Potiphar’s Wife (2022)

About the Book

Book: Potiphar’s Wife

Author: Mesu Andrews

Release Date: May 24, 2022

Genre: Biblical Literature

The drama of the Old Testament comes to life as one of the Bible’s most infamous women longs for Joseph, her husband’s servant, in this riveting novel from the award-winning author of Isaiah’s Legacy.

Before she is Potiphar’s wife, Zuleika is a king’s daughter on the isle of Crete, where the sisterhood of women rules in the absence of their seafaring husbands. Now that she’s come of age, Zuleika knows she will soon be betrothed. Her father believes his robust trade with Egypt will ensure Pharaoh’s obligation to marry his daughter.

But Pharaoh refuses and gives her instead to Potiphar, the captain of his bodyguards–a crusty bachelor twice her age, who would rather have a new horse than a Minoan wife.

Abandoned by her father, rejected by Pharaoh, and humiliated by Potiphar’s indifference, Zuleika years for affection. But when her obsession with Joseph, the Hebrew chamberlain with the face and body of the gods, goes terribly wrong, she discovers the truth: Only the God of Joseph can heal her wounded heart.

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My Thoughts

The most powerful people in the world are women who are truly loved by their husbands. No, they’re not powerful according to the world — they’re probably not CEOs of Fortune 500 companies or billionaire socialites. In most instances they’re most likely simple, regular, nondescript women. But I promise you, they are extremely powerful. You see, these women hold hearts in their hands — the sensitive hearts of their husbands. When a husband truly loves a wife, he gives her all of him: his heart, his trust, his vulnerabilities, his weaknesses, his thoughts, his secrets, etc. This gives a woman A LOT of material that could be unfairly, unjustly, used against him. So, a woman has two choices. Choice #1, she can choose to love Jesus first and foremost. When she does this, Yahweh transforms her into a Proverbs 31 woman (it takes time, but it does happen). This woman is many things positive, but in modern terms, this woman does not manipulate her husband, she does not use his vulnerabilities against him, she does not terrorize him with explosive outbursts of anger, and she never, ever weaponizes sex. Instead, she encourages her husband, builds him up, and helps him walk his walk with Jesus. The second choice, however, is a woman who makes herself priority number one. This type of woman knows she holds great power over her husband and uses that power to hurt him to get what she wants. She is self-centered, mean and vindictive, and often uses sex as a tool to get what she wants.

Why am I bringing ANY of this up? Because Potiphar’s Wife is a story about many things, and one of those things is the difference between a Proverbs 31 woman and a self-centered woman. In this story, Zuleika, Potiphar’s wife, and Ahira, Joseph’s love interest, illustrate these two types of women. Ahira, on the one hand, is the type of woman I aspire to be — she LOVES Yahweh first and foremost. She is totally human and totally makes mistakes, but she ALWAYS goes back to God. Ahira has scary moments, frustrating moments, boring moments, and super sweet moments just like us women today, and she brings them all to God. And because of this, she is able to be there for Joseph the right way, the Proverbs 31 way. Zuleika, on the other hand, is the other type of woman and she drove me insane the entire story. I wanted to chuck my book across the room several times she frustrated me so badly. Days after reading this AMAZING novel and I am still so bugged by her. The real issue isn’t a fictional character. The real problem is me. I was a lot like Zuleika for a very long time in my marriage, so seeing aspects of my old self in 400+ pages was a hard pill to swallow. I wanted to chuck this book a ton of times because I wanted to get away from reminders of who I used to be. My husband fell in actual love with me, and I wielded my power for evil. I was selfish and self-centered and manipulative and angry. I took my husband’s heart and squashed it on many, many occasions, and this is my one BIG regret in life. Potiphar’s chapters in this novel were the worst for me emotionally because his pain and hurt and sense of total rejection ripped my heart to shreds and reminded me of all the ways I used to hurt my hubby. I can honestly say that I’m not like Zuleika anymore (and this is only because of God’s grace and patience), but Potiphar’s Wife did make me realize that I’m still a work in progress and I really need to learn how to forgive myself for my past actions. This is just another thing I will need to bring to Yahweh.

Potiphar’s Wife by Mesu Andrews is another home run. This novel is SUPERB. It’s well-written and highly engaging. The historical detail is superior — I truly felt transported to Egypt in the days of Joseph. The characters are masterfully created. They feel so real and so relatable, and my heart really went out to them. And the themes throughout this novel definitely force the reader to think on and wrestle with hard truths. This is a story you will not want to miss. I highly, highly recommend Potiphar’s Wife.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, WaterBrook and Multnomah, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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