Book Review: Pharaoh’s Daughter

Pharaoh's Daughter: A Novel of Ancient EgyptPharaoh’s Daughter: A Novel of Ancient Egypt by Julius Lester

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This review contains no spoilers.

I think that if the Bible had been presented to me in this way – as interesting stories about realistic humans – rather than as “here’s the boring, better-than-you dead guy we’re learning about this week” (or, more often than not ‘Here’s Noah AGAIN’) I would be a better Christian and a more Biblical person.

I picked this up at a used book store – McKays – sometime ago, and I think I must have done it accidentally, I can almost distinctly remember thinking it was about Cleopatra. Today I stumbled across it organizing my bookshelf and thought, “I could read that in an hour or two” and I’m very determined to reach my 50 book goal this year, so I read it.

Moses, or Mosis as he is called here, was one of the best parts of the book. I loved how human he was, much more so than most depictions of Biblical characters. It fits with the oft quoted phrase “God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called,” which is hard to believe at times. Yes Moses was a very ‘lucky’ or ‘chosen’ person, he grew up well cared for and in a fine home with plenty of everything. But he had doubts, and unlike “doubting Thomas” he wasn’t portrayed as a bad person, just as a flawed person who was learning to do better.

The Egyptian princess who converts to Judaism is I believe fictional. I know Almah is, and I want to hear more about her. It’s teased at the end that she may be returning to her faith – referencing God in her last conversation with the Pharaoh. I liked them and the differences they posed, and how their relationship fell apart (although that could have been explored more!)

Overall this was a great read, and fits nicely with a conversation I had just this morning with my mother, in which I announced that I hated all Christian fiction because “the characters are always perfect and Godly and not real and it’s always written by the Pastor’s wife!”

This book inspired me to make a Christian shelf on Goodreads, so maybe it will inspire more reading to come!

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Pharaoh’s Daughter

  1. I agree that humanizing and binging to life scripture, makes it much easier to enjoy! ‘To Know Christ Jesus’ by Frank Sheed is not a story telling of Christ, but a log of observations and postulations about his life. I bet you’d love it!


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