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In the tradition of the international bestseller The Red Tent comes a beautiful sexy novel featuring Hannah one of the most well known and beloved heroines of the Old Testament Hannah and Pninah once close childhood friends become rivals for the attention of Elkanah the man who has married them both Pninah passionate and independent easily bears Elkanah many children but bitter that he has taken her friend as a second wife seeks fulfillment with her own secret lover Hannah the epitome of goodness and grace remains completely devoted to her husband but remains childless for many years until a promise to God brings her the son she has yearned for Despite their differences these two women must learn to live together protecting their own interests as well as each other’s while sharing not only the love of their husband but that of Hannah’s son Samuel who will become one of the great prophets of the Jewish people

10 thoughts on “The Song of Hannah

  1. says:

    A passionate richly compelling and deeply human and romantic novel set against the splendid backdrop of ancient IsraelA story of two women Pninah passionate and impulsive and Hannah saintly and patientBoth are exuisite beauties in their youth and Pninah is married to a rich young heir Elkanah when he seduces and the result if her pregnancyHannah renowned for her beauty is wooed by many young men but stubbornly spurns them all believing that there is a special man just for herHer heart is captured by Elkanah and she becomes his second wife much to the pain and resentment of PninahThis shapes events in the life of the family for decades to comeWhile he shares a passionate lust for both women it is Hannah whom he loves the mostHannah suffers from years of remaining childless and Pninah from the lack of love form ElkanahIt is against this backdrop that we can understand her sin in taking a lover the Canaanite Arnon although it should be added that according to Halacha a married Jewish women having sexual relations with a non Jewish man is not regarded as severe a crime as if she had commited adultery with a Jewish lover only the latter carried the death penaltyWe learn to have great compassion for both women though they sea nd react in such different waysHannah prays for a child and promises G D that when she does he will be consecrated to service in the templeThe author beautifully includes the famous Biblical scene of Eli rebuking Hannah because he thinks she is drunk before realizing she is entranced by prayerSamule shows his skills as a prophet from a young age and gathers a devoted following Though there are many young girls who are eedovted to him and he takes one as a wife he bears a secret and overbearing passion for Pninah which bears on his soulThe book is rivetting as we wait to discover for example whether Pninah's secret relationship with Arnon will be discovered by Elkanah and the life of Pninah and her children destroyedor how whether Samuel's passion for Pninah will lead to one of the ulitmate sins It does notThe book is not only about romance but focuses also on Samuel's powers of prophecy and special connection the the CreatorHe says The Lord is everywhere and nowhere and no human being can lay eyes on him and live Only Moses could see not the Lord but the light that emanates from his gloryIt is also set against the backdrop of the wars between Israel and her Philistine enemies After capturing the Ark of the covenant from the Israelites the Philistines took it to Ashdod where it was placed in the temple of Dagon The next morning Dagon was found prostrate bowed down before it; on being restored to his place he was on the following morning again found prostrate and broken A great plague than broke out killing thousands of Philistines which only abated after the Philistines returned the Ark to the HebrewsThe author refers to the Philistines as being a terrifying people whose eyes were wide with hate Anybody who has seen a Hamas or Hezbollah death rally on TV will understand this look of purer hate and destruction and imagine the Philistines looking just like them in different dress with different weaponsBeautiful description of ancient Israel in times of war and peace It is this hope enshrined in the depiction of the beauty of the land of Israel the only homeland of the Jewish people and the beauty of it's children living in peace Little houses lined both it's sides sitting in front of them old men and women basked in the last rays of the sun watching half naked children their little feet caked with bare earth playing noisilyMothers with babies on their hips stood in doorways calling their children in to be fed scolding the ones who tarried Men returning from the fields weary from the fields walking slowly weary from the days toil called out greetings to wives and children and neighboursA great modern contribution to the genre of Biblical fiction

  2. says:

    Provocative engaging and human Eva Etzioni Halevy has produced a fine and entertaining piece of biblical fiction well worth the time for those who enjoy the genre

  3. says:

    Interesting look at the story of Hannah It tells the lives of the two wives of Elkanah one of which was Hannah the mother of Samuel Although it tries to bring to light the womens struggles of being one of two wives the text seems to take huge liberties in the missing holes of the biblical text The bible says that Samuel was highly respected and that it was his SONS that did not follow in his ways and turned away from God NOT Samuel as the author implies The bible goes on to say that the people say of Samuel that You have not cheated or oppressed us you have not taken anything from anyone's hand God had used Hannah in his plan to bring up someone that would fully follow God and replace the wicked sons of Eli He would not have raised up someone who would have been worse than what was already in place at the temple This would have been a waste of God's time The author seems to defile some of the characters with her wild fabricated stories and twists what God intended to be good to be evil I would not recommend this book

  4. says:

    Hannah and her childhood best friend Pninah marry the same man Elkanah and become bitter rivals After many childless years Hannah goes on to have a son Samuel who later becomes a prophet Pninah knowing her husband does not love her but instead loves Hannah finds another man to love The chapters are split alternating between Hannah’s story and Pninah’s I thought it was really good but I must admit I did find Pninah’s story interesting than Hannah’s though overall I liked it enough to rate it 4 stars I wasn’t as interested in the section of the book when the wars started but it was only a brief section I had been wondering about the title of the book given that it is really only half Hannah’s story but I guess the reason is because apparently there is something in the Bible by that title? I always appreciate having a historical note for any historical fiction that I read which this one had

  5. says:

    Scandal sex and the Bible? Why they definitely do go hand in hand This book put an interesting spin on the biblical story of the prophet Samuel Given the time period that the Bible was written in it was extremely rare to hear a woman's point of view This story shares two Hannah's and Pninah's both of whom were married to the same man One had all his love but couldn't seem to bear his child while the other had all his lust but nothing else I found it interesting that today we talk about how corrupt the world is when thousands and thousands of years there were so many customs that were deemed acceptable that we would than scoff at if practiced today Some reviews find it almost blasphemous that the author could make so many assumptions about a biblical text but it took a story like this to help me make sense of stories that I grew up on in Sunday school I can't remember the last time I finished a book let alone in just a week

  6. says:

    Also recommended by my favorite independent bookstore this was right up my alley Historical fiction using biblical figures who alternate telling syncronistic stories Hannah and Pninah wives of Elkanah this book explores the sexual and emotional lives of two very talented intelligent and socially oppressed women The underlying momentum of the story is an unfolding of the origins of Samuel Hannah's son who she sacrafices to the temple and who becomes a reluctant but unmistakable prophet The book explores the lives of women who must learn to live double lives that which pleases their husband and that which allows them to grow as intellectual and sexual beings The tension between the women is very believable as is the love and appreciation they have for each other

  7. says:

    Set in biblical Israel this is the tale of Salomon's Mother and family There is the beautiful Hannah who is graceful and the epitome of the Hebrew woman Pninah is beautiful passionate and independent These two women share the same husband Pninah bears children easily while Hannah is barren for many years Until Hannah conceives Salomon who she has promised to the Lord Salomon becomes a great prophet and the two woman share a great love for him It is a wonderful look at Hebrew life and the role women played in it I really enjoyed this book

  8. says:

    The book reads like the tyranny of Elkanah over his two wives how Pninanah gets back at Elkanah and how Hannah found her life's purpose in Samuel who went on to become King Saul's prophetadviser

  9. says:

    This novel is yet another in a slew of biblically influenced books that is chocked full of sexual intrigue and not much else I find it incredibly unfathomable how the lives of the two women in this book Hannah and Pninah is centered entirely around men and yet it is selfishly also entirely about them The general selfishness of these characters is a wonder in itself but I digress The point is that this novel centers on these two women and their jealously toward having to share the same husband despite their previous friendship However it does not end with just one man no we have to have nearly every character cheating on one another in the most debase and idiotic of ways Even the most disgusting at one point Yes yes even as a historian I could argue that the relationships shown in this novel were accurate for the time set in ancient Israel What got me was the lack of depth theses characters showed It was like that were fueled by their genitals and not much That everything about the characters was based on looks instead of personality Attraction was the only thing worth merit Even when describing their love for their children I felt nothing in the way of the characters actually having feelings for their offspring There was a great deal of sex but not a lot of love And yes despite the professing of love the characters stupidly continued to state Overall this was just another boring novel that tried to light a fire under a bible story and failed I felt nothing but discontent toward both the main women and there was not a semblance of love within these pages

  10. says:

    For me this book should have been titled the song of Pninah Her story spoke loudly and evoked emotion from me than Hannah's story The book is written in both eual parts of Hannah and Pninah Their lives were deeply entwined But very early on I had a loathing for Hannah and uickly sided with Pninah and felt compassion and understanding for all that she did and celebrated her joysIt is a story of two girlhood friends who come to share the same husband This circumstance destroys their friendship but not their love for one another It is a relationship that brings each woman great sorrow but also great love and contentment