February 14, 2000

Desired: A Novel of Samson and Delilah, by Ginger Garrett

Desired: A Novel of Samson and Delilah (Lost Loves of the Bible)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Meet the legendary Samson as you've never known him before … through the eyes of the three women who loved him.

Before Samson was an Old Testament legend, he was a prodigal son, an inexperienced suitor, a vengeful husband, and a lost soul driven by his own weakness. This is his story as told by three strong women who loved him—the nagging, manipulative mother who pushed him toward greatness, the hapless Philistine bride whose betrayal propelled him into notoriety, and the emotionally damaged seductress—the famous Delilah—who engineered his downfall and propelled him to his destiny. Desired celebrates the God of Israel's to work powerfully in the midst of hopes, fears, desires, and sorrows.


In this historical fiction that retells the famous love story of Samson and Delilah, Samson himself is practically a footnote to the main stories, which are of the three women of his life. The reader comes to know him from the impact he has on these women. I learned a lot about what life was like for women of that time and place. I learned about the relationship between the Hebrew nation and their neighbors, the Philistines, and about the Philistine’s god Dagon. Because this familiar story is retold from the viewpoint of the women, the lines of right and wrong, good guy and bad guy, are blurred a bit. Instead of faulting this person for his action or that person for her lack of action, the reader sees the possible “story behind the story”.

The circumstances that drew these characters to each other were so intriguing, and I found myself really hoping for a different ending than the one I knew was to come. Throughout the book, I was reminded that life doesn’t always turn out as expected. I think the summary in the lesson to be derived from this book is found on page 307, in the words of Samson’s mother:

Every winter, just before spring arrives, the almond trees bloom. They are a promise from God, each of those white blossoms, that He is watching and His words will be fulfilled in their appointed time. Sometimes, this appointed time comes before we are ready. Sometimes, it seems to come too late. We cannot understand His timing….
However, as we learn in this story, we can trust that He is faithful to keep His word and to work miracles for those who obey Him even when they don’t understand Him.

I really enjoyed the author’s style of writing. She is a gifted craftsman of poetic prose, with descriptions and phrases that make the story breathe. I never felt that she’d overdone it, nor that she could have developed a point further. This is the second book in the Lost Loves of the Bible Series, the first of which being Chosen, the story of Queen Esther.  I look forward to reading more by Ginger Garrett.  Desired does deal with adult themes that may be unsuitable for teens, but I’d recommend this book for my girlfriends who need to be reminded that God can redeem any situation, and that He finishes what He starts.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the netGalley.com book review bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 

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