Reviews for Daughters of the Desert

Posted on May 16, 2013 |

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Gr. 7-10. Women, though mentioned in the holy books of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, have never really gotten their due. This book tries to rectify that situation in 18 stories. Using sacred writings as their basis, the five women authors have reshaped the stories of such individuals as Sarah, Mary Magdalene, Eve, and Khadiji, the wife of Mohammed. The authors also give voice to some unnamed women–for example, the servant girl who confronts Peter for denying Jesus. The stories are short and simply told, but they are intriguing and invite discussion. Two of the most interesting concern the dismissal of Hagar and Ishmael from Abraham’s tents: one is told from Sarah’s viewpoint; the other from Hagar’s. The story endnotes give the basis for each telling. An interesting way of showing how three religions spring from the same sandy landscape.

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— Ilene Cooper. Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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“Recovery of the wisdom of women in the great Abrahamic religions is long overdue. Daughters of the Desert is a knock-out contribution to that project. Read the stories, fill your heart, share the wealth with others. This book deserves to become a classic of twenty-first century spiritual reading. Cherish it.”

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—Mitch Finley, author of Prayer for People Who Think Too Much and The Joy of Being Catholic

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“These engaging stories of women, some of whom are important to all three religions, and some known only to one, help build bridges of understanding between religions and demonstrate the importance of religion in our lives.”

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—Dr. Freda Crane, member, Islamic Society of North America

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“How refreshing to find the stories of Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions. They are like water in the desert offering new voices and new hope to our generation.”

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—Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, author of Cain & Abel: Finding the Fruits of Peace and But God Remembered: Stories of Women from Creation to the Promised Land

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“Some stories speak powerful narratives. Others point to new understandings of our world. Still others ask questions of justice, mercy, and devotion within communities. Daughters of the Desert speaks and points and questions in all three ways, with stories about women from three spiritual traditions. Their ancient journeys—Jewish, Christian, and Muslim—startlingly and wonderfully like our own, call us to and encourage us in our own paths to God.”

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—Gary Schmidt, author of Winter: The Spiritual Biography of the Season and William Bradford: Plymouth’s Faithful Pilgrim