25 September 2018

A Discovering Diamonds review of Judging Noa by Michal Strutin


AMAZON US   

Biblical / Family Drama
The Wilderness (Out of Egypt)
BC

As Moses leads the Israelites out of Egypt, we follow the life of Noa and her four sisters as they begin that historic journey in search of the Promised Land. Noa isn't the eldest, but she is the cleverest. When their father is killed for, allegedly, working on the Sabbath, Noa quickly realises that lands promised to him and his family would be forfeit as there is no male heir (though there would have been two brothers, they were both slaughtered by the cruel Pharaoh).  Despite opposition, Noa is determined to take the case to the various councils to fight for her rights.

All of the major events and obstacles to the Israelite's forty year flight are included: the crossing of the Red Sea, the Commandments issued to Moses and The Golden Calf. The author’s atmospheric writing carries us along on this journey, not just of the horde of people but also the life journey of Noa and her sisters as they grow to womanhood, are found husbands and have children of their own, It is an epic undertaking and, in this, the author succeeds in conveying the difficulties of such a massive undertaking: the feuds, loves, small but significant incidents that shapes her characters. It is also a book about the centuries-old struggle for women's rights and Noa's frustrations are well portrayed.

A map of the journey at the beginning would have been most useful. For the narrative itself, however, I feel the author has been badly let down by the editor(s): one or two typos are acceptable and one or two incorrect spacings between paragraphs also. But there were numerous occasions of words being run into each other – in one case, three words had no spaces between them. The simplest of spell checks would have highlighted these errors. Capitalising the first three words of each chapter is perfectly okay (though I don't personally like it) but not for every new section within each chapter. I'm also afraid to say that the cover did not particularly attract me, although the depiction of Noa did set me up for a mental image of her throughout. The design, however, did not give that feel of professionalism.

And that is the overall problem here: a potentially very good book marred by an unprofessional editorial approach. Alas for this reason I can only suggest a 3 star Amazon rating, which is a shame because the story itself should have merited at least 4 stars. I do strongly suggest a re-edit and reprint with a more eye-catching cover. The investment would be well worth it as there were some lovely passages which were a delight to read: “the wind stroked back the waves” (of the Red Sea) as an example.

Recommended for those who have an interest in Biblical history.

© Richard Tearle




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