Reviews for The prince and the prodigal [electronic resource].

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Smith’s latest biblical novel, following Miriam's Song (2021), is based on the scriptural account of Joseph. The prodigal in the title refers to Joseph’s older half-brother, Judah. After his jealous brothers threw Joseph, their father Jacob's favorite, into the pit, it was Judah who convinced them to sell him into slavery. Soon after this treachery, Judah left the family and community and married a Canaanite woman. Smith imagines that Judah left because he could not stand to watch Jacob’s grief over young Joseph and felt guilty. Smith's tale parallels and entwines Joseph’s story with Judah’s as both must make life choices in foreign lands. Joseph is not perfect, but he does patiently and obediently follow God’s plan. Judah suffers from remorse and and moral confusion, and he repents. This is a story of forgiveness, grace, and redemption, and Smith tells it in a creative and believable way, which is a hallmark of her writing. The details she adds generate deep emotion and lead to a satisfying ending.