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The Ark and the Dove

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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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“God’s timing is never wrong.” ☕📚

This is a new release of February 27, 2024, by Jill Eileen Smith.

Wow. This is my very first biblical fiction book and it did not disappoint! The biggest compliment I can give the author is that she made the details that MAY have happened so interesting AND it made me reach for my bible many times to see what details the Lord DID share.

WHAT’S TO LOVE? A wonderful addition to this book was the prelude and interludes, written in the first person POV of Noah’s wife of her thoughts and concerns. I enjoyed her perspective throughout and could relate to her soft heart for the people that she loved.

I also love how the storyline emphasizes Noah’s incredible obedience to God but that he was also a flawed human.

I’ve always been a bit confused about the “drunken, naked Noah” scene and why he got so mad that he cursed his grandchild. This book helped all of that make sense.

Whether you are an Old Testament nerd or don’t have much memory of it (except very popular bible stories from childhood), it’s effortless to understand what goes on. There is some lineage talk at the beginning and end, but not much in the middle - just the story of what life may have been like before, during, and after the flood.

It was SO fun to imagine it all! I enjoyed how the Author chose to end the book. Her note at the end was fascinating as well. Well done.

CAUSE FOR PAUSE? I did not enjoy how points of view would change within the chapter, from one paragraph to the next - with no warning. I finally caught on and paid better attention so that I wouldn’t get confused as to who was having a thought or speaking.

The arguing and drama between the wives got to be old after a while, even though I knew there was a foreshadowing of why one wife was more difficult to deal with than the others. And let’s be honest… more than one woman for that long… it was realistic. (haha)

CONSIDER READING IF… you want to get lost in an ancient story or long to imagine what it must have been like for people we’ve read about in God’s word. If you are a Christian who loves any type of history, I think you will like this a lot! 😀

MY RATING 🌟🌟🌟🌟 This released on February 27, 2024.

☕📚 Thanks to Revell and NetGalley. I received a complimentary ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. ☕📚

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An excellent retelling of the biblical tale of Noah and his wife, Emzara, who obeyed God’s command and built an ark
Love that the story was told from the wife’s perspective, it gave a hidden depth to the well known tale.
Personally for me it was a bit too long drawn out and I didn’t become immersed in their world
Thanks @jilleileensmith, @revellbooks & @netgalley for the interesting read

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The Ark and the Dove
The Story of Noah's Wife
by Jill Eileen Smith
Pub Date 27 Feb 2024
Christian| General Fiction \(Adult\)| Historical Fiction

Netgalley and Revell have provided me with a copy of The Ark and Dove for review:

In an increasingly wicked and defiant world, Zara and Noah have raised their three sons to follow in their footsteps by walking with the Creator their entire lives. It has been a challenge--and it's about to get much, much harder.It's been a challenge--and it's only going to get worse.

After the Creator instructs her husband to build an ark to escape the coming wrath, Zara steps out with him in faith. Although disdain and sabotage directed their way by both friends and extended family are hard to bear, as is knowing that everyone she interacts with beyond her husband, her sons, and their wives is doomed to destruction. And when the ark is finally finished and the animals have been shut up inside, Zara and her family embark on an adventure that will test their patience and their faith as they await deliverance and dry ground.Following the completion of the ark and the enclosure of the animals, Zara and her family embark on an adventure that will test their patience and faith as they await deliverance.

I give The Ark and Dove five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

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Biblical fiction, i'm very choosy about which ones I will read but this one pulled me in and i love this author. I always trust her to bring a true to life, authentic biblical fiction story. This was no exception. Loved this book, loved this storyline. Love this author.

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I cried so hard in the chapter or three before the flood actually happened, feeling the hopelessness of the women as they knew their families and friends were about to die. They'd grown very distant, yes. but the fate of lost loved ones hurts your heart even when they've cut you off from their lives already.

The author did such a great job with this story. It's a faithful retelling of the story of Noah, fleshed out with all the realistic emotions and heartaches, doubts and joys along the way.

It wasn't my favorite version of the scene with Noah and the time he had too much wine (I once read one where he was so overwhelmed by the thought of all the people lost), but it was still very good, with Ham and his wife egging Noah on to drink more than intended. I also felt bad for Ham, seemingly trapped between trying to appease his wife, and knowing she was causing problems.

The way the author included the fallout from Babel within Noah's lifetime is great! That detail is often overlooked, but the confusion of languages would have happened before he died.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own

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Noah was told by God to build an ark to save his family and animals of every kind from a flood God was going to send to destroy a violence-filled earth - and he obeyed. But with violence and antagonism from others and doubts and friction among themselves, it was never going to be an easy task. Join Zara as she works with her husband Noah to endeavour to follow God's command, look after and care for her family, survive the coming disaster, and make sure that the new world is set up as best it can be for success in avoiding future disaster.

The thing I like most about Biblical fiction is the way it brings the Bible to life, showing more detail of what familiar (and less familiar) characters might have faced, making me think more about what we actually are told, and learning lessons from those who've gone before. And this story is no exception. There's not a lot about Noah's life in the Bible, when you really come down to it, and even less about his wife - but this takes what we're told and fleshes it out to really make you think about what life must have been like for the family building an ark in such a world, not to mention living on the ark for so long. I don't necessarily agree with all of it, but the author presents a plausible, enjoyable and thought-provoking story. I found the interpersonal relationships among the eight of them particularly thought-provoking, and well presented (though obviously fiction rather than fact). All in all, a good read, and I look forward to seeing what the author will write next. Recommended.

Note that I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review and this is my considered opinion of the book.

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Thank you to the publisher for this wish - Revelle Publishing. This is the first book I have read by this author.

I was excited about a fictional story of the Ark and the family interactions. It’s fun to think - what would I do? How would I react? Were they afraid? The loss of their own families for refusing to believe

I highly recommend this story and will search for my by this author.

I just reviewed The Ark and the Dove by Jill Eileen Smith. #TheArkandtheDove #NetGalley

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The Ark and the Dove by Jill Eileen Smith is a lovely Christian Historical Fiction novel based on the Biblical story of Noah's Ark. God gave humankind hundreds of years to change their ways and turn from rebellion. He told Noah He would destroy the earth and only he and his family would survive on a big boat with all animal species including insects, birds and rodents. Imagine knowing you'd be the only ones left! God gave him the precise measurements of the ark and while building over a period of several decades, Noah kept preaching and people kept taunting. But the Creator kept His word. He provided a means of escape for the family and commanded that they repopulate the earth. Ham's wife caused a great deal of angst as her heart was not one with the Creator in this story but she lost her family in the flood which must have been devastating. The bickering felt so real.

Smith writes mindfully about God's character, His promises we often don't understand, unfailing love and redemption. Her slice-of-life details about Noah, his wife Zara and their sons and their wives is a realistic imagining of what it could have been like on the ark before, during and after the flood. Smith is clear on the Biblical portions which is what is most crucial. I often wonder what personalities were like and whether there were clashes, how the animals were attended to by so few people, how the sewage system worked, food requirements and how God Himself brought the animals to the ark (an impossible human task). I cannot fathom floating above the mountains, learning about exotic animal husbandry, keeping things clean and preparing for life after disembarking. Smith includes details about Ham's curse, speaking different languages, growing cities, God's covenant in the form of a rainbow, happiness and sorrow. She also wove in bits about preserving books and knowledge on the ark. Human nature is a funny thing. It didn't take long for evil to take hold but again, God kept His promises and still does.

Do be sure to read the author's notes for her inspiration and further information. I had not realized that Shem was living when Jacob and Esau were born! Talk about interesting!

My sincere thank you to Revell and NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this phenomenal and thought-provoking novel.

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This is a well thought-out novel about Noah, his wife, and their family. Not much is known about Noah's wife or daughters-in-law biblically, and the author does a nice job of fleshing them out. About half of the book takes place before the flood, and careful consideration is given on what life must have been like for them as Noah follows God's decree to build an ark. Even when the animals begin to show up, people don't believe him. Most of the rest of the book details life on the ark.

I enjoyed this read because it made me think. In spots it was repetitive (there is only so much you can do on an ark for hundreds of days), and I didn't really connect emotionally with any of the characters. But overall, it is a good book. Fans of this author will like it, as will readers of biblical fiction.

Family friendly.

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I love Biblical fiction, especially when the author takes a deeper look into events during Bible times.
Have you ever wondered what the perspective of Noah's wife would be like concerning the building of the ark, preparing the food for the animals and her family, and what the world was like that God had to destroy it?
This book may give you a better perspective of the years leading up to the ark being completed, their time on the ark, and years after the flood from the view of Zara ( made up name), Noah's wife.
The author did an amazing job putting this fictional account together, even the drama within Noah's family.
I enjoyed imaging what this flood story may have really been like to live through with Noah's family.

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This is my second book by this author, and I'm not sure that her writing is for me. I ultimately ended up DNF'ing at about 30% in. I could not connect with the characters and felt like the narrative just randomly bounced around from person to person with no real direction. Some things were not explained well like the "watchers," for example. What is a watcher? What is their purpose? Why is no one sad or trying to rescue the girl Ham wanted to marry? The whole finding Ham a wife also felt forced to me. Like he had to find a wife before the flood, and they weren't really concerned with her beliefs as long as she was willing to marry. I'm sure as the story continues, the faith elements were hashed out, but this just added to my frustration. I couldn't connect enough to want to continue but I do think that this will be a great read for other readers who enjoy her previous books, I just don't think she is the author for me. Thank you, NetGalley and Revell, for the opportunity to read and review this advanced copy.

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The Ark and the Dove is the first book I have read that tells the fictional account of Noah's wife from the Bible. I loved the author's vision of what it was like to live during those historical times. Five stars.

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There is a lot we don’t know about the life of Noah . So kudos to Jill Eileen Smith for tackling the task of writing a novel around that theme. She did stir up some thoughts on what it was like to live in a non believing earth and lose everyone you know except for immediate family. However, there was so much speculation needed that I just didn’t enjoy The Ark and the Dove as much as I had hoped. My attention was lost early in the story. This is the first book I have read from this author and I am sure I will seek out other books . This might be a great book for those who like Biblical fiction and don’t mind a story that isn’t completely substantiated by scripture. I received a copy from NetGalley and all my opinions are entirely my own.

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Prepare for a new Noah and the Ark story! You will become engrossed by the family dynamics in Noah's family, especially the wives that are chosen for Japheth, Shem and Ham!
Noah, Vera his wife and their sons and wives adjust to living in a wicked city where they are the few who still worship the Creator God and those around them worship idols and their own desires.
Vera and Keziah Ham's wife, get away from a group of men that try to overpower them with Shem's help, and they all realize that they need to get away to a remote place where they can work on the Ark.
You will enjoy reading about all the logistics and planning that go into building the Ark and all the real - life struggles they had with each other before and after the flood.

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The Ark and The Dove is the newest Biblical fiction story by Jill Eileen Smith. Despite the name, the story mainly follows fictitious Noah’s wife, Emzara (Zara) and the wives of Shem, Japheth and Ham. I had a couple of issues with the book. It seemed to drag in places and wasn’t fleshed out in others and the fact that she included a tyrannosaurus on the Ark was a major stretch. While I generally love the author’s books, this one fell a bit flat for me. It was a good book but unfortunately not as good as she has written in the past.

Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for my honest opinion.

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This is a review for The Ark and the Dove by Jill Eileen Smith, and its a review for NetGalley in return for my honest opinion. I absolutely loved this book! It was so well written, so thought provoking, and the author told the story of Noah in a way that was true to the Bible. She took the basic story from Genesis 6 as her foundation, and then weaved a beautiful tapestry filled with biblical truth, but also through her characters made the story of Noah come alive as never before. The characters shared feelings that were real, and sometimes filled with doubt and pain, but always came back to trusting the Creator and His plan. This story really made me really slow down, and think about what Noah and his family must have gone through, and I was able to do that through each character, as the author gave each character a name, and they all had their own story to tell. Even though it is a fictional story, I was able to really relate to each character, and even though they had a lot of struggles, they united as a family, not perfectly as they were normal, but realized the only way through all God was asking of them was to work together! I also really loved how the author shared God's love alongside His judgment! He never wanted to destroy His beloved, and gave the people, through Noah, many opportunities to be saved, as He does today out of His great love for all His creation! And I also loved Noah's obedience...God spoke and he obeyed. His family doubted and struggled, but they persevered, trusted God, worked together, and then watched as God kept all His promises! So all that being said, this book was a complete joy to read, and is going on my favorites list alongside the authors previous book Daughter of Eden, and I give it 5 stars, and highly, highly recommend it! It really is a great book, and I loved it!

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I never know what to expect when reading fiction based on Biblical stories. I received the advanced reader's copy of this book from the author and Revell via NetGalley. This is my own personal unsolicited opinion about the book. I found it to be a very interesting and entertaining read. It also gives me a lot to think about and I like that.
The author uses her talent to enhance what we know from the Holy Bible's account of the story of Noah and his family from the time God spoke to him to build an ark and prepare for the great and catastrophic flood until decades after the event. She used her imagination to fill in the framework of the story showing how it could have been. She has given names and characteristic to the women; Noah's wife and three daughters-in-law. I am prompted to think about how these eight humans may have reacted and felt about the entire situation and the overall picture of how many years the actual building of the ark took. It's a learning experience to realize how materials may have had to come from a distance, along with what kinds of foods that had to be harvested and prepared. It's a good book. It was a neat thing to imagine seeing the animals lined up to enter the ark. There's an element of sadness with loss due to sin and knowledge that sin continued on.
I recommend it to anyone who is interested in or curious about Noah and Biblical history. I like to have my Bible at hand when reading books like this.

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The Ark and the Dove is an interesting retelling of the story of Noah. The author brings to life Noah's family and how things could have been before, during, and after the flood. She is careful to stay true to the Biblical account, but there are many details left untold, which she fills in with plausible stories.
I appreciated her perspective of this important and found it easy to read.

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