Saturday, April 28, 2012

Desired: The Untold Story of Samson and Delilah by Ginger Garrett

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Netgalley
Read: April 27, 2012

Before Samson was an Old Testament legend, he was a prodigal son, an inexperienced suitor, a vengeful husband, and a lost soul driven by his own weakness. This is his story as told by three strong women who loved him—the nagging, manipulative mother who pushed him toward greatness, the hapless Philistine bride whose betrayal propelled him into notoriety, and the emotionally damaged seductress—the famous Delilah—who engineered his downfall and propelled him to his destiny. Desired celebrates the God of Israel's to work powerfully in the midst of hopes, fears, desires, and sorrows.

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I’m really surprised and somewhat disappointed that Ginger Garrett’s Desired didn’t work for me. I wont lie, I found the darker themes of the Samson and Delilah tragedy very appealing, especially since most of the biblical fiction I’ve encountered centers on much lighter tales.  I also loved the idea of Samson’s story as told by the women in his life. Unfortunately, content alone does not make a good book.

I mean no disrespect to Garrett when I say this as there is nothing inherently wrong with her writing, but her work didn’t speak to me. Her characters appeared stilted, the narrative description heavy and the storyline wooden and lifeless. I read because I like getting away from the stress of the real world, but getting through Desired felt more like a chore than a relaxing diversion. 

I’ll grant that some authors have enormous followings, but no writer has universal appeal and I beg you remember that when taking in my less than enthusiastic commentary. The bottom line is that a rating reflects a reader’s experience and Desired, though technically sound, wasn’t a good pick for me.  

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I will tell you of men and angels, of sons and sorrows. I will tell you of the courage required to wait upon a silent God. I will tell of the strongest man to ever walk the earth, and of what proved mightier than his strength. For the strength of a man cannot save anyone, not even himself.
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