Who can find a wife of noble character?
For her value is far more than rubies (Prov 31:10 NET)
Sarah is a young Jewish girl living in Persia during the reign of Artaxerxes. She is also a cousin of Nehemiah, the king's cupbearer. She's an anomaly because she can read and write in several languages as well as cipher. It was unusual for a girl to be educated. Through her cousin's influence, she becomes the scribe to the Queen and later the wife of Darius.
This was my first book to read by Tessa Afshar--I was amazed at the depth of her research into the culture and daily life of Persia, and her ability to seamlessly weave it into the story she's telling and make it an essential part of her story.
One of my favorite characters in the book is Bardia, the gardener at Darius' Perseopolis estate. He is the picture of the husbandman Jesus talks about in John 15 when He tells us to abide in Him because He is the True Vine. Pruning is one very important technique in growing good fruit, and Bardia knows it well. When Sarah sees the fruits of Bardia's labor, she calls the beautiful fruit a harvest of rubies.
This book deserves two thumbs up, five stars, and a cluster of the tastiest grapes you've ever eaten.