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Potiphar's Wife

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Member Reviews

Mesh Andrews is a outstanding, intriguing and knows how to pull a person into the story.

   I've read the story of Joseph, Potiphar  and his wife, but this story showed me what it might have been like. The characters seemed real and wonderfully written. There were areas of the book that made a tear come to my eyes and areas that made me upset with that character.

I would highly recommend this book. If you love Christian Historical Fiction book this will not disappoint you.

I will be giving this great book 5 out of 5

I received this complimentary book from publisher and Netgalley for a honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are mine
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Mesu Andrews is a master at creating a story that embraces the cultural setting, customs and attitudes of the time. Her extensive historical research not only grasps the period but also captures the historical figures so well that you can’t help but believe the resulting story could very well be what truly happened or is at least exceptionally close to the true events. 

This story sets the reader into the time and place of Joseph’s life between his time in slavery and his rise to power in Egypt. Andrews crafts a brilliantly balanced storyline with multiple POVs, writing Potiphar’s wife in close and personal first person while other POVs were written in third person. The emotions I felt while reading were part of what I found to be so compelling. Andrews characters are well developed, vivid and frustrating, even extremely lost and sinful yet you want them to find Elohim all the same.

Potiphar’s wife. A woman who suffered loss yet sacrificed so much for the sake of her homeland. The life she loved and the future she clung to died in a day. With no time to grieve, she performed her duty as their princess and the only answer to the rebuilding of her beloved Crete.

Zuleikha  (Zully) is both aggravating, manipulative, and unnerving. Her constant deception continually creates a wake of destruction within her path. This story delves into the possible triggers and motivations for why she was who she was and acted as she did. She was ridiculed by the noblewomen, put to shame, and publicly shunned. Even Potiphar left her just a day after they wed and kept making promises that he did not keep....”His promises were as empty as my heart.” Zully had no support, no family and no real purpose anymore. She just wanted to go home.

This novel also explores the atrocities and brutality, sinfulness, lies, greed and illicit acts individuals will commit for the sake of power and insatiable longings to  have their own way. The magnitude of conflict throughout the storyline was, no doubt, true to the time in history but unsettling all the same. Even so, the last third of the book was amazing, as Andrews weaves Elohim through the wreckage created by each MC and creates a beautiful and unexpected ending.

I received this book from the publisher free of charge with no expectation of a positive review.
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What a beautiful story by Mesu Andrews! Potiphar’s wife is probably one of the most infamous and despised women in the Bible, but this book actually made me feel a bit sorry for her. Through this fictional work, the author provided a well-crafted backstory as to what may have led Potiphar’s wife to become deceitful and accuse Joseph. There were many key characters in this story that came alive to me and were extremely relatable. Overall, a wonderful biblical fiction book that I highly recommend!

* I received an e-ARC copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I like reading Biblical fiction because we don't know exactly what happened or what was said beyond what the Bible tells us, but each book recounts what could have happened in the author's mind. This is true for Mesu Andrews' new book, Potiphar's Wife. She has taken a small piece of Biblical history where Potiphar's wife tries to seduce Joseph and turned it into a novel exploring why and how did it come about. Who was the unnamed woman and what was her history? 

Zulekia's beloved homeland of Crete is destroyed by a massive earthquake. She loses her husband, mother, and other friends and family. Desperate to rebuild, her father, the king can see no other alternative but to establish a bond between Crete and Egypt by giving Zulekia in marriage to the pharaoh and receive aid in return. They are surprised to find that Pharaoh has no intention of marrying again. Instead, he offers Crete food and supplies if Zulekia marries his best friend, Potiphar. 
Thus begins Zulekia's new chapter in the land of Egypt. She struggles to find friends she can trust, makes many  blunders in court, and longs to return to Crete. In her desperate attempts to feel loved and cherished, she turns to her husband's most trusted servant, Joseph. And we know how those lies turned out.

I felt the book was very well written. It had likable characters and I thought it painted a good picture of early Egyptian life. My only criticism would be Zulekia's constant whining about going home. It just felt a little too much. I found myself getting annoyed while reading every time the subject came up. But other than that, it was a fun read!
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I can honestly say that I have never thought much about the woman who seduced Joseph before this book. It was such an interesting concept and I had no idea what kind of journey I would on when I started Potiphar’s Wife. It made me look at a “villain” of the Bible and think with compassion. I love that this is a Bible story that you can know like the back of your hand and Mesu Andrews makes you take pause and think about the people involved. I connected with Zully in a way that was unexpected. I wanted to help her and show her the way but all I could do was turn the page and keep reading. Joseph was so interesting as the story progressed and I wanted more after the last page! I really want a sequel to follow up on Joseph’s story but I am also so happy with how Zully’s journey finished. 

I received an arc via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
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Warning: this does talk about rape, manipulation, mental abuse, loss of a child.

This was an interesting story. I wasn't fully connected to the story or the characters, but I appreciated and enjoyed the plot and how Mesu weaved scripture into this biblical fiction. The writing was superb and the atmosphere made me feel as if I was there at Potiphar's house or the palace.

Zuleika aka Zully was a determined, loud mouth brat to me. Spoiled in every way, but also hardworking. I was saddened by the lost of her mother and betrothed. I was heartbroken by all the things she experienced. I didn't connect to nor really care for her. She upset quiet often along with Gaios. I felt sorry for her. I will say the ending she got was beautiful.

Joseph was amazing. Seeing him as the chamberlain for Potiphar, working behind the scenes, was so exciting to read about. He was headstrong and hardworking. He made God the center of it all. He never abused his power or overstepped boundaries. He was kind to everyone and helped where and how he could.

Joseph's romance with Ahira annoyed me at first, but I loved how they both made sure that the other knew God would see them through their darkest hours. It was absolutely cute.

Potiphar seemed like a rude guy at first, but then as he began to open up I started to like him. I enjoyed his perspective a lot, but was sadden by the fact that he realized his love for his new wife too late. Potiphar was also very dedicated to his job and role of bodyguard so I feel like his job was more of his wife than anything else.

Pharaoh seemed a good friend, but sometimes I feel like he overplayed his role as ruler. Gaios was dog from start to finish. He was manipulative, controlling, deceitful and the list goes on. Very much a narcissist from start to finish. King Rehor wasn't a terrible father, but I didn't like how he abandoned his daughter, Zully. He could have done a bit more rather than try to manipulate her into "helping" her people.

Overall, this was a good read and I would recommend it to others to read. I really enjoyed my read of this new release.
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I have to start with a warning- this book directly includes abuse of the captive slaves, and especially the abuse on many levels against women.  I don't remember this type of detail or trauma in other books by this author.  That being said- if you know the biblical story of Potiphar's wife- the mention of inappropriate sexual interaction can't be a total shock, but this read will not be for everyone.  

This book was different than other books I've read by Mesu Andrews.  I can't quite put my finger on why- but I think it's because other books that I have read are more focused on the main characters following God while the world around them has evil and sin that influence their lives greatly. We the reader are brought into a journey of faith in the characters we invest in.  But this book is probably more realistic fiction and perhaps as a reader, we see ourselves in the choices made by several main characters that reflect the sin nature and the struggle it brings.   I think other reviewers have said that Zully the Princess and Potipher's wife was a struggle for them, and I sensed that while in most of the book she was not likable, she likely might meet Elohim herself personally.  But I think the fact that throughout most of the book we faced sin head-on in the lives of the main characters makes this book harder to process, but on the other hand, this book may be one of my faster reads by this author.  So it's not as comfortable to read as perhaps I resemble these events and choices.  

I found this book to be an intriguing and interesting biblical fiction read.  I am grateful to have read an advanced copy and review the book thanks to Waterbrook Publishing.
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Joseph is a beloved character in the Bible, and I've long known that the lies of one woman caused many of the tragic circumstances in his life. The Holy Bible refers to this woman as Potiphar's wife, but now, she has a name! Zuleika is the name that author Mesu Andrews gives her, and this book has given me a new perspective of this deceitful woman.

Andrews is an acclaimed author of biblical fiction, and this book is certainly another triumph for her. The combination of historical details and the author's imagination suggests an explanation for Zuleika's actions,  and I was actually led to feel sympathy for this woman who was forced into a loveless marriage and betrayed by those around her. I was intrigued by the interaction between Potiphar and Joseph, the romance between Joseph and  Zuleika's servant, Ahira, and Joseph's continuous rebuttal of Zully's advances. As I continued to read, I was reminded of several things. Zully's need for love and acceptance is universal, our lives are often determined by outside influences, but there is One who will never forsake us. Temptation is always present but acting on those temptations is our personal choice!

It's evident that Andrews devoted much time to research, and her storytelling kept me turning the pages to see if love and redemption were possible for this troubled, tragic woman. Potiphar's Wife is a must-read for all who enjoy biblical history!

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was absolutely no obligation for a favorable review. These are my unbiased thoughts.
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Once again Ms. Andrews has created a story rich in biblical history and brought the Egyptian country and customs to life in her new book, Potiphar's Wife. 

When I think about the story of Joseph in Genesis and Potiphar's wife's actions I don't exactly get all warm and fuzzy but Mesu Andrews gave her skin and showed why she may have behaved and why she did.

Zueleika was both frustrating and endearing if that is even possible. Mesu Andrews knows how to make a reader care about characters and become emotionally invested in the story and she accomplished that with this reader.

Within this story are themes of forgiveness, mercy, kindness, and faith. 

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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#BookRevew: POTIPHAR'S WIFE by Mesu Andrews

I didn’t know much about Potiphar’s wife aside from the fact that she seduced Joseph in Genesis. I had less expectations going into the story but I was interested to read this book.

The author brought Potiphar’s wife, Zuleika, through this fictional story. To be honest, I didn’t really care for her that much. I was troubled by Zuleika’s choices but her redemption was worth reading. The plot and her story was intriguing so I kept going. I liked Ahira and Pushpa.  The author did a lot of research based on the well crafted details and culture of the Minoans, Egyptians and the various people during those times. It opened my eyes more to the realities of life then. 

This was a compelling story. God works in mysterious ways and despite it all, He is always ever present in our lives. Please read the author's note at the end of the book.

If you like biblical fiction and insightful stories, this one’s for you.

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date: 24 May 2022

Thank you Waterbrook and #netgalley for the complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Are you a fan of the bad girls of the Bible? Do you like to see how God’s purpose is fulfilled even though evil seems to triumph? Do you like to think about what might have gone on behind the scenes of the events you read about in your Bible? 

Mesu Andrews pries open the tale of Potiphar’s wife in her new release and makes us wonder if she was genuinely horrid or if her circumstances shaped the woman we blame for Joseph’s time in prison. Potiphar’s Wife centers around Princess Zuleika, a strong and capable young woman whose father is king of the Zakros district of Crete and whose beloved husband will become king. Her world is turned upside down by a tragedy which rips her husband and mother away at the same time as it cripples the districts of the island she loves. The only hope to save her home is for her father to offer his most beloved possession in marriage to Egypt’s king. To fulfill her duty to her homeland, Zully is also ripped from her homeland and carried to Egypt before she the chance to mourn her losses.

Adding insult to injury, the beautiful and talented princess is handed off to Pharoah Khyan’s second in command. Potiphar is a crusty old soldier with no desire for a wife, and yet that is exactly what Zully must become. Torn from her family, passed over by the Egyptian king, and scorned by the noblewomen of her new homeland, Zully finds herself spiraling into the depression and madness she fought to resist. If not for a small group of slaves who are especially kind to her, there’s no telling how far she might fall.

This is the woman who flings herself at Joseph in desperation and seizes upon the opportunity to shame him. Yet this story is actually filled with strong women who work together. Ahira is one of those women, a Hebrew slave who is maid to Zully, and a woman both in need of healing and whose care heals others. Ahira’s devotion to her mistress is an opportunity for both to grow through their circumstances. Her care for Joseph is a ministry to him and to those who witness it throughout his dark days.

Potiphar’s Wife by Mesu Andrews is absolutely a must-read and is available now from your favorite local bookseller or online.

Thank you to the author and publisher for allowing me a copy to read and review. All opinions expressed here are my own and are completely genuine.
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I  love biblical fiction and this book didn't let me down! Mesu Andrews has done an amazing job of taking a woman we know little about and centred her story around it. I was pleasantly surprised by how she took figures like Joseph and made him into a real male figure with all the hopes and dreams of a man with a promise from God. She also shows a man that has patience beyond what we can imagine but with all the natural desires! Potipher's wife, Zully, princess of Crete,  becomes so real that my heart broke for her, a woman with strong desires for everything she did.  Ahira is another awesome character in this book, she is the maid of headstrong Zully. Ahira is put into many dangerous situations because of her mistress yet she continues to love Zully. We also meet Pushpa, suragate mother to Potipher, she is the head of this family and no one can show more love than Pushpa! We can't leave out Potipher! He is given a life that totally made me compassionate for him but I could have easily slugged him in places also! So you can see the main characters are awesome! The palace is not described as such, we learn about it as we traverse it making it more interesting. I have to stop or I will tell you too much! I do enjoyed this book and learning so much about that time in history and the people that had to live in it. The characters were alive pulling you into them! The suspense was real and interjected wonderfully throughout the story! The love was also real but frustrating! Don't miss out on this exciting story with such depth on people we have given little thought to or not much! Lol!
I received a free download of this book from Netgalley and the publisher. This review is totally my own honest opinion.
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Excellent look into Ancient Egyptian culture. It vividly brings to life the Bronze Age, Minoa, the Sea People and what that time was like. There is a lot of great research and it shows.
Plot is fast paced and engaging. You won't put it down!
Zuleika is a very sympathetic character - not a bad girl, she is a victim of her circumstances, dealing with an abusive husband and culture shock. She was sensible and smart, and this made her more interesting and likeable.
The last 1/3 of the novel seemed anticlimatic- Zuleika goes through so much and so many things happen that when the scene of her seducing Joseph happens, it doesn't have much impact, even though it is supposed to be the central core of her story.
Also while she comes off as highly sympathetic,  Potiphar looks terrible and even Joseph comes off rather badly.
Still it is very interesting and enjoyable to read. An unusual and imaginative look as to what could have happened.
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This book touched my emotions right from the start. Of course I had read and heard this story preached about many times but Mrs Andrews certainly made me think and even feel compassion for Potiphar’s wife at times. Even though Zully was wrong in what she did there was always that HOPE that she could turn to Elohim. Will Zully be redeemed or will she continue to hurt others and refuse to listen to the call of the one true God? 
I love that this author always sticks to the scriptures but does lots of research to make it a great book. The author makes this Bible story come to life for me. Joseph has been one of my favorite Bible characters even in the midst of bragging about his coat of many colors and bragging about his dreams. I loved reading in depth his story that God planned from the beginning of his life. I completely get engrossed with a book like this. Especially when I know some of the characters actually lived at one time. 
If you like Biblical Fiction treat yourself to this wonderful book. 
I received a NetGalley copy from the publisher but all opinions are my own.
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I am always amazed at how authors can create a tale from just a couple of sentences. Potiphar’s wife is mentioned in one story in the Old Testament, never to be seen again after her role in Joseph’s life. More detail, including her name, is given in Jewish sources and Islamic tradition. In her Author’s Note at the end, Mesu Andrews states she consulted over a hundred resources to create what she calls “informed fiction.” 

Since I’ve read many of Andrews’ earlier novels, I approached this one without knowing much about it other than the title. The first I knew of a possible Minoan connection, therefore, was the map at the start which included the Minoan palaces on the island of Crete. And, although I’d heard of the culture before, I’d never thought about when it would’ve existed in relation to Joseph and his story. Come to find out, Minoan frescos have been discovered in Egypt, and in the ancient city where Potiphar’s Wife is set. Besides the map, there’s also a list of characters and a glossary of Greek, Hebrew, and Egyptian terms. All came in useful during my reading.

Potiphar’s Wife is divided into three sections and, by the end of part one, I liked Zuleika. Her chapters are all written in the first-person perspective. At the start of the story, she’s a joyful creature, eagerly awaiting the return of her husband from his sea travels. But their reunion is short and, by the end of the day, she’s both motherless and a widow. Crete lies in ruins. She has only two options: marry the brother of her deceased love, or travel to Egypt and become part of a political marriage. She chooses the latter and must adjust to living in a culture where women aren’t as highly regarded as in Crete. She is treated in contempt by the other wives of Pharoah’s courtiers. Her new husband leaves her for almost a year after just one week of marriage. Her friend from home manipulates and betrays her. I found it difficult to see her as the manipulative woman in the Bible.  

But although I liked her initially, I grew tired of her incessant whining about wanting to return home to Crete. I understood a little about her situation. Like her, I’ve moved to a different country, without friends, trying to adapt to a different culture, and unable to return home easily. I resolved to make the best of it. It wasn’t my husband’s fault; I chose to marry him. Admittedly, I knew him before I married him, and I’ve never had a palace as a gilded prison. But I also felt Zuleika was unfair to her slave, who had no choice to leave home, and who had to obey her mistress’s every command. I’m sure she missed her home as well, even though she’d been in a desperate situation there. And when the pivotal scene took place, the one we all know from the Bible, I didn’t understand her. Was she trying to make Potiphar jealous? Was she trying to manipulate Joseph? Whatever she was trying to accomplish, I’m not sure it worked.

My sympathies finally landed with Potiphar. Here was a man in a tenuous position, who had never wanted to marry, but who had been forced to do so by his pharaoh. He didn’t know how to be a husband, and he was being judged against his deceased predecessor. At the same time, he was investigating reports of treason and trying to hold onto his job and life. He was stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

But of course, this is fiction. Who knows how I would feel if we knew the absolute facts of this people? Who was Potiphar? Who was Zuleika? What were they really like? What did they really do? Andrews’ writing is so powerful, however, that her fictionalized portrayals evoked strong emotions in me. And then there was how she ended Potiphar’s Wife. Part of it, Zuleika’s outcome, was unexpected. But my heart broke for Joseph as he expected shortly leaving his prison, because I knew that wasn’t to be.

A sequel to Potiphar’s Wife is due to be published this time next year. The focus will be on Joseph and his wife. I wonder if we’ll read more concerning the repercussions of the actions of this whiny princess…

Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic Advance Readers’ Copy of this book from the publisher, the opinions above are my own.
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Potiphar's Wife
4 stars for clean but mature content

Mesu Andrews is a favorite biblical fiction author for me, so when I seen this was up for review I knew it would be probably be pretty good. Mesu always keeps things real and true to life without having anything unnecessary, graphic or steamy in her stories. 

This was true to her usual style, with lots of interesting characters, scenery, biblical truths and palace intrigue. 
I didn't expect to like the main character, Zuleika at all, but she ended up being likeable in her young years. She grew more self-centered as she aged, and more irritating. I did love the setting of the island of Crete at the beginning though, with it's ocean beauty.

Trigger warnings: brief, but not detailed mentions of rape and abuse
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Princess Zuleika of Crete is presented to the Pharaoh of Egypt as a bargaining chip and she’s willing to do anything to save  her beloved country. But instead of becoming Pharaoh’s third wife, she is given to his best friend and Captain of the guards, Potiphar. Throughout the book Zully is treated poorly by the Egyptian nobles, is betrayed by someone she trusts, and makes many bad decisions. But her servant Ahira and Potiphar’s chamberlain Joseph are great examples of kindness, forgiveness, faith and mercy. I thought this was an excellent story and the historical details definitely make the time period come alive.

I received a complimentary ebook from the publishers via NetGalley. I was not required to provide a positive review and all opinions are my own.
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Mesu Andrews is a master storyteller and this engrossing tale had me hooked from the start. I actually felt like I was in Egypt because the book was rich with culture and historical details. The wonderfully written characters learned powerful lessons which led to transformations for some. I appreciated the faith lessons about grief, dealing with very difficult circumstances, choosing to do what was right and more. Lessons that are certainly applicable to our world today. I will never read the account of Joseph in the Bible the same again because I now have a richer understanding surrounding those events. The depth of this story made it worth the read. But I definitely want more from this author. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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Potiphar’s Wife is a novel that has Biblical truth woven with fiction to tell a story that is alive. I was able to learn about Egyptian culture like why they wore honeycomb cones on their heads. Andrews, story brings across the qualities of honesty, redemption, and honor.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
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The most powerful people in the world are women who are truly loved by their husbands. No, they’re not powerful according to the world — they’re probably not CEOs of Fortune 500 companies or billionaire socialites. In most instances they’re most likely simple, regular, nondescript women. But I promise you, they are extremely powerful. You see, these women hold hearts in their hands — the sensitive hearts of their husbands. When a husband truly loves a wife, he gives her all of him: his heart, his trust, his vulnerabilities, his weaknesses, his thoughts, his secrets, etc. This gives a woman A LOT of material that could be unfairly, unjustly, used against him. So, a woman has two choices. Choice #1, she can choose to love Jesus first and foremost. When she does this, Yahweh transforms her into a Proverbs 31 woman (it takes time, but it does happen). This woman is many things positive, but in modern terms, this woman does not manipulate her husband, she does not use his vulnerabilities against him, she does not terrorize him with explosive outbursts of anger, and she never, ever weaponizes sex. Instead, she encourages her husband, builds him up, and helps him walk his walk with Jesus. The second choice, however, is a woman who makes herself priority number one. This type of woman knows she holds great power over her husband and uses that power to hurt him to get what she wants. She is self-centered, mean and vindictive, and often uses sex as a tool to get what she wants.

Why am I bringing ANY of this up? Because Potiphar’s Wife is a story about many things, and one of those things is the difference between a Proverbs 31 woman and a self-centered woman. In this story, Zuleika, Potiphar’s wife, and Ahira, Joseph’s love interest, illustrate these two types of women. Ahira, on the one hand, is the type of woman I aspire to be — she LOVES Yahweh first and foremost. She is totally human and totally makes mistakes, but she ALWAYS goes back to God. Ahira has scary moments, frustrating moments, boring moments, and super sweet moments just like us women today, and she brings them all to God. And because of this, she is able to be there for Joseph the right way, the Proverbs 31 way. Zuleika, on the other hand, is the other type of woman and she drove me insane the entire story. I wanted to chuck my book across the room several times she frustrated me so badly. Days after reading this AMAZING novel and I am still so bugged by her. The real issue isn’t a fictional character. The real problem is me. I was a lot like Zuleika for a very long time in my marriage, so seeing aspects of my old self in 400+ pages was a hard pill to swallow. I wanted to chuck this book a ton of times because I wanted to get away from reminders of who I used to be. My husband fell in actual love with me, and I wielded my power for evil. I was selfish and self-centered and manipulative and angry. I took my husband’s heart and squashed it on many, many occasions, and this is my one BIG regret in life. Potiphar’s chapters in this novel were the worst for me emotionally because his pain and hurt and sense of total rejection ripped my heart to shreds and reminded me of all the ways I used to hurt my hubby. I can honestly say that I’m not like Zuleika anymore (and this is only because of God’s grace and patience), but Potiphar’s Wife did make me realize that I’m still a work in progress and I really need to learn how to forgive myself for my past actions. This is just another thing I will need to bring to Yahweh.

Potiphar’s Wife by Mesu Andrews is another home run. This novel is SUPERB. It’s well-written and highly engaging. The historical detail is superior — I truly felt transported to Egypt in the days of Joseph. The characters are masterfully created. They feel so real and so relatable, and my heart really went out to them. And the themes throughout this novel definitely force the reader to think on and wrestle with hard truths. This is a story you will not want to miss. I highly, highly recommend Potiphar’s Wife.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, WaterBrook and Multnomah, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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