of that it lacks concentration on developing those aspects. It just glazes over them. For example, at the end of one chapter, Moses is warned about his life and told to leave the palace. In the next chapter, there is a lapse in ten-years and no one knows where Moses is.

For those who enjoy mellow retelling of stories, this still might be an enjoyable read.
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A story of hope and leadership.  Miriam's Song  tells the story of Miriam and how she stepped up to lead her family and overcome obstacles.  It is a well written book and really gives insight into her life and what she had to do to be the person she was.  It really gives you insight into how to live you life with the purpose you are given. 

I was given a copy to read, the review is mine.
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Jill Eileen Smith's fictional story about Miriam, the sister of Moses, gives new insight into an Old Testament woman who does not seem to have been very sympathetically treated in the Biblical account, where we get a picture of a woman who perhaps oversteps her place in society. 
The older sister who transported the famous baby in the basket to the Nile River reeds and watched as he was "rescued" by the Pharoah's daughter is destined to live forever in the shadow of her much more famous sibling.  
Jill Smith has made a career of writing fictional accounts of Old Testament women which stay close to the Biblical sources, and this is both the strength and possibly the weakness of Miriam's Song.
It's authenticity is undisputed. The story follows the Biblical account closely, but a reader can't help wishing the author had allowed her creative imagination to play a little more freely with the character's thoughts and wishes.
Modern sensibilities can anticipate the frustration a strong woman who is also an accepted prophet, might feel at not being given much room to express her gifts and demonstrate leadership and this is hinted at but not developed.  
We feel Miriam's frustration at the way her life unfolds, and we share it. Maybe in the end we wish we could see through to happier resolution.
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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.

Stars: This author obviously did a lot of research into this Biblical story of Miriam.

Wishes: I wish this book didn't read like a YA novel. There were too many points of view, the characters were not developed enough in my opinion, and I believe much of the content could have been edited down. I didn't love this one.
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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.*
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Miriam's Song may be Jill Eileen Smith's best book yet! I've read all of her other biblical fiction and I am always impressed with the detail and accuracy she brings to each story. If you've not yet read one of her books you need to treat yourself soon.

In the biblical account Moses is the main character, as he should be. Miriam is his older sister and we meet her with the account of her brother's birth. After that the story shifts primarily to Moses. But who is Miriam? What was going on in her life in the intervening years between Moses' birth and the time when the Israelites are set free?

Jill fills in the gaps with information we know and what we can assume was taking place.  Before I read one of her books I like to read over the biblical account so I can keep in mind what is fact and what is fiction. Every time I have been impressed with her ability to merge the two while remaining dedicated to the historical record.

If you've never read biblical fiction because you are hesitant about the fiction aspect I urge you to give Miriam's Song a try. I think you will lose yourself in the beauty of the story of a woman chosen by God to uphold His servant Moses. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading many more by her.

I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
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This epic saga shares the fictionalized story of Miriam, the older sister of Moses. The author weaves a credible account based on the limited information found in the Bible and using historical details and her imagination to craft a believable retelling. Some things the author chose to include that surprised me were that Miriam was only five when she watched over her baby brother in the Nile and that she married and had children. The sweeping drama of slavery in Egypt and the Exodus draws readers right into the action and makes them feel like they’re in the midst of it too. I appreciate the cultural details and the possibilities she explored for some elements that Scripture doesn’t provide specific information, like about Moses’s Egyptian wife. Whether you’re familiar with the tale or not, this novel will take you back thousands of years to experience what the Israelites did in those days. I think it would make a good book for group discussion. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
#MiriamsSong #NetGalley
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This book brings to life the story of Miriam, and  things she might have faced as Moses' sister. I always enjoy biblical fiction as a way to gain a deeper understanding of people from those long ago Bible days.
The author was careful to not stray from what is written in the Bible, but to stay as accurate as possible. There are a few minor details added, which are necessary when writing this type of fiction, but mostly it just sticks to the Biblical accounts.
I was just a little disappointed that she didn't elaborate more on Miriam's life. I think there are lots of interesting and intriguing possibilities there. However, I also understand that it could be quite difficult to write in a way that stays completely true to the biblical account, so I can empathize a bit with the quandary the author might have found herself in as she wrote this story!
If you enjoy biblical fiction, I do recommend this book. It is very interesting to read this story about how the Israelites suffered in Egypt, and then were delivered, and their very long and tiresome journey to the Promised Land. 
Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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It was nice to get a new perspective of how Moses grew up.  I really enjoyed reading about what Miriam went through all of the years before Moses came to lead the people out of slavery.  This really gives you a different look at what the people went through.  I really liked Miriam.  I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
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A wonderful story of truly Biblical proportions! I loved the way this book was written even though a character asking for ‘snacks’ did jar a bit. I felt that names from the Bible both familiar and less well known were brought to life.
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I love the story of Miriam and Jill Eileen Smith captures the essence of her so well in this book. Rich in historical details with a healthy dose of possibility, I felt like I was walking alongside Miriam during many of her powerful life experiences. She becomes relatable and personable, not just Moses’s sister who lived so long ago. Told from the perspective of others, you get to see Miriam through the eyes of those who knew and loved her best. The story drove me to reread what I thought I knew about Miriam and enjoy the possibilities merged with what is known to be true. A highly recommended Biblical fiction! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley and all opinions expressed are my own, freely given.
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I appreciate the difficulty in the undertaking of writing in the perspective of Miriam. She is the elder sister of Moses and is known for her obedience to make sure her baby brother is safe from the edict of Pharaoh. The movie the 10 Commandments may be the only version of Moses many know and the bible of course is told in the bigger story which is God redeeming mankind and using the people of Israel to do that. Not much is told of Miriam and what is told is written in Miriam's Song. What led to the leprosery of Miriam and how did she feel about Moses and why. There was jealousy of course because we all are human. I have to say I did feel better about Miriam's story after I read the author's note to the reader and agree with her that Miriam's Song reflects the holiness of God.

God deals with Miriam with her insecurities and questions and her relationship with her brothers Aaron and Moses. What God was teaching the people of Israel and why did they have to wander for 40 years. My personal opinion is that Israel's story is prophetic to the churches and the return of Christ. We must realize the holiness of God and let it be the way we draw near to him and his plan for redemption. Miriam's Song is our story as well. A story about working out our faith to a holy God.

A Special thank you to Revell and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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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.
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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. 
“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.
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