A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith is the last book in the Daughters of the Promised Land series and my personal favorite. I have loved this whole series but this one was special. I’ll get more into my thoughts below after the synopsis. This review will have spoilers for those that don’t know the Biblical story.
Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.
Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah’s cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?
The story of Hannah, who this book was based on, can be found in the Bible in 1 Samuel. Hannah is known for her struggle with infertility until God finally answered her prayers. He gave her a son that she named Samuel who she then sent to be raised by the priest, Eli, so that Samuel could be “given back” to the Lord. God then gave her other children. I personally love the story (Biblical and this fictional one) of Hannah because I am dealing with infertility. As a Christian, it gives me hope and reminds me that in God’s timing I will overcome this, just as Hannah did. I really loved this book from the perspective of someone that just enjoys historical fiction, as well. Like all Smith’s books this one was well written and immersive. She does a fantastic job developing her characters. They’re not perfect. They’re just real, flawed humans trying to serve God.
If you’re dealing with infertility or are a lover of historical fiction I highly recommend this book. I also recommend the Biblical tale of Hannah. I’m sad that this series is over but there’s always tons more books to read! Does this book sound like something you’d like? Let me know! Thanks for reading and have a great day!