cover image Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey

Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey

Barbara M. Britton. Pelican, $15.99 trade paper (223p) ISBN 978-1-52-230225-4

Britton launches the Daughters of Zelophehad biblical fiction trilogy with this enchanting first installment (after the Tribes of Israel series). The Israelites still wander the wilderness before entering the promised land. After the tragic death of Zelophehad, his five daughters must fend for themselves to prevent being put under the guardianship of male relatives. Mahlah, the eldest, is determined to provide for and protect her sisters, including obtaining the right to inherit land that would have been granted to a son. While the daughters show some rebellious streaks, Britton reveals Mahlah’s strong faith and deep understanding of the cultural norms of her day as she boldly, but respectfully, approaches Moses with her petition. The request is so unexpected that Moses asks God for guidance before making a decision. Britton fleshes out the brief biblical account of this family with plenty of drama, including plagues, idol worshippers, and a harrowing military conflict. Mahlah’s uncommon strength separates this poignant story from similar books that retread familiar biblical narratives. Fans of Tessa Afshar will love this. [em](Dec.) [/em]