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Novelization of Hannah’s life reveals a real, relatable soul


I indulge in all kinds of books, but I especially love Christian fiction based on Scripture. 

Jill Eileen Smith. A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story. Ada, Mich.: Revell, 2018: 368 pages.

Jill Eileen Smith. A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story. Ada, Mich.: Revell, 2018: 368 pages.

One of my favorite authors is Jill Eileen Smith, who has written many books on women in the Bible. She takes the stories we grew up reading in God’s Word and makes them an emotional experience. As a result, I feel like I can relate to these women and what God wants me to learn from their lives. Smith does extensive research on how women lived in Old Testament times and presents it in line with Scripture. 

The latest in her Daughters of the Promised Land series, A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story does not disappoint.

Smith retells the story found in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel about a childless couple’s struggle.

“All we really know about Hannah is that she was married to a man of Ephraim from the tribe of Levi, who had two wives,” Smith said in an interview. “One, Peninnah, bore him many children, while Hannah had none. Whenever we see women asking God for a child, it shows us that God cares about this cry of their heart. Hannah’s story is also one of heartache in the midst of her hope. She is bitterly opposed by her sister-wife, who makes it her mission to keep Hannah’s life miserable. The amazing thing about Hannah is that she continually takes her struggles to God. Though years pass with no answers to her prayers, she never gives up. And God rewards her for her faithfulness.”

Melinda Wilson

Melinda Wilson | What we’re reading

In reading this book, I learned that God can restore the most broken relationships. Like Hannah, God wants me to be a woman who prays and doesn’t give up. At times in my life I’ve prayed about something until I’ve felt like I just can’t pray about it any more. Maybe, during those times, I can go to God with Hannah’s prayer: “God, this is my heart’s desire, but help me be accepting of your will above all.”

If you enjoy Christian fiction based on biblical characters, you will enjoy this book.

MELINDA WILSON is an administrative assistant for The Christian Chronicle. She worships with the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City. 

What are you reading? Send submissions to [email protected].

Filed under: Christian fiction Hannah Review Reviews

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