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The Ark and the Dove

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The author took the familiar story of Noah’s experiences found in Scripture and created a fictional account of what his life and his family’s might have been like. She crafted personalities and backgrounds for each main character and connected the generations we know from the Bible. Since they spend so much time building the ark and then enduring the flood, the tale begins to drag because it seems repetitious in places, which represents the monotony they endured aboard their floating home. I was surprised she portrayed the characters with so much conflict and getting on each other’s nerves, but considering human nature I suppose that is realistic. The drama does bring the event to life and evokes amazement at how God worked. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own. #TheArkandtheDove #NetGalley

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I love reading historical stories from a different perspective! The Ark & the Dove is from the perspective of Noah’s wife, Zara. She shares their preparation for the flood, during the flood, & then what happens after the fact. I enjoyed this story! It was nice to read the story of Noah in more depth, even though parts were from the imagination of the author.

I do think the writing could’ve been a bit better. The author would change character perspectives without a break in the page, so I would be confused until I figured out where it changed to another person.

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“What should I do, Adonai? Did God care about their personal spats with one another? He’d saved them to repopulate a world where evil ran rampant. But they could not run from the sin in their own hearts.”

Jill Eileen Smith. A name of long associated with Biblical fiction, yet The Ark and the Dove is the first book I’ve been privileged to read by Smith.

First, I suggest bringing your waders. While obviously this is the story of Genesis 6, the flood of Noah’s day, it is so much more. While it is an engrossing read, it is not a quick read, compared to many books. You will be immersed in the deep waters of the Nephilim, the Watchers, the ever-encroaching evil, and the intense oppression of Noah’s family as they build the ark and preach about the coming judgment.

Somehow, as a mother of adult children, this novel hits especially hard, emotionally, but even young adults can relate to the sibling issues. It seems we see the stresses on the family as seen mostly through the eyes of Zara, Noah’s faithful wife. She has to place her faith in Noah to lead her family spiritually, but it is hard for all of them to follow God’s few personal directives given only directly to Noah. It is also hard for each son to maintain his marriage and close relationships with the other two brothers as doubts and fears assail. I ached along with Zara as she is heartbroken when the families of her daughters-in-law turn against them and join in the persecution and rejection. No matter how hard she tries, one of the wives seems bent on trouble-making. Do we know these things for gospel fact? No, we only know what the Bible gives us, which Smith quotes or rephrases multiple times. She even includes references to Romans 1. The rest is author’s license, as long as it does not contradict Scripture. That is what Biblical fiction is.

I will be thinking on this book for a while to come! I was glad I had previous teaching under my belt about the Nephilim and the Watchers. Otherwise, I might have wanted them explained a little more. The Ark and the Dove caused a good discussion between myself and my husband, and I believe it would be a great book for a church book club.

I received a copy of the book from Revell Reads through Netgalley. I also bought a paperback copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.

Notable Quotables:

“Abba said that God did not want to judge us. His heart was broken by our rebellion. I never thought of the Creator as having a heart that could break like ours does.”

“We are made in His image, so perhaps that’s one way that we are like Him. We feel because He feels. Perhaps that is the greatest kind of love.”

“If someone wants to worship something other than the Creator, they will use anything to replace Him in their hearts. It does not have to be a creation of wood or stone. An idol can be anything we place above Him as the most important thing in our lives.”

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Author Jill Eileen Smith continues her delightful tradition of showcasing Biblical stories in a plausible and interesting way. The Ark and the Dove weaves the well-known story of Noah’s Ark with a realistic backdrop. Smith explores the seeds of doubt in Noah’s family, their ostracization from their community and other family members, their years of building the ark, then floating along in uncertainty, fear, and turmoil, and finally beginning life again after the flood. Sadly, we also see the sinfulness in human nature that eventually wiggled its way back into the new world.

Most interestingly, the story is written from the perspective of Noah’s faithful wife, who stood by his side and did her best to keep family strife at bay during very difficult circumstances.

The Ark and the Dove helps a reader visualize and appreciate the faithfulness of a man who was given a seemingly impossible assignment by God and the family who supported him without fail. Their acts of obedience are an inspiration for our own daily living.

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I enjoyed this Biblical fiction about Noah and the Ark. I liked how the author takes the well known story and tells it from Noah’s wife’s perspective. I thought this gave us a good idea of what life was like for Noah’s family and how they felt about everything that happened. I thought the author did a good job of making the characters relatable and helping to bring the story to life. I have enjoyed the other books by this author that I have read because of her great storytelling and the way that she helps us appreciate the Bible stories that we are familiar with. I look forward to reading more by this author.

I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.

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When done right, Biblical fiction includes some of my favorite books. Jill Eileen Smith does it right! Characters and narrative that drive me back to God's Word for the truth. "Fan Fiction" of the greatest book in history. The Ark and the Dove is about the flood and focuses mainly on Zara, wife of Noah; however we get glimpses into Noah's life, his sons and his sons' wives. So often we focus on what this family dealt with prior and during the flood, but I don't know if I ever considered what their lives would have been like after the flood- starting over again. I obviously knew how they saved the animals, but had considered saving literature, tools, methods of building, growing, and creating.

The novel follows the family from when Noah is told to prepare an ark. Readers meet his two sons and their wives, as the family hurries to find a wife for the third son before everyone turns on them. They try to convince their family and neighbors to return to "the Creator" as they refer to the Lord, but we all know how the story ends. The novel touches on the grief that each one feels as everything and everyone they know is destroyed. While I personally think, this could have been a larger aspect of the novel, in this case there were other things going on- other trials and temptations on the ark and on land as they are beginning again.

What I liked best was the questions that this retelling raised, my imagination was ignited as I thought about the real Noah and his family and what they experienced so many years ago, when God chose them to survive and continue after the flood. This is a book and author that I would highly recommend. Read her fictional stories about real events in the Bible, then open up the Word of God and read the real thing. Learn and speculate what God's people experienced, how they may have felt and reacted to all they lived through.

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What was it about humans that made them want to stick together? Did they do so to build one another up or to stand against the Creator?

Everyone is familiar with the account of Noah's Ark. A popular children's story but when you really look at it, it can be terrifying. It would be a difficult story to be retold. How do you balance the human side while remaining true to what God was doing. This account starts with Noah's family and every day going on. Just like your family. A family that you love with the tension of the world around you. You have a sense of who Noah, his wife Zara and their 3 sons. It is not known by the bible the name of Noah's wife however, she is telling the account from her eyes and perspective.

There are some controversial takes that were implemented but I truly believe that it helps with why it happened. It also deals with the sin of Noah's youngest son and how that may have come about and why it is important. When I read historical fiction like this, it gives me a better grasp of the gospel and who God is. He is creator and judge. It also gives me a better grasp of how easily we deny the truth.

Jill Eileen Smith always gives insight to how she researched the account and some discoveries that she made. One of those was the genealogy of descendants. It is pretty amazing that God gave that to us and how important it is. It gives us confidence of the truth.

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

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I loved this wonderful story of Noah and his wife and family. I loved seeing how Noah and Zara may have acted while they were building the ark and how they handled being the only people left in the world. I enjoyed the live that they felt and the arguments they had with each other. I could not put this book down. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.

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I adore Jill Eileen Smith’s books and the way she makes the Bible come alive. In her latest Biblical fiction, The Ark and the Dove, she shares the compelling story of Noah & his family before, during, & after the Flood.

I loved the fresh, new perspectives on this familiar story. Building the ark would have been so scary with people actively trying to destroy it. I enjoyed how she captured the suspenseful atmosphere of that time. I also loved how she expanded on the personalities of Noah and his family.

The story is told mostly from Noah’s wife Zara’s point of view. While we don’t know much about her from the Bible, the author created a believable, compelling narrative. Zara’s and her daughters-in-law’s thoughts on leaving loved ones behind who wouldn’t change their ways drove home how difficult leaving on the ark would have been. There’s one particular daughter-in-law who makes the journey less than enjoyable, and it made me more fully realize the challenges of dealing with imperfect people in a tight space for so long. Then there’s caring for all the animals!

Definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction, particularly Biblical fiction. I received an advanced complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own and voluntarily provided.

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This is a really interesting story of Noah's Ark through the eyes of his wife. It's a unique perspective on an ancient tale.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own;.

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We know a bit about Noah and the flood. Not a lot, but this is clearly a story God wants His children to know. That is why He inspired man to include it in the Bible. Jill Eileen Smith takes this bit of knowledge and combines it with thorough research to give us this fictional account of what life may have been like for Noah and his family as they prepared for, endured, and thrived after life on the ark. We see the experience through the eyes of Emzara, wife of Noah. Zara must find wives for her sons and guide these young women as they support their husbands through the years of ridicule from neighbors, tense months of caring for the animals as they are all penned in on the ark, and the process of repopulating the earth once the waters have receded. These are all elements we rarely stop to consider, and yet they are worth pondering. Smith has developed each character carefully in line with the narrative of the Bible, even following through to the dispersal of the sons through the Tower of Babel and on through history. The Ark and the Dove spans a great era of biblical history with great insight and attention to detail.

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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The Ark and the Dove by Jill Eileen Smith
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if God gave your husband an unusual command to keep your family safe? The author has given this much thought and study as she wrote this novel. It gave me a new respect for Noah and his family and the unusual task God gave them.
Jill Eileen Smith uses her sanctified imagination and research at the Ark Encounter to flesh out a story of obedience to God against the background of the culture’s unbelief. Scripture does not name the wives who made this journey with their husbands. Nor is it specific with the types of technology that would have been necessary to house, feed and dispose of waste from an ark full of animals. With her research she enables readers to see what life aboard the ark would have looked like. Those of us who lived through 2019 and 2020 can appreciate what life in a confined space with just your family was like, let alone needing to care for the many animals that daily depended on them.
I could really empathize with Noah’s wife. Her desire was to have a healthy relationship with each of her daughters-in-law. (I do not have a Keziah among mine!) As a woman, I am sure she valued the relationships with her family and made it a priority to maintain them, even with a difficult family member in close proximity. I also appreciated how she trusted her husband and didn’t try manipulate him even when she didn’t understand him.
This book seemed very realistic in the way the characters related to each other. Even though the outcome was already known, it was still very interesting to read about their daily life. Readers who enjoy Biblical fiction will enjoy this book and the way it brings Noah and Zara’s story to life. I received an arc from the publisher, in exchange for this, my honest review.

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I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and all opinions expressed are mine.

We have all read the Noah story but no one ever thought about the wife. This was an interesting take on Noah's wife. It was brilliantly written, it's not a fast paced read and it's an eye opener. If you ever wonder what she thought, how she reacted and how she was as a mother then read this book.

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This book was a little slow for me. I did enjoy Jill’s perspective on the charter development and the ark. I will continue to read books by her.

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I have always enjoyed reading books by Jill Eileen Smith and this book didn't disappoint. Even though it isn't my favorite one from her, I did truly enjoy it.

What I enjoy most is taking a Bible account of an event and enlarging it. She does not change anything from the Bible but fills in the background and more details that might have been. These are fiction books and in no way intended to be scriptural.

She developed these characters quite well. You got a feel for what their personalities might be like. Especially Keziah.

The ending surprised me this time. I hadn't thought about it that much and how it might have been.

If you like a good Christian fiction that expands on the Biblical account you will enjoy this book.

I received a copy through the Revell Reads program. I am not required to leave a positive review, just my personal opinion. I give this book a solid 4 out of 5-star rating.

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“The Ark and the Dove” by Jill Eileen Smith is the stirring story of Noah’s wife and a stunning way to experience the Great Flood as one never has before. Zara and Noah walk with the Creator all their lives in a wicked and defiant world, deeply committed to raising their three sons to follow in their footsteps. When the Creator tells Noah to build an ark to escape God’s wrath against the evil sins of all the people on earth, Zara steps out boldly and bravely in faith, an extremely significant course of action since everyone else, with the exception of her husband, her sons, and their wives are destined to be doomed to destruction. When the animals are finally shut up inside the ark, two by two, Zara, Noah and their family embark on a mind-boggling adventure that tests their patience and their faith to the utmost, as they bravely await God’s deliverance and the appearance of dry land. In Jill Eileen Smith’s fiction, women from the margins of biblical history are dramatically brought to life as our imagination swings into full gear. In this stunning book, we view the Great Flood through the eyes of Zara, Noah’s wife. Come and experience this unimaginable adventure as the action unravels in all its thrilling excitement. This is a reading experience like no other, to illuminate our vision of the Great Flood that wipes out the evil world, the Ark that protects Noah’s family and the Dove that is the harbinger of deliverance.

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Once again, an outstanding book by Jill Eileen Smith. The amount research that the author does is incredible and brings the bible to life through the words and story.
The Ark and the Dove is based on the story of Noah and the Ark where God sent a flood to cover and destroy all living beings on the earth. We are all given a chance to accept God, but not everyone will accept Him into their lives. Noah obeyed God and built something big enough to hold not only his family, but animals of all kinds and all the supplies they needed without knowing how long the flood would last.
Our ark is the daily reminder that even though we might face conflicts with family or not agree with others, we just need to believe in the promises of God. I am still amazed at how much work Noah was looking at after he and his family experienced an adventure of 40 days and nights while on the ark.
Thought provoking for everyone. I highly recommend the book.

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I loved Daughter of Eden by Jill Eileen Smith so I knew I had to get The Ark and the Dove by her as well. She just really brings the lives of Noah and his family to life and it made me want to keep digging to learn more. This was a very enjoyable book!

She will now be an auto-read for me. I also listened to the audio version and feel like Leah Horowitz did a wonderful job!

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review. All opinions are my own.

Publication date: 14 February 2023

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The Ark and the Dove by Jill Eileen Smith is the second book I have read by this author. I did sort of have a bit of trouble getting into the book at the beginning, but I did enjoy this story of the time of the flood of Noah's day from the Bible. I admit that one of my problems was I ended up comparing it to two other books I read last year that are set during the time right before and during the flood. And I know that the details are all speculative in all of these stories, even though they are set during the true, biblical story from Genesis.
The story begins at the time of the marriage between Shem and his wife, who the author gave the name Sedeq. Japheth is already married to Adataneses. Both women's families begin to shun them as they are now in the family of the "crazy" man Noah who keeps preaching about the Creator and an upcoming judgement. Noah and Zara, his wife are desperate to find a wife for Ham, their third son, before they start actually building the ark, so they don't have to deal with even more rejection. After a wife is found the family spends their time preparing for the flood. I love that the author has Noah and his family wondering how everything will work out, working through the details, really showing how all this could have come together and the opposition they probably faced from the sinful, unbelieving people that lived near them.
Almost the entire first half of the book leads up to the start of the flood. About another quarter or so of the book is the time that they spend ON the ark. The author has done a great job showing what life may have been like for these eight humans who were tasked with taking care of the many many animals that were on the ark. She also delved into how their relationships could have been, the strain of being cooped up for over a year, the conflicts that may have arisen, and the fact that their was still sin following them into the ark and the post-flood world.
The remainder of the book reaches a few hundred years into their lives after leaving the ark, toward the end of Noah and Zara's lives. It was sort of shocking to realize all of the descendants they would have seen filling the earth. The author even mentions in her notes in the back of the book that Noah's son Shem would have lived to the time that Jacob and Esau were born. Personally, I had made a chart of the patriarchs' births and deaths through the time of the flood earlier this year. It really is eye opening to realize that the younger of these generations could have known Adam and Eve. To me, this brings the Bible into clearer reality. Just like bibilcal fiction, such as The Ark and the Dove does for me. Bringing this time period to life, even though obviously the author has to speculate and fictionalize details.
I found that Jill Eileen Smith's story was well reseached, even though I did question some of her timeline. I am not at all saying I am an expert. It really made me want to do some more digging myself.
One thing that surprised me was that the story is not told exclusively through Zara's viewpoint. We also see through Noah's eyes and the sons and daughters-in-law. Though Zara does narrate an introduction into each new section of the story. Those parts are in first person, while the rest of the book is written in third person.
It was a bit disconcerting for the story to suddenly switch from one point of view to another, plus at times it took a bit to realize some time had passed since the last paragraph. Usually when I read books where the viewpoint changes it is with the next chapter. There were sometimes multiple points of view in the same chapter.
And the other thing that bothered me a bit, was that I didn't really feel we got a sense of how evil the world really was. A world so evil it needed God to finally take action. The Nephilim are shown as being part of the evil, and there are these creatures called Watchers, who we discover are meant to be demons I guess. But these were mostly in the background and I didn't really get the sense of evil.
Despite these concerns, I really did enjoy this book, but it did lower my rating.
I received an e-copy of this book through NetGalley and was not required to write a favorable review. These are my own honest thoughts.

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The Ark and the Dove is a well-written story of Noah and his family that survived the flood. The author's descriptions of the Biblical setting and people of their time, made the story come alive for me.

The building of the ark and filling it with needed supplies and animals was exciting. To learn of their struggles made the book seem more real. There were parts of the story that moved me to tears and others that I rejoiced in the love of God.

It's an inspirational story that even though the Biblical version was written years ago, it is still relevant today and the story is a reminder. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I received a complimentary ARC from the publisher Revell. A positive review is not required. All opinions are my own.

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