Slender Reeds - Jochebed's Hope is historical fiction based on the Old Testament. Author Texie Susan Gregory enjoys writing the stories of unknown mothers in biblical times.
Jochebed is the mother of Moses, but this tale begins long before his birth, just as she becomes betrothed to a widower with no children.
The story centers around Jochebed and her beloved mother who both live a hard life as basket-makers in Egypt, long after their predecessor Joseph has been forgotten by the Pharaohs. Fellow slaves, who are supposed to be their friends, tend to shun them because of the events surrounding Jochebed's father's death.
Jochebed, along with her two closest friends, Shiphrah and Lili, share much in common as well as great differences that divide them as they are bent over with the twisting circumstances of life.
Moses is not introduced to the story until the last quarter of the book, but all that goes on before his birth explains how he ended up floating in a basket cradle in the crocodile-infested Nile River.
Author Susan Texie Gregory has done her homework on Egyptian history and religion with her lengthy descriptions. Today's sophisticated readers will marvel how such alien beliefs could be taken seriously.
Maybe it's just me, or perhaps I try to read too many pages when I am sleepy, but with this book I had trouble keeping some of the characters straight. Mention was made of them at the beginning and then little to nothing was said about them for many chapters. When they reappeared, I didn't remember who they were.
But with that said, I would probably agree to read more of Ms. Gregory's books because her research is fascinating. My plan would be to make a list of each character's name as they appeared in the story, along with the page number. Then if they got buried in the plot and arose later on, I could return to where they first appeared and make the connection.
I wonder, do any of my readers resort to such tactics?