Inspiring: "A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story" by Jill Eileen Smith

Cover Art

about the book....

Can one woman's prayers change the world?

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love for each other, for their God, and for His tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband's new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah's cruelty count for nothing? Will God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

my review....

With a deft hand, Jill Eileen Smith brings the story of Hannah to life in a new way in her latest novel, "A Passionate Hope". I was utterly moved as I became reacquainted with this Biblical character as Smith effortlessly draws readers into Hannah's world. Hannah's story will evoke deep emotion from her readers as Smith captures not only her angst at being unable to have children, but her deep grief over the taunting cruelty of her husband Elakanah's second wife, Peninnah. It is easy to read a Bible story and only get a surface understanding of what someone in the Bible experienced. But Smith has done a great job at making Hannah a real living and breathing person who readers will come to truly empathize with and appreciate all the more. Each of the characters have been well crafted and, though of course Smith had to take some poetic license in fleshing out these people who grace the pages of the Old Testament, she has remained faithful to the Biblical text in doing so.

The novel poses an intriguing question that was on my mind as I read the story, asking "Can one woman's prayers change the world?" I haven't really considered what would have happened if Hannah hadn't been barren, if she hadn't cried a desperate prayer to God that resulted in the gift of Samuel and the incredible role he played in establishing the kingdom of Israel. I am so grateful for this novel in giving me new eyes to consider the account of Hannah, one I've read many times without the same level of appreciation I now hold for the story.

Smith continues to create Biblical-based fiction that is not only entertaining but is so God-honouring at the same time, gifting her audience with a new appreciation of God's hand in history. I greatly enjoyed this book and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

about the author....

Jill Eileen Smith
Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of The Wives of King David, the Wives of the Patriarchs, The Loves of King Solomon, and The Daughters of the Promised Land series. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan. Learn more at

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