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The Ark and the Dove

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Jill Eileen Smith is one of my go to authors for Biblical fiction. She has a way of bringing the stories to life. And it is no different with this and the story of Noah's ark told through his wife.

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I enjoyed a deeper dive into the story of Noah, the ark, and his family. I've been to the Ark Encounter in KY where I learned about all of the things they had to consider when preparing to live on the ark with so many animals. This book gives a glimpse of what their lives may have been like from the time God spoke to Noah through some of the time rebuilding the world after the flood.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My opinion was not affected by the free copy.

I regret that I'm putting this book on the DNF pile. It caught my interest with the subject matter, and I thought it had some promise. The problems happened almost right away. This book is promising to be the story of Noah's wife. While she is a character in the story, the narrative isn't focused exclusively on her. Instead, it jumps around to several different characters. This wouldn't necessarily be a problem if the cover of the book advertised something else.

There are also a lot of details about the story that don't have any Biblical standing, or end up being irrelevant to the plot. The narrative talks about these Watchers. I'm not exactly sure what they are--demons or evil men or something, I don't know. Such beings are never mentioned in the Bible and since they're not explained very well, I'm not sure why they're even in the story. The biggest contribution they made in the 34% I read is they kidnapped Ham's betrothed. I checked my Bible to be sure and there is very little detail about the women in Noah's story. That's where this book (supposedly) comes in, so fair enough that the author is fleshing things out. Here's the problem: nothing actually comes of this girl being kidnapped. They don't try to rescue her or anything. They basically go "oh well, nothing we can do about it" and find another wife for Ham instead. What was the point in introducing this conflict if you're not going to do anything with it?

The main reason this is on the DNF pile is because I don't feel any connection with the characters. I don't really know who Zara (Noah's wife) is as a person. She cares about her sons and daughters-in-law, and goes along with Noah's plan. That's about as far as I can describe her. The rest of the characters are the same. Maybe they'll be fleshed out more when they're all stuck in a boat together, but I'm 34% of the way through and I don't know any of these people. This book would have worked better if it was meant to be an epic. That way, the author could take her time fleshing out all the characters and the world around them. But this is only 336 pages, so the author has to cram in a lot of stuff or just skim over things that could have otherwise made the book more interesting.

One concept I thought was really promising was everyone's reactions to God decreeing that only Noah, his wife, his sons, and his sons' wives would be allowed on the boat. All of them have extended family and they get upset at the idea of leaving those loved ones behind. They question why God would do such a thing, and if God is only sparing them because of His relationship with Noah. Some even start trying to convince others to turn back to God, thinking maybe they can spare more people. This is an excellent conflict! The problem for me is that I was not engaged enough with the characters to keep reading just to see where this was going.

I'm sure this book will find an audience. I think it was just weak on crucial things, and I was really struggling to keep reading.

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A wonderful look at what life might have been like for the characters inside the Ark during the flood.
Smith has recreated Noah's ark with incredible details that made u feel like u were there. I really liked that about Smith. She makes her readers feel like you were there.
I didn't want this story to end. It was sooooo good!
I loved the story from Zara's POV. How anxious she must've felt and how hard it must've been for her to watch what took place! My heart hurt for her but yet at the same time I loved her because of her strong belief in Adoni and her faith that kept her going. I know she wasn't perfect but I loved her anyway.
We all fall short of the Glory of God. Even Noah but I thought he did his best to keep his family together. That's a tough enough job!
I felt sorry for Ham. He tries. He really does but that woman of his. Goodness!
Reminds me of Eve a little bit. Hard-headed and doesn't like change. It's harder for Keziah. I'm sorry but I didn't like her at all. Seems like you gotta have one in every crowd.
5 stars for a wonderful adventure on an Ark of all things.
I will be adding this one to Daughters of Eden as my favorite Biblical fiction shelf!
I can't wait to see what's next. I love all.of her stories! Woo hoo!
I highly recommend.
My thanks to Netgalley and Revell for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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This book was really amazing. You could tell it was intensely researched and Smith kept true to the Biblical events.
The characters brought this story to life in a way I never could have imagined.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Biblical Fiction.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. *

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When I first saw this book I knew I wanted to read it. I know Noah, the ark and the flood covers a lot of years in the Bible and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I enjoyed reading the Author’s Wives of King David series so I knew this story would be good too. It was very well researched and the Author did a fantastic job of blending a wonderful story around actual facts from the book of Noah.
I thought it was realistic, entertaining, emotional, interesting and intriguing. The characters lived long lives and I was surprised that people who were a hundred years old were described as young. Noah himself was over six hundred years at the books ending.
Readers are taken through the years of preparation for the flood. The characters were organized and knowledgeable on how to construct a huge ark and furnish it to accommodate numerous animals and a living quarters for Noah’s family. I enjoyed reading this book as the story worked its way through the pages. Very well written!
I recommend The Ark and the Dove to readers of Christian Fiction, Fictional Stories built around Biblical history, and fans of the Author. This book is scheduled to be released on 2/27/24.
I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions expressed here in this review are my own.
#TheArkandtheDove #NetGalley

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“The Ark and the Dove” is the second book I have read by author Jill Eileen Smith. The first book I read was “Daughter of Eden”. I liked it so much that I was eager to read the advance digital review copy of “The Ark and the Dove.” And…”The Ark and the Dove” is even better.

Most people probably know the story of Noah’s Ark and many think of it as just a story for children. There are many toy versions of the Ark, with animals lined up two by two. The story of Noah and his family is not a cute story, it is true and shows us God’s power and might, and His compassion and love.

“The Ark and the Dove” is told from the point of view of Noah’s wife who the author calls “Zara”. (We know the names of Noah’s three sons, but not Noah’s wife’s name.) Zara’s story begins in 2275 B.C, (so over 4,000 years ago!) Zara shows us that the Flood is not a fairy tale or fable. And she shows us how real people reacted to the astounding news of the coming flood that would destroy everyone. Noah was a righteous man who the Creator favored so he and his wife, their 3 children and their wives were saved.

I was fascinated by the chapters that described how Noah and his family planned and built the Ark. They had to design and build the enormous Ark. They had to plan how to feed and care for thousands of animals. And they also had to consider how they would maintain their own food and water supplies. And they also planned for what they would need after they left the Ark. (I probably would have forgotten to think about that!)

I actually cried when I read about how sweetly and compliantly the animals listened to God and came two by two to the Ark. They were also well behaved on the Ark.

It took 125 years to build the Ark. All of this was done by regular people: Noah, Zara and their 3 sons and wives. And of course, as ordinary people they were tired, cranky, irritable and did selfish, hurtful things. None of them were good, they were all born with the nature to sin. Just like we are. They longed for the Redeemer to save them. And so He has come, but we haven’t changed that much since the time of Noah and Zara.

This book is well-written and tells the Biblical story in an engaging way. The story is also inspirational and encouraging and tells us about God and His plans and love for us. I highly recommend “The Ark and the Dove.” (Lovely cover, too!) Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance review copy. This is my honest review.

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3.5 stars (4 for goodreads)

I don't typically choose biblical fiction to read. I find that I get uncomfortable with many of the assumptions that can get made regarding behavior, character, and emotions of well known bible characters. I do have a few exceptions in that with some favorite authors...but on the whole, I prefer to read biblical fiction on minor events or minor characters that allows for the authors imagination.

I picked The Ark and the Dove because of the fact it was going to imagine life as Noah's wife. The book covers are VERY VERY large time period--from about 75 years before the flood to several hundred years AFTER the flood with the Tower of Babel. The book jumps between 6 of the 8 main characters: Noah and his wife; Shem and his wife; and Ham and his wife.

When the story opens, it's the wedding day of one of the sons. On that day or shortly thereafter, NOah receives the detailed instructions on building the ark--and that only the eight family members are going to be on the ark. Since Ham isn't married yet, there is also a rush to find him a wife (which causes issues of its own).

Throughout the book, there is very heavy discussion of faith by Noah's wife Zara, Noah, their sons, and the wives and future wives. Also included is Methuselah and Lamech: Noah's grandfather and father. I think this was the first thing that made me hesitate with the book. The bible says NOTHING about whether or not Methuselah and Lamech were believers of God. Likewise, we only are given that Noah is faithful---but nothing about his wife or family.

Secondly there were the weird characters called Watchers--who are obviously demons--who influence mankind to sin and follow after idols.

The book VERY VERY VERY heavily implies that there is no way Noah's family (not just Noah) could be the only ones who were righteous and that surely there were some who "called on God" when the flood came. This is the part of speculation that I'm not a fan of.

The author very clearly describes the ark as it is set up at the Ark Encounter in Cincinnati--she shares that she was inspired by it in the Author's notes. What she included that many who write about the ark do not--that there were more than just a pair of each set of animals. That God included 7 PAIR of clean animals and one pair of unclean animals. I think she had believable supposition that many of the larger animals were probably more juvenile in size. I snickered at the tyrannosaurus getting on the boat.

Now the hostility and dissent while on the ark is something I've also considered myself. So I didn't mind that. I think it's something many think of and wonder about. Likewise the depression and guilt they had--like Survivor's guilt.

The situation near the end of Noah's story with Ham and curing his lineage was a plausible presentation. It actually seemed a logical idea.

I must say that one thing I do appreciate about biblical fiction is that I do grab my Bible to compare. And so of COURSE I had to calculate how many generations Adam would have seen. Also how many generations Noah himself would have seen. For some reason I never really thought of the fact he'd have heard about the Tower of Babel or maybe even affected by the confusion of languages. Likewise I even calculated that Noah would have been alive until Abraham was 57! Crazy to put some of these guys into contemporaries with each other.

Overall--I'm just going to say 3.5 stars (4 stars for online websites) for this book. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I felt is was WAYYYYY to speculative at times and it detracted from the overall book and telling of the event.

*I received a complimentary copy of an ARC of this book by the publisher and NetGalley. I wasn't required to write a positive review and all opinions are 100% my own.

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I did not finish the book. IMMEDIATELY turned off from page 1 when there was a date given for "context". Still, continued to read hoping it improved. It did not. The whole petty child, indulgent parents just set my teeth on edge. I am deeply disappointed.

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The Ark and the Dove
by Jill Eileen Smith
Pub Date: Feb. 27th 2024
Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Smith has written many books and this one follows that same formula.
If you enjoy Biblical fiction, then this is the book for you!
Experience the story of Noah and the flood like you never have before. With bestselling and award-winning author Jill Eileen Smith as your guide, you'll never look at a rainbow the same way again.
Taken from Zara's viewpoint this was a fresh read for me. There was quite a lot of emphasis on Ham which surprised me considering the title.
3 stars

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I would never have thought to write a story about the life of Noah before, during, and after the Ark from his wife's perspective, but I'm glad Smith did in The Ark and the Dove. Filled with what I believe to,be appropriate biblical references, good descriptions of how people were pre-Flood and a little twist in the storyline that was quite unexpected, I found The Ark and the Dove to be a saga, but a fitting read and a tribute to Noah and his family with the added sadness that comes from being a wife and a mother. Written from Zara's, Noah's wife, point of view, I found The Ark and the Dove perfect and I believe anyone who loves biblical fiction will find it to also be a perfect read.

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I loved The ark and the Dove! The Bible does not give many details of life on the Ark. Jill Eileen Smith has done a fantastic job of filling in possibilities of what may have transpired during that time. Questions on how they handled feeding and watering the animals and themselves. How they handled all of the waste products. The grief they felt at losing everyone but the 8 of them. Most of all how they kept their faith in the Creator. I highly recommend the Ark and the Dove!

This book releases February 27, 2024. I suggest you pre-order it and block off a weekend to read it!

I was given a copy of this book with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.

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Set in 2275 BC and focussing on judgement, choices, faith and family, Author Jill Eileen Smith's story follows Noah ben Lamech and his family as they follow God's instructions to build the ark. Her thoroughly engaging story, using the bible as a guideline, invites readers to journey with Noah’s wife, Zara, through the ark experience and into life after disembarkation.

Even with little knowledge of the Bible, many of us know Noah’s story. It’s intrigued me for years, wondering what it was like to live with ridicule while the ark was being built, what it was like to capture and secure animals, how noisy it must have been within, what it was like to have no other people to communicate with except for one’s own family, and how Noah’s family coped with the transition to life on land after such an experience. Very little is mentioned about the account in the bible - Noah’s wife and daughters-in-law aren’t even named.

I enjoyed reading about how their faith was tested, what it must have been like to leave people behind, how they learned patience and worked together to survive despite all the different personalities and being in an enclosed location for so long, how they felt when they disembarked and the boys and families separated. I wasn’t blessed with children, but I felt Zara’s struggle in keeping her family together and dealing with division within. Motherhood from the beginning of time has been the twinning of joy and sorrow.

Three things made an impact:

(1) Sin boarded the ark! I’d never considered this.
(2) reading about Zara’s struggles and how she pushed through with prayer. Yes, she complained. Yes, she went to others for advice. Yes, she tried to fix things herself. BUT, she comes to the place where she knows that God is the only one who can help.
(3) How even back then, people thought that sin had increased in their time. We often hear it today and we can see it, but I’d never considered that Noah and his wife could see the devastation around them. How much more it would have hurt God to see this happening! I appreciated the warning that God will not always strive with humanity.

"The world was not like it had been when I was young. And I did not like what it had become."

This was my first introduction to this author and I’d gladly read another of her biblical fiction novels. I have assembled a list of things to investigate and appreciate an author whose work points be back to the bible and to further investigations.

I was gifted this copy by Revell and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

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Once again, Smith demonstrates why she shines in this genre! The writing is beautiful, and it's clear the author spent a lot of time on her research. There was a bit more focus on Ham than on Noah and Zara at times, which was bit surprising, based on the title. The author makes this Bible story come to life with details on the culture, food, and even animals. Dialogue is authentic for the time period. The cover is a beautiful complement to the story.

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An amazing insightful book. Knowing the story and reading it in detail made such a difference. It brought to life Noahs family and what they walked through to follow God.

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Loved reading the inspirational story about Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives, building the Ark, the flood, life on and off the ark. Read the highly recommended, wonderfully written, and a riveting story of Noah and the Ark.

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The Ark and the Dove is another great read by Jill Eileen Smith! Even if you know the Biblical story of the Ark backwards and forwards, this book gives the reader a fresh perspective on what life might have been like back then.

The story is told by Zara, Noah's wife. I think the author did a good job of telling the story with the limited knowledge we have from the Bible and then filling in the blanks with fiction. The story follows Noah's family beginning with the first two sons married to kind women who believe in the Creator. Now they want to find a wife for Ham. His first pick is kidnapped by "The Watchers." I think they are supposed to be angels who fell from heaven and married human women. The story continues with Noah getting the plans to build the ark from God. It narrates the struggles they must have gone through storing food, making cages, and the hundreds of other needs for the Ark. The people around them make fun of them and even try to sabotage their work. When the rains come, the author writes about how their days might have been filled with caring for the animals, weaving tents for later, and trying not to be at each other's throats in tight quarters.

I enjoyed reading one person's vision of what life might have been like in Bible times. The sheer amount of work it took to survive makes me feel very lazy in today's society. I thought the descriptions were good, and the story moved along well. My only criticism would be that there was a little too much time spent on painting Ham and his new wife as the villains. I got very quickly that they were selfish, spoiled and not devoted to the Creator like the others. But overall, the book was good and I would recommend anyone who like Biblical fiction will enjoy The Ark and the Dove!

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The Ark and the Dove by masterful wordsmith Jill Eileen Smith is a brilliant piece of Biblical Fiction. The author’s perspective of Noah, his family, the ark, and the Great Flood were all within scriptural boundaries. I was enthralled with this exciting tale.

The extensive amount of research done to write this novel is evident, beginning with the name of Noah’s wife. Often I have wondered what her name was since it is not included in the Bible. It was fascinating to read a novel about her.

This is an extraordinary story of Noah and the ark. My thoughts will forever be changed on how I think things were. The author’s take is very plausible and works out many problems and questions that I had. Of course, this is all speculation except for what scripture tells us.

The writing is exemplary. The only issue that I had was not wanting to stop reading. The author transported me back to the rough ancient days and made them come alive. The people were realistic. I gleaned so much information about the people, culture, terrain, food, and animals. The conversations sounded authentic. The cover was inviting and drew me in even before reading a word.

My emotions were all over the place as I read this novel. I hurt for Zara, Noah’s wife, and her family when people were mean. When they triumphed, I was happy. It was stunning even for me when I read that God spoke to them.

I highly recommend this Biblical Fiction to everyone. It will make Noah’s story come alive for you. It is a satisfying, educational, imaginative tale that will linger longer after you finish it. I rate it a well deserved 5 stars. A copy was provided by the Publisher and NetGalley, but these are my honest opinions.

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The Ark and the Dove is a well written fictional story of Noah and the Ark. the characters and plot are well developed. My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my advance book. This is my unbiased review

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First let me say I love this book and the cover of The Ark and the Dove is beautiful.. There have been many stories about the flood, but this story is told from a wife and mother's view point which is unique. This story is told from the point of view of Noah's wife, "Zara". This book is the story of a mother and her family, living in a stressful situation, to say the least, and the joys and heartaches that comes along. Jill Eileen Smith gives individual personalities to each of Noah's sons and their wives. She puts you right there with vivid imagery and in-depth charicterizations. As always when I read a book about a Biblical event I take my time and refer to my Bible often for reference. This book helped me understand a passage of scripture that I was struggling with. I recently visited the Ark Encounter and I could easily visualize the Ark. I recommend both visiting the Ark Encounter and reading this book. It will prick your spirit to draw closer to God.

I would love to thank Netgalley and Revell Publishers for allowing me to read an advanced readers copy. I was in no way influenced to give a positive review.

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