Egypt’s Sister by Angela Elwell Hunt

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Egypt’s Sister is the latest release by our beloved author, Angela E. Hunt. This newest release begins her new Silent Years Series and has a different flavor than her other novels. In this novel, Hunt departs from her usual style by writing a novel in the historical genre. Set in the years before Christ’s birth, the novel tells the tale of Cleopatra, the famed queen of Egypt. I was surprised to find that the beginning of the story was rather slow to develop and did not hold the attention as well as Hunt’s past novels, however, she made up for this by returning to her usual writing style later in the novel. As a whole Egypt’s Sister was a tad overloaded with historical fact, this made the book seem more like a documentary than a story. However, one has to appreciate the time and dedication that she put into writing this book. While this is certainly not Hunt’s best novel, I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to readers interested in historical fiction. The opening chapters introduce the reader to the main character, a young Jewish girl named Chava. Chava’s mother died when she was young, and she is growing up under the tutelage of her scholarly father. She has the privilege of being the companion and best friend to one of Egypt’s young princesses, a curious girl named Urbi. Chava and Urbi spend many hours playing, observing, and discussing life’s complexities. One day Chava hears directly from God that her destiny is to be a sister/friend to Urbi until the day of her death. Chava’s father does not initially believe her claim, mostly because he has never heard the voice of God. Nevertheless, Chava continues to follow God’s calling by remaining a true friend to Urbi. As the two grow into young women, they both begin to realize their place in the world. For Urbi, it would appear that her destiny is to marry well and become Queen of Egypt. For Chava, it is to follow the calling that God has placed upon her life, to love Urbi as a sister, unconditionally. Following the death of her father, Urbi is convinced to marry her younger brother and take on the name Cleopatra, so that she might take her place as Queen of Egypt. Chava finds that the Queen has little time for her childhood friend anymore, and that she begins to make decisions of her own accord. For a time, the two remain friends, but when a jealous Cleopatra asks her to choose between the gods of Egypt and the One True God, Chava chooses the One True God. This decision causes Cleopatra to throw Chava and her family in prison. Alone inside her prison cell, Chava questions God’s will and His purpose for her life. Through various circumstances, she is sold into slavery and eventually decides to become a midwife, with the hope of buying her freedom. Will Chava learn to forgive Cleopatra for her rash decision? Will she trust in God’s infallible plan for her life? To answer these questions, read the book! Egypt’s Sister could make an interesting Christian historical film, however, the filmmakers would have to ensure that their main focus is character development. Without character development, the film would be no more than a documentary.

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