A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible’s Baddest Girls
Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.
When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.
Out of all of the Dangerous Beauty books, I felt this particular volume was the strongest in regards of storytelling. In each of the previous books, the secondary point of view wasn’t as relevant to the story (still relevant, just not as significantly) as Samson is to the story of Delilah. Seeing the point of view through the famed Samson’s eyes was an interesting way of trying to build a complete story that not only did justice for the biblical version, but also allowed some insight into how things could have easily been more than they originally seemed. As Angela Hunt points out at the end of the book, there aren’t a lot of details about Delilah. Even her heritage isn’t revealed. It’s always just assumed she was a Philistine, but there’s nothing to confirm it.
Knowing the lack of detail and being as open-minded as I am, I have to say that I really enjoyed the liberties the author took with this tale. I know there will probably be some backlash for making Delilah a sympathetic character, but who is to say she had any other choice? After all, look what happened to Samson’s wife and father. This wasn’t exactly the most peaceful time of history and women during that time were regarded to as just another piece of property unless you had the means and then they could be used a political piece.
Also, like so many of the other women of the bible, Delilah could have easily been villainized for her part in Samson’s capture, but what if she truly had no choice? I think the most important point of this all is smartly pointed out by the author. Neither Samson nor Delilah were heroes nor villains. They were merely people who lived and did the best they could. After all, how could you punish a woman who might have been under the threat of death for turning in Samson, when he freely admitted to killing thirty men for no other reason than he lost a bet. Neither were infallible and to continue the pattern of always blaming women in the Bible for major betrayals, is ignorant and allows those to continue to fault all of the problems of the world to women and what is considered to be the first sin.
I would highly recommend this book as a must read.
Reviewer’s note: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.