Lying in bed next to ‘the man of her dreams’, Leah is crippled with fear and unable to sleep. She knows that her husband Jacob is going to wake up to her, not “the woman of his dreams”.
Jacob worked and served Leah’s father Laban for seven years to marry her younger sister Rachel, but on the night of their wedding, the brides were switched; the right man was married to the wrong bride.
As Leah anticipates, his dissatisfaction is not hidden; his rejection is immediate. Seven days later, Jacob marries Rachel after promising to work another seven years for her.
Leah is now left in a place of pain and bitterness. A fearsome war erupts. She is in a battle for her husband’s affection – not with an enemy, but with her own sister!
Will she ever be loved and accepted?
Can God use a woman like Leah: unnoticed, unwanted, and unloved, to change history?
This book is a fictional retelling of one of the greatest Bible stories of all time. It is a story of love, deception, betrayal, competition, heartbreak, and forgiveness. It reminds us that God has a plan and purpose for our lives.
No pain is ever wasted with God!
My thoughts: My children and I have been going through a devotional that digs into the stories of the Bible, starting with Genesis, and we are right in the middle of the story of Jacob. It's interesting to me to see how that story came through in this fictional account. I enjoyed getting to know the author's version of Leah better, since I have sympathized with her, since I am also the oldest. A lot of us can relate to the feeling of being overlooked at various times. I thought that the author did a wonderful job of telling a story of putting one's trust in God, even when times are hard and things don't happen as you would wish them to. This is an excellent story to pick up and read!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
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About the Author
Amanda Bedzrah is married to Francois and they have three wonderful children. They live in the county of Kent, best known as “The Garden of England” in the United Kingdom.
Amanda is a passionate Bible teacher, an inspirational speaker, a prayer minister, and a senior NHS professional. She is a Law graduate (LLB Hons), she is also certified in Business Analysis Practice and Project Management.
More from Amanda
An Interview with the Author
Who is Amanda Bedzrah and what does a day in your life look like?
I am just a girl who loves Jesus. I have been saved, redeemed and restored by the Jesus and my life is dedicated in service to Him. I am married and I have three wonderful children. I live in the county of Kent, best known as “The Garden of England” in the United Kingdom.
A day in my life will consist of praying, reading, working, writing, cooking, cleaning and being wife and mum. My life is actually quite busy, there is always something going on.
How many books have you written? And are there more books in the future?
To date, I have written six books (1 fiction) and designed two Journals on Kindness. My most recent book is a Bible study guide called An Introduction to women in the Bible which is a synopsis of women in the Old and New Testament.
I have another Bible fiction books due in 2022 so yes, I absolutely see more books in my future, I love writing- it’s a gift and a calling, my purpose. If I could, I would spend the rest of my days writing.
What or who inspired you to write LEAH?
Leah is definitely a God project. I remember reading her story about four years ago and I wondered what it would have been like for her. I was so drawn to Leah, and for many years, I looked for novels based on her life and it seemed like her story had not written, or there was none that I could find. I kept waiting, until last year, frustrated I complained to God and He said – “you write it”.
I was like whatttttt? Me? No way. Initially, I allowed fear to deceive me, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling inside me, the direction God had given and the hidden excitement about the challenge that slowly bubbled to the surface and so I sat down one day and started writing on my phone and the words just fell out and the rest as they say is history.
Why did you choose this type of book (a novel)?
I love the Bible and I love Bible fiction. For many, the stories will be familiar. They know the story from the Bible or have heard it, but a novel truly brings it to life. It may answer some of their own questions about the story or make it easier for people to find themselves or their situations or someone they know within the pages of the book, and that sparks something within that helps the reader connect deeply.
The bible is rich with stories that are relevant to our lives today and I consider it an honour to be able to give life to the characters, and use my imagination in collaboration with the word of God to create a beautiful story. A story that entertains, educates, motivates and inspires but most importantly, to write a novel that encourages people to read the bible for themselves.
Is there anything you found particularly challenging in your writing of this book?
Initially, I found it hard to separate my own feelings and reactions from Leah’s. I had to remind myself that this was her story not mine and I didn’t want to bring my own preconceived ideas into the Bible story. It was also challenging to not cry when I was writing, for me, certain parts were so emotional.
It also required a lot of research. The Bible is silent on many things about their lives and so it was a challenge to capture who and how they were in detail. I got to the point where I had to decide how much imagination I wanted to use and how much Bible text. My preference was to stay as close to the Bible as possible, in fact I made sure I used up every single bit of information from the Bible first and then weaved imagination into it.
I know that although these are real people in the bible, they actually existed and there are some historical data about their lives that can be found in Jewish history and so I did a lot of research to get a good idea of the characters themselves or similar characters in their timeline.
I tried as much as possible to capture the culture of their time and write from that context. I gathered as much information about their tradition used that to fill out the character. The rest really was God breathed imagination.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I enjoy writing in my reclining couch in my front room. I have one of those portable lap tables that I use. I sit in front of the TV and write. I would however love to have a home office. I imagine a quiet space filled with lots of books, an oak desk, sofa, lamp and a large bay window with a wonderful view of nature. I don’t have that yet, but if I did, that would be my favorite writing place.
What is your greatest hope for this book?
I would love to see this book on the big screen. It is my hope that one day it will be turned into a movie to reach a wider audience. I also hope that when people read this book, they find Gods love within the pages of the book and it draws them towards the Bible so they can experience the word of God for themselves.
What would you say is special and unique about this book?
It is based on the word of God and I believe everything about Gods word is special and unique. I think it is an interesting book and brings the story to life. I used my imagination to give readers an insight into the world of these Bible heroes and possibly answer some questions they might have asked. Also, for women who have experienced rejection, I pray that Leah’s story will inspire and encourage them as well.
How has this book impacted your life?
This novel has had a huge impact in so many ways. As this is my first fiction novel, it is so humbling to see how it has been well received. I enjoyed stretching my creativity and I want to do this more. I learnt so much from writing this book. I’ve read it six times. Each time, I learn something different and each time I ask myself “Did I really write this”?
I honestly can’t take much credit, I know that it was God who wrote through me and it truly humbles me to be so used by God.
What is your favorite part of the book?
There are so many good bits. I love every part of the book. If I had to pick a favourite bit, it would be the voice of God. Each time He spoke, it was just lovely. I particularly like the last few sentences on page 56.
What would you say is the greatest obstacle you have overcome as an Author?
The confidence to write and not worry about whether it is good enough or if anyone else will like or read the book. The enemy always comes to attack and deceive and it takes the Grace of God to overcome that hurdle.
What would you say to the Ladies who may be going through a difficult marriage feeling unloved, unwanted, and not worthy?
I would say that this novel is for you. I dedicate this book to you. Please, know that you are completely loved by God and His plan and purpose for your life is not dependent on the acceptance of man. Being rejected by the man who should love you can be a very painful experience. Know that God sees your pain, just like He saw Leah’s.
The Bible tells us in Genesis that when God saw Leah was hated He opened her womb. He gave her a gift of children to bring love and comfort into her life that is how merciful He is. God has a very tender heart towards women who are rejected, we see that even in the life of Hagar, right there in the desert, running away from Sarah, God met her and ministered to her needs. We see Gods heart with the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, rejected by society but accepted by Jesus.
Jesus was rejected by the people who should have loved him, but it did not stop Him from fulfilling His purpose. The rejection of man does not and will not disqualify you from your destiny. God has accepted you. God sees you. God loves you.
Take courage, trust in God and lean on Him. He can turn any situation around, and He can bring beauty out of any situation if we let Him.
In the book you decided to make it a happy ending for Leah, why did you choose this ending?
I love a happy ending and I wanted to give Leah that. I also wanted an ending that will inspire other women to not give up hope. I don’t know what the relationship with Jacob and Leah was like after Rachel died, but we can assume that her death brought the end to the controversy and strife that already existed, something must have changed because Jacob asked to be buried next to Leah.
Leah was buried with the Patriarch’s and most importantly – she is the mother of Judah from which our salvation comes from. She was rejected by man but chosen by God to start the lineage of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. I wanted to celebrate this amazing woman.
What would you say to the many Authors’ to be?
Just go for it. You have a story inside of you that will change someone’s life, even if that person is you, it is still significant. Don’t listen to the voice of fear that says your story is not good enough, just keep writing.
Like any other gift, it takes time and practice so just write. You will be surprised how much you will enjoy it and how much you will bless others.
Also, the Holy Spirit is always willing to write through you, if you invite Him and allow Him, you will be surprised at the words that will pour out of you.
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 19
A Reader’s Brain, February 20
Texas Book-aholic, February 21
For Him and My Family, February 22
Inklings and notions, February 23
deb’s Book Review, February 24
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 25
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 26
Connie’s History Classroom, February 27
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 28 (Spotlight)
Miriam Jacob, February 28
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 1
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 2
Blogging With Carol, March 3
Spoken from the Heart, March 4 (Author Interview)
Book Butterfly in Dreamland, March 4
To celebrate her tour, Amanda is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.