Gibeonites meet Israelites in
Shepherd, Potter, Spy—and the Star Namer
July 2016 – CINCINNATI – Bible times and people leap from the page in the hands of first-time author Peggy Miracle Consolver in her new novel, Shepherd, Potter, Spy—and the Star Namer.
Consolver’s book tells the story of the mysterious Hebrew people from a fresh vantage point, that of the neighboring tribes in Canaan who watch in fear and awe as the Hebrews move toward their land, conquering all in their path.
In a book suitable for middle schoolers to adults, Consolver weaves a deeply moving tale from the Biblical account of the Hebrews’ arrival in the promised land in Joshua 9 and 10, giving it color, texture and context that will deepen every Bible reader’s understanding.
The story is told through the eyes of a 12-year-old Gibeonite boy, Keshub. In the beginning, alone with his sheep, he wonders about life beyond his valley while he practices thrusts and lunges against an unseen enemy with his wooden sword. In the end, Keshub saves the day with a real sword on the day the sun stood still.
Along the way, Consolver paints word pictures with detail ranging from the warmth of sun-drenched stones to the deep amber eyes and beautiful eyelashes of a camel, from the stickiness of honey on a boy’s hands and the scent of rosemary-infused tea, to the color of the tunic his mother made him and the plants that provided each color.
The story also provides vignettes of life on the “other side” as Joshua and his family experience the final year of the 40 years in the wilderness. Consolver introduces us to ideas about how the Israelites might have prepared manna, as well as to the fact that the word manna means “What is it?”
Consolver has a deep love for God’s Word and sees it as one story, and not just history, but HIS story. And, she says, “God’s word is very exciting!”
In fact, the richly researched book has resulted in Consolver creating a study guide, forthcoming in September, called Digging Deeper Into HIStory: A Study Guide for Shepherd, Potter, Spy— and the Star Name.r
“Like an archaeologist who digs for buried treasure in ancient sites, the study guide will lead the reader to new understanding of the land of the Bible and this Late Bronze Age event,” Consolver says. “I realize it’s not common for a novel to have a study guide,” she adds. “But learning more about these people and their way of life helps us to see these were real people in God’s story, people like us, and helps us see God will work in our lives, too.”
In writing her first novel, she draws on 14 years of studying the Bible using a chronological reading plan. She says it was while immersed in that study that the story of the Gibeonites bubbled to the surface and began to take shape.
Working on an archaeological dig in the Palestinian West Bank and in-depth study of the Bible inform her writing, as does her own background. Consolver grew up on a wheat farm in southwest Oklahoma, one of six kids who were all expected to work and contribute, and likely all jostling for attention in a similar way to Keshub’s large extended family. Her knowledge of plants and animals added further detail to the story.
A Dallas-area resident, Consolver has taught Sunday school for 37 years and is active in Texas garden clubs. She and her husband have two children and five grandchildren.
Shepherd, Potter, Spy — and the Star Namer [ISBN: 978-1-942587-9-5] was published by Carpenters Son Publishing. It is available from Amazon and other online retailers, selected book stores, and from http://peggyconsolver.com.
The study guide, Digging Deeper Into HIStory: A Study Guide for Shepherd, Potter, Spy— and the Star Namer will be available in September 2016.
For review copies or to interview Peggy Consolver, contact Joni Sullivan Baker, Buoyancy PR, at 513/319-3231 or [email protected]