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Extended Audio Sample Zipporah, Wife of Moses: A Novel, by Marek Halter Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,487 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marek Halter Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Canaan Trilogy Release Date: July 2005 ISBN: 9781415926758
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In the time of the Pharaoh, a tiny infant is rescued from the banks of the Red Sea. She is named Zipporah, “the little bird.” Although she is a Cushite by birth—one of the black people of the lands to the south—she is taken in by Jethro, high priest and sage of the Midianites. Jethro adores his adopted daughter, and she is an honored member of his family. But the blackness of Zipporah’s skin sets her apart and will decide her future: she will be an outsider, and the men of her adopted tribe will not want her as a wife. 

But when she becomes a young woman, Zipporah’s destiny changes forever. While drawing water at a well one day, she meets a handsome young man, a stranger. Like her, he is an outsider, a foreigner. His name is Moses. A Hebrew raised in the house of the Pharaoh, Moses is a fugitive, forced to flee his homeland of Egypt after murdering one of the Pharaoh’s cruel overseers. Zipporah knows almost immediately that this man will be the husband and partner she never thought she would have.

At first Moses wants nothing more than a peaceful life with the Midianites. He is content in his role as Zipporah’s lover and the honorary son of Jethro the sage. But Zipporah refuses to let Moses forget his past or turn away from what she believes to be his true destiny. Although he is the love of her life and the father of her children, Zipporah won’t marry Moses until he agrees to return to Egypt to confront Pharaoh and free his people. When God reveals himself to Moses in the burning bush, his words echo Zipporah’s, and Moses returns to Egypt with Zipporah by his side. A passionate lover and a generous, thoughtful wife, Zipporah becomes the guiding force in Moses’ struggle. With the help of her powerful father, she teaches the rebellious young man about the rule of law and the force of justice. Because of Zipporah—the outsider, the black-skinned woman—Moses becomes a defender of the oppressed and a liberator of the enslaved.

A woman ahead of her time, Zipporah leaps from the pages of this remarkable novel. Bold, independent, and a true survivor, she is a captivating heroine, and her world of deserts, temples, and ancient wonders is a fitting backdrop to an epic tale.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Enjoyable…Halter includes many rich cultural details and plenty of steamy sex, and he strikes a balance on miraculous occurrences, offering plausible ideas for some…while leaving others open to divine activity.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The strongest part of the book, not surprisingly, is the intense rendering of Zipporah. Halter builds her character not only by re-creating her most intimate thoughts but also by providing vivid details of her daily life in the desert.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 karen reyes | 2/20/2014

    " Interesting story about Cush wife of Moses, Zipporah. I like stories like this one because they give me a gleam into what life was like thousands of years ago, and how humanity dealt with pain, tradition, love and family. This particular story emphasizes the power of one woman, Zipporah. She was a critical force in Moses' life, encouraging him to travel to his people in Egypt, to begin the exodus of the Jewish slaves. Zipporah is a black gentile who uses what she knows about challenge and oppresion to connect with Moses, who is also made to feel like an outsider, not really fitting in with any one group of people. The two of them are followed through their journey of love, exclusion, pain and forgiveness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/10/2014

    " The series on women in the bible is great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 2/9/2014

    " This is the second book that I have read by Marek Halter. If you enjoy books that are set back in biblical times you will enjoy reading this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 ErinBeth | 2/6/2014

    " Interesting to see the story of Moses told from the viewpoint of his wife. There were a few parts, especially towards the end of the book, where it almost seemed the author forgot that he was telling this in the first person and seemed to accidentally switch to third person. But in general this was an interesting read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Becky | 1/26/2014

    " Not as riveting as The Red Tent or The Gilded Chamber. It was fine to listen to on audio while driving to and from work, but I'm glad I didn't take any free time to devote to it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vanda | 1/24/2014

    " I really did enjoy this book. It was a pretty amazing account of thelife of Moses's outcast wife. I really enjoyed the development of her character. But I did feel like I was reading a Danielle Steele at times, especially when the word "member" came up...several times. Otherwise the writing was great, easy to read and easy to get enthralled in. I'll definately read the other 2 books in the Canaan Trilogy (probably shouldn't have started with the middle one). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 1/19/2014

    " At first I was hesitant to continue this series. The first book moved at a very slow pace and was not as engaging. The second book flows at a steady pace and Zipporah dynamic protagonist. I just wish the author allowed her to speak more at the end of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 1/16/2014

    " I would like to know how much of this story is fictionalized and how much is based on actual events. Fascinating perspective on a well known story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 12/23/2013

    " I read this after "Sarah" and felt it was not as good. It's still a very interesting book, and touches on the concept of race more than most biblical fiction ever can. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 12/22/2013

    " Ireally enjoyed the story of Moses wife, such a strong woman and her father Jethro is such a wise and warm man you just love to listen to him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monique Vincent | 12/20/2013

    " My favorite things about his books are the insight into the ancient world view, and the picture of the divine he paints through their understanding. but his endings need work. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebeccameder | 12/12/2013

    " Enjoyable read! It made me think about moses and his life more than I had before. I never even really realized that he had a wife or sons. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 12/2/2013

    " An interesting read - makes you want to read the appropriate section of the Old Testament to see how the story matches. A book about a very strong woman; but every once in a while it just doesn't ring true. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Piz | 11/28/2013

    " A fun read - great subject matter. Not quite up to 'The Red Tent' in my opinion, but certainly well written and helps pass the time easily on the treadmill. A bit torn on the liberties taken with the fates of the sons. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terri | 9/21/2013

    " I really enjoyed all three of these books... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roslyn | 11/9/2012

    " Very Good Read. It is a story about Moses and how he meet his wife Zipporah.She was a source of strength for him. The journey to free his people was one that was wrought with betrayal, love, and redemption. Must read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine | 9/26/2012

    " I just read this on vacation. It's similar to the Red Tent only it's main character is Zipporah, the wife of Moses. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 9/23/2012

    " I like this series. I appreciate how the author creates long sagas from such short Biblical passages. First person through Zipporah's eyes, this is an interesting and unique perspective on her husband Moses and the time period. Lots of history included. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 9/11/2012

    " The descriptions of what life was like in the biblical times of Moses were fascinating. The humanity that the author gives to the characters of Zipporah and Moses is engaging. I wanted to keep listening for what would happen next. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie Richard | 8/5/2012

    " I love tho whole series. GREAT stories, for those excluded from the bible ( real women . Great writer "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renee | 6/2/2012

    " Very easy read - which is all I can keep up with these days. Gives an interesting perspective to what it might have been like to have been in love with Moses. Loved her spirit and faith. Worth reading if you like historical fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Talya | 3/19/2012

    " really good - love this writer! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Polyvivi Marthell | 2/13/2012

    " Zipporah, the Cushite - a dark-skinned people of African decent, the wife of Moses. Beautiful & tragic story of a brave, intellegent heroine that was discriminated and historically overlooked. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jodi | 12/21/2011

    " This is the second un a triology of the women of the Bible. I got it in early summer and just haven't gotten to it yet. Just like Sarah, Zipporah had faith in a husband who had a faith in G-d. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lizzie | 8/20/2011

    " broke my heart. still good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 5/9/2011

    " This was a good book. I have now read the triology and enjoyed this one the most. One thing that really struck me was the racism. In over 2000 years we as a people are not any more tolerant. How sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherri | 4/18/2011

    " I listened to most chapters on book radio while commuting to and from work. Interesting take on a familiar story. I liked the feminine point of view. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yina | 3/2/2011

    " If I had to describe it in one word, it would be: Amazing! I was fully able to understand the power and responsibility that the lord entrusted upon moses to free the slaves out of Egypt. Also the magnitude of a calling that women have in the world as leaders in there own ways. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie | 1/6/2011

    " pretty interesting just remember when you read it the author took alot of liberties "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarahb. | 10/24/2010

    " Great book--very readable, entertaining and informative! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 9/24/2010

    " I would like to know how much of this story is fictionalized and how much is based on actual events. Fascinating perspective on a well known story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 8/29/2010

    " Book two of the Canaan Trilogy. A fascinating novel of the influence a black woman had in the destiny of the Jewish people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 8/25/2010

    " Good story...loved the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leeann | 6/27/2010

    " To a bad read the ending was very abrupt, after all those pages it could have been more than a paragraph. Oh yeah shes dead. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tanya | 5/4/2010

    " I thought it was very well writen. I enjoyed reading it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 3/28/2010

    " An interesting read - makes you want to read the appropriate section of the Old Testament to see how the story matches. A book about a very strong woman; but every once in a while it just doesn't ring true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Polyvivi | 2/4/2010

    " Zipporah, the Cushite - a dark-skinned people of African decent, the wife of Moses. Beautiful & tragic story of a brave, intellegent heroine that was discriminated and historically overlooked. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yuki | 1/4/2010

    " I loved this book; one of his best. "

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