The Wayward Moon
Janice Weizman takes readers back to ninth-century Babylonia in this interesting debut novel. Rahel Bat Yair is the seventeen-year-old daughter of a Jewish physician in Sura, a city south of Baghdad. Her mother died giving birth to her and her father raised and educated her. When he accepts a position as an advisor to the governor, an anti-Semitic member of the governor’s entourage murders him and Rahel is forced to defend herself. After killing the murderer, Rahel flees, leading to many adventures throughout the Islamic, Jewish, and Christian communities between the Tigris and the Euphrates. She spends time in a monastery, has an ill-fated love affair, and eventually finds her way back to the Jewish community in the Galilee. Rahel is a strong, learned woman, determined to survive despite the adversity in her life. The author’s attention to historical detail adds color to an action-packed story that will keep readers turning the pages. Book clubs will enjoy this book. The role of women in ancient societies, arranged marriages, religion, and slavery provide many issues for discussion.
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