About the book:
Maryam is stuck in an abusive marriage, living with her in-laws in a conservative, toxically religious village. A few years back, her father was given a jar of priceless perfume by a dying leper and it seemed as if their fortunes would improve, but then Maryam's father contracted leprosy and was exiled from the village. Maryam and her siblings, Eleazar and Marta, experience the shame and ostracism this brings. The precious jar that was meant to bring them freedom has only brought destruction. But rumors abound concerning a new doctor; perhaps hope is on the horizon...
Alabaster brings a biblical-era Middle Eastern village and its culture to life for modern-day readers.
Alabaster is a story that takes us on a journey with a young woman in a Biblical Middle Eastern village. As I read this I was very thankful that I did not live in that time or place. There were laws on top of laws, and when men broke the laws, the women were mostly the ones who had to pay for it. This story was not a light-hearted read, it dealt with gossip, cruelty, rape, and abuse.
This story shows just how precious and fragile life is. I found the in-depth rules and regulations concerning leprosy interesting and how the lepers became outcasts from the rest of society. Not only the lepers but their families also were prejudiced against and treated with shame. There is hope however, that shines through this story. That hope is the Teacher and when this family meets Him, He changes everything for them. He turns the very strict religious laws upside down and shows compassion and healing even to the unclean- the lepers and their families who have survived. I did not realize till much later what Bible story this was actually inspired by. A thought-provoking read on how very different God sees us.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.