Title: The Scarlet Cord
Author: Debbie McQueen
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Christian
The Scarlet Cord is a story of survival, breaking free, finding your place, discovering faith, and finding someone who sees you for who you really are.
Rahab grows up under the harsh rule of her father who forces her to use her body for his gain. After a great loss, she flees her father’s house, but eventually she falls back into living the life of a harlot in order to survive. Despite how she lives and what she has endured, she feels a pull towards the stories of the Hebrew people and their God and somehow knows that her future lies with them. She ends up in the right place and time to be used mightily by the God of the Israelites. She even finds a love she never thought she would have.
Salmon is a commander among the Hebrew people. He was born in the desert, and has been wandering all his life. He has never wed, and feels deeply that God has someone set aside for him. He just hasn’t met her yet. Salmon is sent into the city of Jericho as a spy and ends up finding his love in a brave, strong, independent, confident woman, despite that she happens to be a harlot in a godless city.
This was a new one for me! I’ve never Biblical fiction before and it was cool, strange, and over all, pretty awesome. The story centers around two key figures: Salmon, one of the spies to infiltrate Jericho, and Rahab the Harlot, who hid the spies and in return was saved from the destruction of her city.
The strange part of reading this for me was that I am use to truths in regards to the Bible, so in my mind a fictional back story must be real. It was kind of weird to remember this was just fiction…
Strangeness aside, I really enjoyed the sweet romance (harlot = sweet romance… like I said strange.) and unique take on this famous tale. In McQueen’s story, Rahab is a girl on the cusp of womanhood who enjoys dancing and being with the people she loves, while existing in a closed environment inside the double walls of Jericho. Incredibly, we still get a descriptive, believable world with the poor living against the outer wall, the market filled with goods, and the affluent hiding closest to the middle. Rahab lives and dances at her father’s inn, until he gets greedy enough to take a young man’s entire inheritance in exchange for her innocence which opens the doors to her new occupation. The young man in question is Rahab’s earliest love interest, someone she dreams of marrying and owning a farm with. This part raised a really interesting question; would it be better to have one night with the person you love or to leave and never look back?
Forced to bed different men, or watch her maid brutalized, to further her father’s wealth, Rahab learns that no one can touch her heart and soul unless she allows it.
It’s a story of redemption, faith, love, strength, and learning just who you really are in this crazy world. I really enjoyed it and think it would be a good read for a mature teen/young adult or any adult into Bible stories. Hopefully McQueen writes more for us in the future because this was a great start to authordom!