Everyone knows of the story of Moses pulled from the bullrushes as a babe whether its from a reading of the Scriptures, a viewing of The Ten Commandments or in artwork.
Mesu Andrews has managed to take the timeless story and weave it from an entirely unique point of view -- Anippe, the woman who drew Moses from the waters. She seems to have taken great pains in her research even choosing to make Mered, the husband of Pharaoh's daughter according to 1 Chronicles 4:17-18, one of her story's key characters. While The Pharaoh's Daughter is first and foremost historical fiction, the story woven is plausible and realistic. Thankfully, Ms. Andrews has provided a chart of her key characters and a brief explanatory note at her book's conclusion explaining key choices such as the inclusion of Mered.
Is this novel on the level of the greats? No. There are plenty of flaws especially in the first half of the novel. Specifically it is difficult to follow the storyline with so much time jumping and such a number of supporting characters. There also seems to be a great deal of backstory and detail that gets in the way of the flow of the story. However, Ms. Andrews seems to pick up her pace towards the second half of the story and I found myself eagerly turning the page to find out what happened next to Anippe, our story's protagonist.
While it might be hard to get into the novel, if one is a fan of historical and biblical fiction I would encourage them to wade through the heavy passages. Ms. Andrews has done a solid job of creating her story of Anippe and Mered. I just wish it was a smooth reading throughout and that there weren't so many characters I wanted to feed to the crocodiles nor so many leaps in time and breaking up of the story.
Warning: I would NOT recommend this book to young readers or those who are squeamish. Ms. Andrews does not hold back in her descriptions, incl. an execution scene. If I was to give it a rating, it would likely be PG-13. There are no sex scenes nor use of vulgar language.
The Pharaoh's Daughter is released on 17 March 2015 (U.S.) and 17 April 2015 (U.K.).
Amazon (U.S.): $9.18 (paperback) $7.99 (Kindle)
B&N (U.S.): $9.99 (paperback) $9.99 (Nook)
Waterstones (UK): £9.99 (paperback)
Foyles (UK): £7.29 (paperback - delivery)
Disclaimer: Thanks to Penguin Random House for the opportunity to review the book.