Reviewer: Carol A. Brown
Long Road Out Of Ur is an intriguing book! I am by no means a biblical expert; on the other hand I’m not biblically illiterate. So, when the author presented a man that I know the bible describes as “righteous” as a low life, scheming, plotting cheat and scoundrel, I took umbrage, and prepared to defend the righteous! I thought, “How dare he cast aspersions on Lot whose righteous soul was vexed by Sodom!”
At this point my reading took on the attitude of a defense lawyer searching for loopholes in logic and details that required one to step outside reality. But the more I read, the more I put my hackles down. By the end of the story Lot moved more and more into a lifestyle that increasing aligned with godly values. I had to agree that the scenarios presented would explain Abram’s family’s willingness to abruptly leave the area of Ur and never look back. I felt it was a rather accurate portrayal of societies devoid of the influence of Judean/Christian values.
Then as I sat mulling the story, I also saw the connection with generations yet unborn! That same “scoundrel” gene showed up in later generations, and the propensity to look out for number 1, to lie, and to cheat. Just because Abram had a relationship with God, did not immediately solve the moral problems stemming from a tendency toward conniving. It was still present in the family DNA—the tendency toward conniving showed up in Jacob, and later violence in Levi and Simeon.
Characters were well developed. Scoundrels were painted in 3-D and Technicolor! I wanted the bad guys to be caught and after a while wondered if maybe God should do a rerun on the flood! The good guys were sweet relief when they showed up. It was difficult for me to keep up with all the foreign names and to remember who was related to whom and what the relationship was. Thimell did provide a cast of characters, but when you are reading on a Kindle, and are not particularly adept at using its features, I found myself recognizing names and hoping I would recognize the relationship from context. A paperback would have served me better in that regard. I would have been able to flip back and forth.
The plot was one twist after another—until I wanted to edit a few to get to where they left this God forsaken place! I would not say there were lulls or slow places in the plot as much as that I experienced mental fatigue from all the gyrations. Could one person survive all of that? Yes, I suppose so if the hand of God is watching out for you. Well written and thought out. The book cover was intriguing—in fact that was one element that drew me to read the book.
I appreciated the larger view of the era and some “back story” on Abram and Lot’s exodus from Ur.
Would I recommend it? Yes, especially to those interested in biblical fiction or cultural/societal types of books and to those who can cope with the tangle of foreign names.
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