“If woman is man’s greatest help, she is also his greatest danger,” Rei reminds Samson in Angela Hunt’s novel, Delilah: Treacherous Beauty.
~ What ~
Third in the Dangerous Beauty series, this three-hundred-fifty-two-page paperback targets those interested in a fictional account of the Biblical Samson and Delilah. Using the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version, the rendition contains topics of physical and sexual abuse, murder, and death so it may not be appropriate for immature readers.
Told in first person by Delilah and Samson by chapter, the story begins in 1200 BC when dark-skinned Delilah is seventeen years old. After her mother’s new husband unexpectedly dies, the women are removed from their house by the man’s son who is bent on ruining both of their lives.
When her mother becomes a slave and Delilah is sexually abused, the young girl escapes her step-brother’s clutches, only to find herself pregnant and destitute. Doing all she can to survive, she befriends an old woman who teaches her how to weave. Ever determined to free her mom and get revenge on her abusive, controlling step-brother, she believes the Jewish judge, Samson, to be her only hope. Enticing the man who trusts in one God into a romantic relationship, she must decide if she loves him more than vengeance.
~ Why ~
With minimally documented information on the life of Delilah, the story offers a detailed and well-researched account of the Old Testament times and culture. Being a fan of Hunt, I enjoy her molding and shaping of the characters and their interactions. This one makes the reader question the “what ifs” of the unknown situations regarding this couple.
~ Why Not ~
Those that know their Bible will quickly notice the liberal liberties in the backstory of Delilah that are not included in Scripture. Since so little is stated about Delilah in the Word, some of Hunt’s fictional backgrounds of the notorious woman and other characters may be a little far-fetched and unrealistic (such as the mystical being named Rei who is Samson’s closest friend).
~ Who ~
Author Angela Hunt has written over one hundred books, mostly novels focusing on the Bible’s characters. Having won several prestigious awards, she lives with her husband and dogs in Florida.
~ Wish ~
I appreciated Hunt’s using capitalization of pronouns of God for reverence. I wish the backstory did not portray Delilah as a victim who had no choice but to betray a man she loved deeply. However, as she stated in the author’s notes, humans do rationalize their sinful behavior.
~ Want ~
If you are seeking an extended story of one author’s fictional viewpoint of two Old Testament iconic figures, this one blends the culture of the Philistines and Jews when Adonai showed His power and glory through a judge named Samson and a vengeful woman named Delilah. I enjoyed reading the book, but it was not my favorite of Hunt’s.
Thanks to the Baker Publishing for this book to read and review.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.