One God, One Woman
by Jack Boyd
One God, One Woman is aptly titled "Preludes to Scriptures." Unlike many novels based on biblical characters, this volume does not retell any of the events recorded in the Bible. Rather, it gives some suggestions and insights into what might have been going on just before the stories we have recorded. When it gets to the point where the story begins in scripture, the book quotes directly from the Bible, adding nothing.
The value of the "preludes" we are given is multifaceted. Perhaps what is most enjoyable is the speculation. Is this how it really might have been? How close does the tale get to the personality we see of the character as recorded in the Bible? What might have been done differently.
Of additional interest to the reader is the cultural pictures presented in the tales. An obviously substantial amount of research lies behind each of the short stories, and they each unfold some aspect of the setting in which the biblical stories took place. This is a very interesting way of presenting the material, rather than a dusty, dry reference volume. When coupled with the speculation about individuals, it can really give a different level of insight into the stories recorded in the Bible.
All in all, preludes to the stories of 12 women are presented in this slim book. Lydia, Deborah, and the Queen of Sheba are amongst those whose stories are told for us. There is a diverse crowd of women gathered on these pages, and their stories are neatly brought to life. For any fan of biblical fiction, this is a book not to be missed.
reviewed by Shelly Bryant ©2009