I read historical fiction across all periods, and thought this book was quite good.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Slender Reeds” is the story of several Biblical figures, written as historical fiction. It’s plain that the author has done her research into both the event-specific and cultural history of the period in order to describe midwifery, foodways, and religious beliefs, so that’s all to the good.
The main character of the story is Jochebed (sometimes spelled Jochebel), who is the mother of Miriam, Aaron, and Moses. We see her arranged marriage to Amram, and the birth of her first two children with the help of Shiphrah, the half-Egyptian midwife, and the jealousy of their friend Lili, who is unable to have children until further into her life — just in time for the Pharaoh’s edict about Jewish male children. We also get a look into the life of slaves, with quotas of mats and baskets, but it isn’t a focus of the book. It’s far more about the people.
Unlike most self-proclaimed Christian fiction, this book isn’t terribly preachy (which is also to the good). In period, religion was an everyday part of life, and that is treated here. Nicely done.