Jill Eileen Smith is a must-read author for me. Her Biblical Fiction is without question some of the best in the genre, and her newest release from Revell Publishers is one of her most impressive works so far. “The Prince and the Prodigal” is a sweeping masterpiece that spans decades of time, and dives deep into the lives of two brothers who most likely you are familiar with… Joseph and Judah, two of the twelve sons of Jacob – patriarch of biblical times.
This story is compelling and edifying, making us look at the story of Joseph (and his Coat of Many Colours) in perhaps a different light than ever before. For me, although I always agreed that what the other sons of Jacob did to their brother was deplorable, it sometimes seemed that Joseph was a little too haughty and proud and looked down his nose at his brothers… this story takes a different approach, however, and it made me realize that my thinking was not necessarily the only scenario possible. “The Prince and the Prodigal” also made me realize that the sins of the father truly do pass down generation after generation, until it affects an entire race of people! What Jacob did by favouring one of his sons, much to the detriment of his other children, and by taking multiple wives who had to vie for his favour, truly played a huge role in the eventual downfall of Israel and the division between the tribes.
The impeccable storytelling of Ms Smith shines in this story, and she truly holds nothing back. I had to refer to my Bible a few times to check, did that event really happen, or did this character really do that – and the answer was always yes! As awful as some of the details are (such Judah having children by his daughter-in-law), all of the major plot points of this novel are based on biblical truth. For me, that makes it such an educational and spiritually enriching novel, since it pushes us to approach the stories we’ve heard all our lives from a slightly different direction. This immersive experience is so beneficial, and of course it is wholesome entertainment as well.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”