Cover image for The shadow women
The shadow women
Hunt, Angela Elwell, 1957-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
390 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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- THE SHADOW WOMEN was published in Warner Faith hardcover in 11/02.- Angela Elwell Hunt's story about Moses will appeal to readers of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent (St. Martin's Press, 1997), which tells the Old Testament story of Dinah. It was a bestseller and the Book Sense 2001 Book of the Year.- Hunt's biblical series on Joseph (Bethany House Publishers) has sold over 50,000 copies and is still in print. Her children's book, The Tale of the Three Trees (Lion, 1990), has over two million copies in print and has been made into an animated video. An established CBA author, her books have sold over three million copies worldwide and have been featured selections in Crossings and Guideposts bookclubs.- There is a huge audience for novels that weave fiction with history, as evidenced by the bestselling success of Caleb Carr.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Hunt, making the transition from Christian to mainstream publishing, offers a historical novel in the tradition of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent (1997): the biblical world as seen through the eyes of its women. Here, the women are those centered around Moses, including his sister, Miriam, who is rough, tough, and, finally, by book's end, changed by her understanding of YHWH; his Egyptian mother, Merytamon, daughter and future wife of the pharaoh, who has a barren womb but needs a son to ensure her place in the community; and Moses' wife, Zipporah, a desert girl who questions all gods until she embraces one. Fans of The Red Tent will find this novel less sweeping, both in terms of its scope and the emotion it evokes. In part this is because YHWH, who speaks to Moses and Miriam, seems small. The characterizations, however, are interesting and hold attention. Note: some readers will not appreciate several paragraphs in the last pages in which Moses prophesizes about Jesus and his sacrificial death and implies the Old Testament is merely a precursor to the New. Hunt brings a fan base with her, so expect some demand. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

Touted as rivaling Anita Diamant's The Red Tent, this novel by the prolific evangelical Christian author Hunt starts well, but falters toward the end. In a series of first-person narratives, the life of Moses unfolds through the eyes of three women: his sister Miryam, Egyptian foster mother Merytamon and young Midianite wife, Zipporah. Hunt's writing is at its most compelling as she recounts life in the Egyptian palace through Merytamon, capturing her fears of losing Moses if his Hebrew heritage is made known. Unfortunately, the novel suffers from glitches just as events are coming to a climax. When Moses kills an Egyptian overseer, the event seems contrived, and Hunt's recountings of the plagues God visits on the Egyptians range from spine-tingling to yawn-inducing. Chapters tend to be either too short (half a page) or too long (74 pages), and Hunt habitually tells rather than shows. Although there are brief revivals in the storytelling (as when Miryam sojourns in the wilderness while suffering from leprosy), the novel never quite regains its early momentum. Still, it's a much more CBA-friendly tale than Diamant's (a circumcision is described without the word "penis" being mentioned, for example), and Hunt's portrayal of Moses is more accessible and upbeat than Simone Zelitch's in Moses in Sinai. Hunt is one of the CBA's more polished novelists, and conservative Christian readers who dismissed The Red Tent for its edgy spirituality and frank sexuality will find little to quibble with here and much to enjoy. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The three main women in Moses's life narrate his dramatic story from their perspectives. Miryam, his seven-year-old sister, and Merytamon, his 14-year-old adoptive mother, cover his early years as an Egyptian prince. Nine-year-old Zipporah, his future wife, tells of Moses' time with her father, a priest, and their family. After God reveals himself to Moses, Miryam recounts the liberation of the Jewish people and their escape from Egypt, and Zipporah and Miryam recall the years in the wilderness. The animosity and jealousy Miryam feels for both Merytomon and Zipporah flood the narrative, poisoning their happiness, but Moses takes scant notice, focused as he is on his task of serving God. Hunt's (The Immortal; The Note) sure writing and attention to fascinating details, such as Egyptian make-up customs and the cooking techniques of nomadic desert dwellers, add new dimensions to an overly familiar tale. Give this deftly handled treatment of shadow women from the Bible to fans of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent and book discussion groups. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.