Lioness: Mahlah's Journey
Confession time: the only reason I knew of the daughters of Zelophehad before Barbara M. Britton began her series on them is that I know a woman named Tirzah. I’ve yet to ask if she has four older sisters by the names of Mahlah, Noah (I thought that was a boy’s name), Hoglah, and Milcah! These were the names Zelophehad gave his daughters and, in this first book about them, Britton focuses on the oldest daughter. Using the meagre amount of information about the family found in the book of Numbers, Britton has crafted a tale of the final years of the Exodus from a female perspective.
After their father dies, Mahlah is determined to protect her sisters and keep them together. In doing so, she faces the male leaders of her tribe of Manasseh, men from other tribes looking for servants (or worse), and strangers from the nearby Midianite communities. Her greatest challenge comes when she hears that families will receive land according to their tribes. She’s determined that her family will receive their share, despite being a group of women in a patriarchal society. If I have one qualm about this daughter, it is that she’s almost perfect. As oldest sister, she takes her duties seriously. She prays about everything and worships God continuously. That’s something we all want to do but seldom achieve. Further, every prayer is answered almost immediately. Her only negative attribute seems to be that she’s still single.
Harbourlight is considered a non-romantic imprint of Pelican Book Group, but of course there’s love in this novel. Again, Mahlah is the central character in the romantic plotline, but one of her sisters faces heartbreak when God decrees they can only marry within their tribe. I hope she recovers in one of the next two books of this trilogy. Speaking of which, the next one – Heavenly Lights: Noah’s Journey – will be released on 21 February, 2020 in ebook form. If you’d prefer to read the paperback copy, that version is scheduled for release on 06 March, 2020.
Sally - PBG Booklover