Song of the Shepherd Woman
released November 2017
About the book:
In the first century, Channa’s stepfather gives her to her maternal great-uncle Avram to raise. Avram is known to be a peculiar, perhaps dangerous, man. His wife Yael cannot speak. Nevertheless, they are kind to Channah and teach her how to care for sheep. When her stepfather unexpectedly announces her betrothal to a Jerusalem tanner, the girl is forced to leave the only home she knows.
Channah looks forward to a loving husband, but soon learns she is to be Enos the tanner’s second wife. The beautiful first wife is barren, and she resents her youthful rival. Channa struggles to adjust to marriage and city life, cherishing the hope of someday having her own child to love.
Song of the Shepherd Woman is a loving and faithful look at life in first century Biblical times. Havel and Faucheux have teamed up on several novels about biblical characters. All have been diligently researched and are thoughtful recreations of the period and possible events. The other characters have been well-known: Rahab, and Michal. The shepherd woman, however, is a typical country woman affected by profound events. Her uncle, generation earlier, was witness to an astonishing sight, but subsequently lost his faith.
Excellent writing aside, the mindful story made me think deeply about events surrounding the birth, life, and death of Christ, and how everyday people might have heard and reacted to his ministry. Channa lived only two miles from Jerusalem, yet, as a young woman fleeing from a disastrous trouble, had no idea exactly where home was. I found this poignant and very truthful. Often what we are seeking is within reach, and we are unaware. Avram lost his faith for a simple reason—he knew all the boy babies had been killed and assumed the savior was among them. Also very believable.
This story is painfully realistic on many levels. Don’t get too entrenched with anyone, just love the moments. Told from Channa’s viewpoint, this beautifully, haunting story is sure to help you dig deeper into your beliefs and appreciate the ordinary lives in the first century.
About the Author:
Carlene Havel writes Christian-themed romances and historical novels set in Biblical times. She’s lived in Turkey, Republic of the Philippines, and all over the United States. Carlene worked for a banana importer, a software development company, and everything in between. She attended several colleges and universities, including one that—surprisingly—granted her a diploma.