A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story

A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marrie...

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Title:A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story
Author:Jill Eileen Smith
Rating:
Edition Language:English

A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story Reviews

  • Sandy Griffin

    Without a doubt, this is THE best book I've read in quite a long time. The story of Hannah and her desperation to bear a child, has long been a favorite of mine. I've often thought of the deep pain and despair she must have felt while having to endure the taunts and degredation by Peninniah. Jill Eileen Smith has brought those feelings to life in such a way as to touch my very soul. I was initially skeptical and leery of reading a fictional account based on a real life Bible character, but Mrs.

    Without a doubt, this is THE best book I've read in quite a long time. The story of Hannah and her desperation to bear a child, has long been a favorite of mine. I've often thought of the deep pain and despair she must have felt while having to endure the taunts and degredation by Peninniah. Jill Eileen Smith has brought those feelings to life in such a way as to touch my very soul. I was initially skeptical and leery of reading a fictional account based on a real life Bible character, but Mrs. Smith has quite obviously done her homework and describes the lifestyles in Hannah's days with accuracy and vividity. This story has come alive to me like I'd never imagined possible and has given me an even deeper respect for both Hannah and Elkanah. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who has ever been touched by the story of Hannah and her great faith in Adonai.

  • Victoria

    Do you like Biblical Fiction? If so, you will not be disappointed in this story. We all know that Hannah gave Samuel back to God, but this book shows us what Hannah's life might have been like. The story is very well written. The characters are very well developed. You feel like you could be Hannah's sister or neighbor.

    The story flows well and doesn't drag at all. It also isn't so fast-paced you get lost or left behind. It starts with Hannah as a young teen and follows her story through her adu

    Do you like Biblical Fiction? If so, you will not be disappointed in this story. We all know that Hannah gave Samuel back to God, but this book shows us what Hannah's life might have been like. The story is very well written. The characters are very well developed. You feel like you could be Hannah's sister or neighbor.

    The story flows well and doesn't drag at all. It also isn't so fast-paced you get lost or left behind. It starts with Hannah as a young teen and follows her story through her adult life. Even though this is fiction, it is a very believable account of how her life may have been. I was interested from the very beginning and was not disappointed at all.

    It is not at all a preachy kind of book. It does show Hannah's faith and what that kind of faith can do for a person. It is a very uplifting story, although Hannah's life is definitely not a bed of roses.

    I asked Baker Publishing for a chance to read and review this book and was given the book to review. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and any who like a good, historical Christian fiction book.

  • Anne Rightler

    Wow! A Passionate Hope, fourth in the Daughters of the Promised Land series, is another wonderfully written historical novel by Jill Eileen Smith. Having read others in this series, I knew what to expect and was not disappointed. Hannah, probably a fairly well-known woman of the Scriptures, comes to life at the hand of this author. She is the beloved yet barren wife of Elkanah and has loved and obeyed Adonai all her years. Why would He not hear her cries and answer her prayers? Even knowing the

    Wow! A Passionate Hope, fourth in the Daughters of the Promised Land series, is another wonderfully written historical novel by Jill Eileen Smith. Having read others in this series, I knew what to expect and was not disappointed. Hannah, probably a fairly well-known woman of the Scriptures, comes to life at the hand of this author. She is the beloved yet barren wife of Elkanah and has loved and obeyed Adonai all her years. Why would He not hear her cries and answer her prayers? Even knowing the Biblical account and how it begins and ends, I am impressed with the wonderful job the author does of fleshing out the individuals, crafting them into characters that are believable and have issues that readers can connect with. Hannah, blessed with a husband who has given her his total affection and yet she is often filled with despair and time and again feels worthless sometimes to the point of wishing she could just disappear from this life God has given her. Elkanah is portrayed as a man whose heart is after God, sorrowful for his beloved wife, and a dutiful husband to Peninnah, the haughty and embittered sister-wife. In reading this book, I am reminded of the old adage 'there is nothing new under the sun'. Some of the behaviors the author writes of could be headlines from current newspapers. Dynamic dialogue, descriptive scenes and the smooth flow of the story grab and keep the reader's attention. A Passionate Hope is a story of a woman who wants to give God all she has and of a God who hears and restores the brokenness in one's heart, a story you do not want to miss.

    I received a copy of the book from the publisher and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.

  • Valerie Jackson

    I am reviewing this book from an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher. I am not being compensated in anyway for the review of this book other than receiving a copy of the book.

    I don’t normally read historical novels, particularly Christian ones, as I can rarely relate to the culture of the characters. However, having recently studied Hannah’s story I thought I would give this one a try. It is usually difficult to retain interest in a work of fiction if you already know the key points of the

    I am reviewing this book from an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher. I am not being compensated in anyway for the review of this book other than receiving a copy of the book.

    I don’t normally read historical novels, particularly Christian ones, as I can rarely relate to the culture of the characters. However, having recently studied Hannah’s story I thought I would give this one a try. It is usually difficult to retain interest in a work of fiction if you already know the key points of the tale, as well as how the story ends. But in this case, I was never bored, as Jill Smith surprised me again and again with the direction in which she took her tale.

    Both the frustrations and the determination of Hannah were very relatable. A picture is also painted of the backgrounds of the other main characters, so that we may understand their motivations and, at least somewhat, empathize with them also. The author also tackled the cultural climate of trying to worship under a corrupt priesthood. And the daily cycles of the life of a woman of this period is also well delineated, with no jarring hints of a modern mindset.

    There was not a lot of depth of characterization at the beginning, but then again, the very young rarely have a lot of depth of character. As Hannah faced the challenges of being a barren wife and unhappy daughter-in-law, we see her faith grow. By the tale’s end, the combination of strength and femininity that was Hannah’s from the very beginning, became the fully mature hallmarks of that woman whose faith and compassion are the result of a trial by fire. She is the sort of woman we would like to become. And the sort of woman we would like to know.

  • Amy

    A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story is a beautiful story of hope, faith, and inspiration. I love this fourth installment from the Daughters of the Promised Land series. To be honest, I was not sure about it at first. Then suddenly, I was hooked and loving Hannah more and more. I felt connected to her. I could feel and understand her struggles. It was heartbreaking at times but she never gave up, which is admirable to see her strength.

    A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story is my newest favorite by Jill

    A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story is a beautiful story of hope, faith, and inspiration. I love this fourth installment from the Daughters of the Promised Land series. To be honest, I was not sure about it at first. Then suddenly, I was hooked and loving Hannah more and more. I felt connected to her. I could feel and understand her struggles. It was heartbreaking at times but she never gave up, which is admirable to see her strength.

    A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story is my newest favorite by Jill Eileen Smith. Her work just keeps getting better and better.

    I highly recommend this book and give it 5+ stars.

    I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

  • Laura

    Sometimes the smallest stories in the Bible turn out to be the biggest, life-changing ones. Author Jill Eileen Smith has taken the story of Hannah (the mother of Samuel) and breathed so much life into it that I feel as if I've gone back in time and mourned and rejoiced along with Hannah herself.

    The characters of Hannah and her husband Elkanah were very well-developed, and while the two were wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord, the author has shown that even then sometimes we fail miserably at bei

    ​Sometimes the smallest stories in the Bible turn out to be the biggest, life-changing ones. Author Jill Eileen Smith has taken the story of Hannah (the mother of Samuel) and breathed so much life into it that I feel as if I've gone back in time and mourned and rejoiced along with Hannah herself.

    The characters of Hannah and her husband Elkanah were very well-developed, and while the two were wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord, the author has shown that even then sometimes we fail miserably at being obedient to the One we serve.

    Like Abraham and Sarah who prayed for a son and whom God promised they would have, Elkanah gave into the sin of polygamy by refusing to wait on God. How Hannah endured the taunts and barbs of his new wife Penninah, who gave him child after child, is shown throughout this book. I was actually angry at Elkanah because he deliberately cheated on his wife, to get what he wanted - children. Granted, he was forced into the marriage by his mother, and even by Hannah who grudgingly agreed but still, he could have said no.

    But then the theme of this story would not have come through - that of waiting on God for our answers to prayer. That, I believe is the hardest part of being obedient to God. We like to think we can force His hand or prod it along to get our way, but God has the final say in the matter.

    Smith did an excellent job including biblical accounts of the evil priests Phineas and Hophni, preparing the way for the son Hannah would eventually have - Samuel, who would help bring change to Israel.

    If you want an inspiring read, that will stay with you days later grab a copy of A Passionate Hope!

  • Kellyn Roth

    Title: A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story

    Author: Jill Eileen Smith

    Series: Daughters of the Promised Land, #4

    Genre: Biblical Fiction

    Era: Biblical (Hannah, mother of Samuel)

    Publisher: Revell Books

    Source: from Netgalley (in exchange for honest review)

    Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

    Title: A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story

    Author: Jill Eileen Smith

    Series: Daughters of the Promised Land, #4

    Genre: Biblical Fiction

    Era: Biblical (Hannah, mother of Samuel)

    Publisher: Revell Books

    Source: from Netgalley (in exchange for honest review)

    Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

    A sweet but heartbreaking but hopeful story of how Hannah’s life could have been. I really enjoyed it and finished it in just a couple days – and as it was almost four hundred pages (380, anyway), that’s a wonder!

    PLOT: 4/5

    I believe it’s very important to take all Biblical fiction with a grain of salt. We don’t know that was how it was for sure. And basing an entire novel – especially a long novel like this one! – based on the life of someone from the Bible about whose life very few details were given is very risky.

    I did like it, though! Don’t get me wrong. It was entertaining and for the most part kept my interest. At times it seemed to drag a wee bit – and I was curious as to when this whole boring life of Hannah’s was going to end! ;) But it was a great story with a great message.

    I don’t know that I believe that Hannah was approaching middle-age (in modern-day terms) when Samuel was born. It just wasn’t what I’d thought of whenever I read the Biblical account.

    I always imagined the story like this: I bet she was married around fourteen or fifteen and had Samuel when she was, oh, late twenties. I don’t remember if it was specified in the Biblical account that Hannah was the first wife; I kind of thought of her as the second, younger wife. And I don’t think it took her that long to think to offer her son as a Nazarene. That would have been the first thing that occured to me … ;)

    But really, we don’t know, so this account is as likely as any other. It was definitely believable, which is more than I can say about some Biblical fiction!

    CHARACTERS: 5/5

    Hannah was an amazing character. Her faith, patience, and kindness were incredible. She was the kind of person I know I’d want to be friends with. Definitely worth reading the book just to see her Christ-like example of life even through trials. (And the girl didn’t even have Christ as an example, come to think of it!)

    Elkanah was pretty caring and protecting. At first I was skeptical, but I came to understand his motivations for taking a second wife, etc., and I forgive him – in part, at least. Bigamy is never a good thing – it’s completely against God’s perfect design for marriage. Still, I came to understand why he did it, so it made me a bit more sympathetic.

    It was also hard to like him because he treated Penninah kinda unfairly. I mean, he just married her for children, and then made it clear to her through his actions that he didn’t really care for her.

    So yeah, despite his sweetness to Hannah, I didn’t love Elkanah.

    I was surprised to find myself sympathizing with Penninah. She was a truly terrible person, honestly; just a whiny little brat. But I get where she’s coming from, and I wanted her to have some sort of happy ending. (Though if she died young, I wouldn’t have minded that either! :P )

    I hate Hophni and Phineas. Even more than I did based on reading the Biblical accounts. And their poor wives … <3 :(

    SETTING: 5/5

    Excellent! I really got sucked back into the thousands-of-years-ago setting. (Probably 3,000 years ago? I’d have to actually think about it.) Quite fascinating. The author really seems to know her stuff!

    As, outside of the Bible, I haven’t done a ton of research, I wouldn’t know if it wasn’t accurate in any way. To me, it seemed perfect. Good job to the author!

    WRITING: 4/5

    The author’s style was enjoyable and understandable. Very flowing and melodic. I occasionally found it difficult to understand point-of-view switches, but other than that, well done.

    CONTENT: 3/5

    Language: n/a

    Violence: mentions of wars, invading countries, etc. No graphic violence.

    Sexual: mentions of sexual interactions between Elkanah and his wives (ugh, writing wives in relation to one man gives me the shivers!), but no details were given. Somewhat detailed descriptions of birth that may make some uncomfortable. The priests are evil and take advantage of young girls, oftentimes leaving them pregnant. Their illegitimate children run around the temple. Treated as very wrong.

    Other: mentions of burnt offerings, sacrifices, animals being slaughtered for those sacrifices, etc. Blood and animal-sacrificing/killing, few details. Both Hannah and Penninah contemplate suicide at times. Penninah comes pretty close.

    More adult content than bad content. I’d say 14+ for sexual mentions as well as the priest’s evilness being disturbed. If you’re disturbed by childbirth (which is not something I understand, but …), then use discretion.

    OVERALL: 4.5/5

    A great story I’d recommend to any lovers of Biblical fiction! This has always been a favorite story with me, so it was a great treat for me, and I’d definitely reread it someday.

    ~Kellyn Roth,

  • Sally

    When reviewing a Biblically-based novel, I find it useful to review what I know about the main character(s). I knew that Hannah was the mother of Samuel, who anointed both Saul and David. I knew she’d been barren for many years, and I knew that she made a vow to God that, if He gave her a child, she would surrender that child back to Him. She also had a vicious sister-wife!

    had me rethink at least one of my presumptions. Peninnah is essentially the villainess of Hannah’s story,

    When reviewing a Biblically-based novel, I find it useful to review what I know about the main character(s). I knew that Hannah was the mother of Samuel, who anointed both Saul and David. I knew she’d been barren for many years, and I knew that she made a vow to God that, if He gave her a child, she would surrender that child back to Him. She also had a vicious sister-wife!

    had me rethink at least one of my presumptions. Peninnah is essentially the villainess of Hannah’s story, but Jill Eileen Smith made me feel sympathy for her. She was the second wife of a man she loved, and she gave him plenty of children, but Elkanah was never really able to give her what she wanted. In Smith’s account, Peninnah’s deceased father hadn’t been a great father or husband and her mother consistently gave her bad advice. As for Hannah, I can’t imagine what it must’ve felt like to know your husband was sleeping with another woman because she could give him sons when you couldn’t. And how much worse it must’ve been for the wives of the sons of Eli, the priests who couldn’t have cared less about carrying out their duties the way God instructed. Instead of focusing on the responsibilities they’d been given they reveled in the power that resulted from those responsibilities.

    Don’t expect a detailed look of the duties of the Levites, the loss of the Ark of the Covenant in battle, or of Samuel as an adult. We get Elkanah’s perspective, but only as it pertains to Hannah and Peninnah. This is a book about the mother of a great Bible figure, in a series about pivotal female figures of the Old Testament. Look at it in that light and I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a fascinating look a woman who struggled to understand God but kept her faith in Him nevertheless.

  • Trixi

    Biblical fiction at it's finest! Jill never fails to transport me back into the pages of scripture with her writing, as if I'm right in the midst of the people & culture of the times. Surrounded by the sights, sounds, and feel of Shiloh & the annual feasts this time around in her book. Honestly, it's as real as being there myself!

    She also always nudges me to re-read the account of whatever character she chooses to portray in whatever book I happen to be reading. Though I've probably rea

    Biblical fiction at it's finest! Jill never fails to transport me back into the pages of scripture with her writing, as if I'm right in the midst of the people & culture of the times. Surrounded by the sights, sounds, and feel of Shiloh & the annual feasts this time around in her book. Honestly, it's as real as being there myself!

    She also always nudges me to re-read the account of whatever character she chooses to portray in whatever book I happen to be reading. Though I've probably read the account of Hannah, her husband Elkanah & Peninnah many times in the Bible, the author has a way of breathing life into them who I only know through God's word. Making them real in my mind and feeling, seeing, tasting and touching everything they do. From walking with them on the dust covered roads as they travel to many feasts, and seeing the priests & many sacrifices made in the temple. It must have been quite a lot to take in, and to worship Adonai so freely among others who do the same must have been incredible! My own spirit leaps with them!

    I'd have to say I resonated with Hannah in so many ways. Not in the fact that she couldn't bear children, but that she wrestled with doubt that God heard her prayers when she prayed in earnest for a child, especially after so many years of barrenness. And when Peninnah cruely reminded her and oftentimes goaded her after bearing her own children. I know she had faith in the Lord and loved Him with all her heart, but I also know how it is to doubt. Both her and Elkanah also saw the wickedness of the priests & corruption of the temple and wondered how long God would tolerate it. They struggled with how a loving God could ever put up with evil! The author reminded us throughout the book that no matter our doubts or questions, God is a God that does hear and see even when we think He seems silent. I also know He used their son Samuel to mete out His judgment. But oh, my mother heart grieved when it came time to send him to live with Eli (the high priest) to fulfill Hannah's vow!

    Loved this book, just like the others I've read by Jill. She brings so much life to them and reminds us of God's ways in our own lives. Biblical fiction has quickly become one of my favorite genres thanks to authors like this who prod us to delve into God's word even deeper!

    Favorite lines:

    Page 34: “Did not Moses say that our God is near to us whenever we pray to Him? I think He hears our prayers no matter where we pray them. I don't think our God is hindered by where we are.”

    Page 68: “If a foreign country were trying to invade us, we could join forces and oppose them, but we are corrupt from within our own tribes and leaders. How are we suppose to battle that?”

    Page 69: Hannah talking; “ I do not understand how the God I worship could allow a widow to be so bereft. Or why He allows the priests to act as they do without consequence.” She searched his face. “Do you know?”

    Elkanah's response; “You ask hard questions, my love. Who can truly know the mind of God? He tells us to pray, He commands our obedience, but His ways are not our ways. How can one created understand the One who made him?”

    * I received a complimentary copy by the publisher on behalf of the author. No favorable review was required. *

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