Cover Image: Potiphar's Wife

Potiphar's Wife

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Member Reviews

Mesu Andrews has an incredible gift: Keeping true to all known details, she can craft plausible backstories and dialog to flesh out lesser-known characters from the Bible and bring them to life.  

When I first heard about her new book, Potiphar’s Wife, I was intrigued to see how Andrews would tackle writing about a Biblical “bad girl,” Zuleika.  Zuleika is infamous from the Genesis story of Joseph. She was the wife of Pharaoh’s guard captain who falsely accused Joseph of rape when he turned down her sexual advances. 

Andrews rose to the challenge admirably, even managing to make me a bit more sympathetic, albeit not approving, of why Potiphar’s wife might have acted as she did. The author’s depth of research and talent for painting with words help pull readers into her stories quickly, as exemplified yet again by this book.  Be prepared for some late nights once you start reading Potiphar’s Wife, as it is hard to put down! 

Andrews offers fascinating insights into the ancient Egyptian culture throughout the book and rounds out the story with wonderful supporting characters and love relationships that help make it an extremely compelling read. 

I highly recommend Potiphar’s Wife to anyone who enjoys reading Biblical fiction.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, but I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.
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I was really awed by this book. The writer brought the characters alive and a very descriptive story kept me wanting to turn to the next page. An intricate weave of events and this was a most interesting topic. I loved the book and may even read it again. A very enjoyable read and fascinating story. A must read!
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How on earth can anyone make an even semi-palatable character out of one of the most infamous women of the Bible?! Potiphar’s Wife by Mesu Andrews will open your eyes to possible reasons why this much-maligned lady acts as she does. Your attitude may be more sympathetic as you consider this well-researched historical novelty that is careful to agree with any actual Biblical truth we are provided of her and her times. Well-done, Ms. Andrews!! 

This novel is unique in that it employs first-person and third-person POV’s. Only a very skillful writer can successfully carry this off, and Andrews soars with this style.

What a wonderful chance to glimpse the inner workings of an Egyptian courtroom. I loved the intrigue and the fine line between friendships and servants. Also, the relationship between friends that changes when one of them becomes Pharaoh, a god, yet obviously with human foibles. 

Cultural differences are such a huge part of this breathtaking story. I kept saying, “Why doesn’t this character do this or that?” But Andrews opens my eyes to how training and environment make a huge difference in the way a person views and responds to a situation. 

And the multiple love relationships within this novel are compelling. Some friend for friend, some husband for wife, some familial, some lovers. Ah… so well-depicted, yet clean enough to not feel shame for reading. 

Since I have a penchant for picking favorite supporting characters, I will give two. Pushpa, Potiphar’s surrogate mother, and Ahira, who is Zuleika’s personal maid. Both are so wise, gentle, and care so much for others.  

Oh, one other thing I loved that I must mention. Thank you for showing Joseph to be human, not perfect as we sometimes are either taught or caught!

I loved that the maps, glossary, and character list were all at the front!! I was also pleased with such well-organized author’s notes at the end. These were the best or at least most useful reader’s helps in a book I’ve yet read! 
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Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of the book. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own. 
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A slave doesn’t always wear chains, nor does a master possess all power.

“No one should know everything about anything.”

“I can’t tend the wounds inside you, dear one, but they will heal. I promise. They may leave scars—ugly ones. But you can choose how those scars affect your future. Will you use the ugliest memories as the focal point, weaving every future event tightly around it with its repetitive themes? Or will you weave your scars into a larger tapestry with more variegated experiences that can comfort or instruct others?”- Pushpa

Don’t assign the sins of men to a faithful God. Elohim will never betray you, and He can protect you in ways I never could. Trust Him, Ahira.”- Joseph

“What if I don’t like your god’s plan?” She squeezed my hand. “Then we trust Him together for a future we don’t understand and perhaps see His goodness when we recount our past.”-Ahira

but let mercy and forgiveness become the ruins on which a stronger house is built.”

Sometimes God’s favor is simply a spark that keeps hope alive in utter darkness.

Trust His presence in the dark, but never stop hoping for light.

“Honesty is telling the truth. Transparency is telling the whole truth. Some are honest but become deceitful in the things they choose to hide.”— Pharaoh Khyan
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The story of God’s providence through Joseph’s life is one of my all time favorites from God’s word. It has led me through my own dark pits of life. As a fan of Mesu Andrews’ Biblical fiction work, I could not wait to read this fictional account of Joseph’s life. To be honest I was a bit hesitant when I realized the focus was on the ‘villain’ of the story. However, as I read this book God used Mesu’s extraordinary story telling and dedicated historical research to bring to life this story and demonstrate God’s mercy and grace to all His people. 
Trapped and alone, you will see Potiphar’s wife in a different light. This book kept me guessing where the story would turn even though I know the Biblical account so well. The rich culture of Egypt is shown through the vivid descriptions provided in this book, and will lead you to another place in time. As the main character, Zuleika’s, life unfolds I found myself rooting for her one moment and wanting to see her punished the next. In this book you will find redemption, grace, and mercy as the connecting thread through each character’s life as they face their own triumphs and difficulties.
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I love reading fiction books based on Scripture.  It really helps me to view the characters as real people and brings the Scriptures alive.  Mesu Andrews has written a winner in Potiphar's Wife!!  Her research has added a depth to this story that truly gives it credence; it's so easy to picture the setting, characters, and events that took place in this book.  I enjoyed every moment while reading this book and look forward to reading more by this author!
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Perhaps you have considered who Potiphar’s wife was when reading the story of Joseph. Having never given it much thought, this story is a fascinating narrative of who she may have been. Zuleika, born into the royal family in Crete was groomed to be queen someday. Necessity forcing her to leave, she gave up all she knew for the benefit of those left behind. Given in marriage to a man she did not know would she be able to face her new life with courage?

The author takes the reader along as she slowly unwraps the layers around this beautiful woman. A prisoner in a land not her own, she joins Joseph and others who must learn to survive. Can they learn to rely on the God who sees and trust Him for a future they don’t understand?

This ARC was received through WaterBrook, Random House and NetGalley. These impressions are my own and were in no way solicited.
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I found Potiphar’s Wife and interesting work of writing. I always appreciate this author’s take on a subject because I know she does extensive research.  I look forward to each new book and I have read every book she has published; I like her work that well. 

One reason for following this author is I love how she takes the historical records and does her spin on the details that are not available.  This is a page turner and I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next.  The characters are believable and engaging.  This for Christian historical fiction fans.  It is one of her best works in my opinion.  If you know Mesu Andrews, you will not be disappointed and if you are not familiar with her – check it out!  Dive deeper into the story of Joseph!
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It was so exciting to see an author take on the story of Potiphar's wife. She stands prominently as the ultimate bad girl in the Bible. Zully is the wife of Potiphar, an older man who serves Pharoah. 
In Mesu Andrews capable hands and immense research; the story of Joseph vividly takes shape and comes to life. As a reader, I was prepared to dislike a woman who would throw herself at a man and then claim rape when he rejected her advances. Ms. Andrews, while not condoning such behavior, helps explain what may have prompted such an outrageous act. 
Why did this book earn five stars?
1. Kudos to Mesu Andrews for such an original plotline.
2. Ms. Andrews writes beautifully. You can literally visualize everything in her books.
3. Research, research, research! 
4 The plot is compelling and keeps you interested.
5. That cover! That will be in my top five most beautiful covers of the year. 
6. Honorable mention: Mesu Andrews is on my top five list of Biblical history 'must read authors'. She is heavy on research, remains true to Scripture and what is known about people, events and culture of that time.
Does Zully feel remorse for the years she stole from Joseph as he languished in prison? Is there redemption at the end? 
Joseph's life story is well known and filled with despair. Yet in the midst there is hope. This book is a must-read!
I received an Advance Review Copy of this book. All opinions are my own. @mesuandrews #potipharswife @waterbrook&multnomah
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"Then we trust Him together for a future we don't understand and perhaps see His goodness when we recount our past."

I knew I would love this book because Mesu Andrews wrote it. I also knew there would be well-researched history and culture woven throughout the story, beautiful and engaging writing style, multiple voices painting the story, and a strong faith thread - all the reasons I adore the author's books. What I didn't expect was Zully, the main character. She speaks in first person as Potiphar's wife and her Minoan background was delightful to learn about. I unfortunately did not understand her character nor empathize with her, even at the end of the book. Her obsession with her island home and her destructive nature did not sit well with me. So why am I giving this book 5 stars? Because the book is that good and that powerful, even with a main character who is more a villainess than heroine. The redemption and grace offered and received are truly powerful; I needed to be reminded of this all-encompassing grace.

Potiphar is a layered character in this book whose point of view is expressed in third person. His love for Zully was mind-blowing and his tenderness surprising. Joseph also enters the plot in third person perspective and we get to see a very human side of this Biblical hero. Ahira, a fictional Hebrew character enslaved from Jacob's camp, also has a third person voice as Zully's maid but also as Joseph's love interest. There is a sequel coming next year and I'm so hoping that we'll get to see Potiphar and Ahira again.

This story, told through the eyes and hearts of four very different people, reveals a captivating epic saga of love, desire, betrayal, politics, grace, mercy, and forgiveness under El Roi, the God Who Sees. Mesu Andrews is one of the best Biblical fiction authors and you'll want to read this latest masterpiece by this gifted writer. It will make you think, reach for your Bible, and pray as the journey unfolds.

I received the book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.
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This is an excellent book! The author brings the Bible to life with her words and does a wonderful job of mixing fact with fiction to make it a page turning read. If you are a fan of Biblical fiction you don't want to miss this book. 
I received a complimentary copy from WaterBrook & Multnomah via NetGalley and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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When writing Biblical Fiction Author Mesu Andrews does thorough research and one-dimensional Bible characters come alive in 3-D. She does not add to or take away from Scripture. She takes historical facts and weaves them into her stories. In this fictional portrayal of Potiphar’s wife, Zuleika is a king’s daughter on the isle of Crete. She goes to Egypt for the purpose of becoming the Pharoah’s third wife only to find herself married to Potiphar, a man twice her age. She yearns for her homeland and is lonely and desperate for affection. She becomes infatuated with Joseph; the Hebrew chamberlain to the Pharoah and her troubles start escalating. Will the God of Joseph heal her hurt and give her hope? I overwhelmingly recommend any book written by Author Mesu Andrews. They do not disappoint.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Net Galley. The opinions are my own.
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This was a very powerful novel.  I am thrilled that my husband and I have been reading the Old Testament recently so I knew the story very well.  The author did a wonderful job of meshing real history and fictional content.  This is the second Biblical fiction that I have read from this author.  I have enjoyed both of these books very much.
This Bible story totally came to life as I read it and was very entertaining as Potiphar's wife, Zully, tries to seduce Joseph and he wants nothing to do with that.  There is so much historical information in this book, you know the amount of research that goes into a work such as this.  I found myself totally captivated by the entire book as each of the characters truly are amazingly well written and you feel as you are right there experiencing their stories with them.  I love that Zully tells her story in her words and with her own feelings and  thoughts.  

This is a book I recommend.  It was very good!  

I received an ebook copy from WaterBrook through NetGalley.  All thoughts are my own.
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Typically Biblical Fiction is not the type of genre that I gravitate towards but when I read it by someone that truly knows how to capture it I am completely hooked. This is my first book by Mesu Andrews and it will definitely not be my last. We all know the story of Joseph but she managed to place my in Egypt and into a world that I could've never have imagined by myself. Now, let me re-state this is Biblical fiction so obviously she has taken liberties with the story however you can also tell that she has done extensive research and she even has author's notes at the end of the story where she tells you where information has come from and where she added her fiction flare to the story. 

It does however give you a "perhaps" or "what-if" thoughts regarding Potiphar's wife, Zuleika or Zully as she is known throughout the story. When reading the Bible story of Joseph we see her as this bad girl but really we don't even know anything about her. This story makes you see her in a new light and although we can't excuse her behavior the fact remains that we all fall short of God's grace. Lucky for us he is a forgiving God. 

I mean while reading you have to feel compassion for her. She is a princess who has just lost both her husband and mother in an earthquake. She sacrifices herself and is willing to go to Egypt and marry Pharaoh in order to rebuild her city which she loves. She gets to Egypt and instead of Pharaoh he gives her to Potiphar and although he is kind to her he doesn't know what it is to be a husband. His main job is to keep Pharaoh alive and although he is kind to Zully he leaves her to tend to his responsibilities. In the midst of all this her best friend Gaios betrays her and she becomes a shell of a woman. There is so much more that happens that I am not going to divulge because you should really read it but all I could see was a broken woman, searching for something that would take her out of the situation she was in. 

I want to believe that there was someone like Ahira and Joseph that may have shown her who Elohim truly was and that she repented and learned to serve Him but we will never know until perhaps our time in Heaven with out Creator where we can ask all the questions of the people in the Bible we have been reading about all this time. 

If you enjoy Biblical Fiction I definitely recommend this one. It will take you on a journey of forgiveness, redemption, mercy and faith. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
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I’m always excited for a new Mesu Andews story. This author has a way of bringing characters I’ve briefly read about in the Bible to life, and making me care and feel for them.

Potiphar’s Wife was no different. This fictional story about someone I rarely thought about did make me wonder about who The person behind the scenes to Jospeh’s road in Egypt was as well as giving me more meat about Potiphar as well.

Zuleika’s decisions frustrated me and at one point towards the end I was so irritated with her that I wanted to stop reading! This is evident of great writing because my emotions was due to the author making Zukeika feel real. It was sad to see a bold, courageous full of life woman become so lost and broken and ending up making lost and broken decisions.

The story did feel a bit more ‘steamier’ than previous books read by this author.

I loved Bushpa and Ahira and the way Joseph trusted Elohim even though everyone else around him was lost and worshiped idols.

I think fans of Mesu Andrews and Biblical fiction will enjoy this story.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.*
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I have to say that this is a book written by an excellent author which is a fictional account of what could have happened. Potiphar's wife is mentioned in the Bible as a way to show more of what Joseph endured when a slave in Egypt.
That being said, it is a colorful, imaginative and interesting story. The beginning was filled with action and emotion. It gave reason for this woman Zully to be a humanized version of what we who have read the Biblical account know her to be evil. The descriptive writing of the area, buildings, customs and possible attitudes of people from Crete to Egypt was interesting to me. What becomes of Joseph and Zully is a bit of an odd story to lead up to her demanding sex and lying which puts him in prison. Again, it's a fiction story, Mesu Andrews take on what could be. I can't even begin to imagine the work that goes into a book like this.
I want to thank Waterbrook and NetGalley for my advanced reader's copy of this book. Overall, I liked the story. I could envision what the author had described. It was very interesting to me. This kind of story makes me think. This is my own unsolicited opinion.
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Compelling!
I love Mesu Andrew's unique way of penning biblical fiction. Her research is top-notch. Imagine it as a work of art, the background that is grounded in the truths from scripture, with a sharp outline of historical research, then colored in with a creative fictional account that inspires the imagination. 

At times, Potiphar's Wife was a difficult book to read. I did not like the main character, finding her choices to be very different from ones I may have chosen. However, I had to remember that I was reading with the lens of a christian. Yet I found her story of brokenness followed by redemption to be one that is experienced by many. It might look different, but the biblical truths of forgiveness and mercy are timeless. 

Totally immersed in this story and cannot wait for its sequel. Highly recommend!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the author/ publisher through Netgalley. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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During my 2021 Biblical fiction reading challenge, I discovered many new authors. Some were good enough, but one emerged to become a new favorite author. And that was Mesu Andrews. I read every single one of her books and couldn’t get enough. I loved Andrews’ weaving of Biblical narrative, ancient historical context, deep character development and moving plotlines. When I saw that Mesu Andrews was releasing a new book this year, Potiphar’s Wife, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

Little is known Biblically about Potiphar’s wife, but she’s a pivotal character in the Joseph narrative in the book of Genesis. Mesu Andrews consults many historical sources to provide this woman not just a name, but a rich backstory that paints new colors on this portion of Scripture.

Princess Zuleika is daughter of a king on the island of Crete, but tragic circumstances send her to Egypt seeking the heart of a Pharaoh…only to find herself wed to the captain of his guard. Princess Zuleika (or Zully) is in a foreign land with foreigners for friends, specifically two Hebrew servants and an Egyptian cook. Zully continues to make choices that hurt those around her, until she finally reaches rock bottom. Zully reaches out for Elohim, the God of the Hebrews, but is it enough to redeem her in the eyes of those she’s betrayed?


I love the story of Joseph in the Bible, and I was so excited to read this. I love how Mesu Andrews wrote this from multiple points of view, from Zully to Potiphar to Joseph and Zully’s Hebrew handmaid. I found myself struggling to like Zully for most of the novel, even when I knew her biggest betrayal was yet to come. I was heartbroken realizing how mental illness must have been dealt with in these ancient times, and tried to find sympathy for this character. Most of this novel is political intrigue and conspiracy, at times which I found difficult to follow. I loved the immersion in Egyptian culture and how Joseph would have been viewed in the midst of this culture. At times, this novel reminded me of The Pharaoh’s Daughter, which is maybe my favorite of Mesu Andrews’ novels. Overall, I was a big fan of this book and can’t wait for the sequel in 2023!

My rating – 4.5 of 5 stars
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Let me begin by saying I am a huge fan of the writing of Mesu Andrews.  The stories she weaves make you stop and think, "Could that have really happened?"  I was excited the read Potiphar's Wife because I have been reading the story of Joseph in the Bible.  Potiphar's Wife is the story of Zulieka, a princess from the isle of Crete who is traded to Potiphar in exchange for financial aid.  Potiphar, Pharaoh's Captain of the Guards, doesn't want a wife and spends all of his time working.  Zulieka, yearns to return home to Crete and the people she loves.  

I do not want to give away the story but it is full of action.  I know that Mrs. Andrews researched everything to provide a background for her story.  It is a very well told story and it will keep you reading until the very end.  The one thing that struck me was how ruthless the people were in the book.  But then the people were idolaters and pagans.  I enjoyed reading this story.  I don't know that I agreed with all of it, but that is the best part of a story.  Each person can interpret it their own way.  I guess we will find out the real story when we get to Heaven.  Until then we have wonderful authors that make us wonder, pull down our Bibles and do a little research of our own.  

Thank you WaterBrook and Mesu Andrews for the wonderful story and for allowing me to read an advanced copy.  Keep writing and I will keep reading, Bible in hand, with a prayer of thanks on my lips.
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In the past year, I have rediscovered my love of historical fiction, especially Biblical fiction. The Bible only mentions one sentence about Potiphar's wife, but Mesu Andrews paints a beautiful and heartbreaking story of who Potiphar's wife could have been and the reasons for her actions against Joseph. I really appreciated the fact that Potiphar's wife is not necessarily the enemy that everyone thinks her to be. Obviously this is Biblical fiction, so just an idea of who she could have been, but being immersed into the time period (which learned no one knows exactly when Joseph was in Egypt) really makes the Bible come to life. Such a great read for lovers of Biblical fiction.

"I don't want Elohim to help you. To forgive you. I wish He'd turn His back to you. But His heart is for you, Zully. Even for you."

I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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I love Mesu Andrew's books so I was honored to be selected to receive a complimentary copy of "Potiphar's Wife".  This historical biblical story allowed me to be a part of the times of Joseph when his brothers sold him into Egypt and his whole story as it is told in Genesis in the Bible.. I also learned of the Island of Crete and the kingdom as it may have been there.  When reading this book, one can see how extensive the author's research has been in her storytelling.. 
I thoroughly enjoyed this story of "what might have been".  What stands out is the fact that "God works out all things for His Glory and for our benefit".
I highly recommend this book!
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