Today's review is on Delilah: Treacherous Beauty by Angela Hunt
Before I get started I would like to thank NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Angela Hunt is a fantastic writer, in fact probably one of the most memorable books from my childhood is her book The Tale of Three Trees (I only found out about a year ago that she was the author). I haven't had an opportunity to read a lot of her books, but the ones that I have read have been great reads, and Delilah wasn't any different.
Delilah tells the story of Samson and Delilah, however the author takes creative license and tells the story of Delilah's background. The novel starts in Gaza, where seventeen year old Delilah is getting used to life in a new city after her mother remarried. Her step-father is kind and has a prominent position in the city and respected by everyone. However, her step-father soon dies and her mother and herself are left at the mercy of her step-brother Achish, who treats them horrendously. He sells Delilah's mother into slavery and makes Delilah his slave, however she soon runs away and tries to figure out a way to free her mother. The readers are introduced to Samson when he is trying to win the hand of the Timnahite woman and the events that happened after that.
If you are interested in reading the biblical account of Samson and Delilah you can find in Judges 14-16, which is what this novel is based on.
I liked how this was told from the first person point of view, which isn't really common in most biblical fiction books, at least in the ones I have read. I also liked how we got both Delilah and Samson's points of view - in a way there are two stories until their paths converge into the events that happen between them. As I mentioned before the novel starts several years before they actually meet.
I enjoyed how Angela Hunt brought these historical people to life through her novel. Samson is portrayed as being kind of arrogant, which I feel like that does fit him considering that he believed that he could do whatever he wanted because he was chosen by God. However, throughout the novel, it shows how God is merciful to him despite his mistakes. Delilah is also an interesting character because she starts out as being innocent, however through a series of events she starts to become vengeful and that is why she betrays Samson. It is also interesting how she starts to become duplicitous, but yet she accuses others of being liars when she is just as guilty.
I don't know if I necessarily agree with the author's portrayal of Delilah, I guess I always pictured her as being a really evil seductress. But then again it is a fictional account of real events and the author did have to fill in missing pieces from the biblical narrative, especially since not much is said about Delilah except her betrayal of Samson.
I liked how Angela Hunt reminds readers in the author's note at the end of the book that Samson and Delilah were people, and I think sometimes it is easy to forget that these historical people also had emotions and struggled with decisions in their life. I also appreciated how Hunt explains why she wrote Delilah the way she did, and it makes sense.
I am giving this book 4/5 Stars because even though I did enjoy it, I didn't fully agree with how Delilah is portrayed in this novel. But Angela Hunt is still a great writer and I can't wait to read more of her work.
Janelle L. C.
P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out! :)