Alabaster: What is Most Precious is Also Most Fragile

Alabaster What is Most Precious is Also Most Fragile Maryam is stuck in an abusive marriage living with her in laws in a conservative toxically religious Middle Eastern setting A few years back her father was given a jar of priceless perfume by a dy

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  • Title: Alabaster: What is Most Precious is Also Most Fragile
  • Author: Chris Aslan
  • ISBN: 9781782642282
  • Page: 332
  • Format: Paperback
  • Maryam is stuck in an abusive marriage, living with her in laws, in a conservative, toxically religious Middle Eastern setting A few years back, her father was given a jar of priceless perfume by a dying leper and it seemed as if their fortunes would improve, but then Maryam s father contracted leprosy and was exiled by the village Maryam and her brother, Eleazar, and siMaryam is stuck in an abusive marriage, living with her in laws, in a conservative, toxically religious Middle Eastern setting A few years back, her father was given a jar of priceless perfume by a dying leper and it seemed as if their fortunes would improve, but then Maryam s father contracted leprosy and was exiled by the village Maryam and her brother, Eleazar, and sister, Marta, experience the shame and ostracism this brings The precious jar that was meant to bring them freedom, but it only seems to have brought destruction But rumours abound concerning a new doctor perhaps hope is on the horizon

    One thought on “Alabaster: What is Most Precious is Also Most Fragile”

    1. Don’t let the look of this book fool you!It is short. It has only 208 pages. It’s dimensions are also not big.But the story in it is.It is so rare for me to finish a book and wonder “How come so many things happened in such a short book?”, but it happened with this novel.I finished this book so satisfied with what I’ve read, because I got so much from those pages, learned things I didn’t know before and remembered things I forgot.Alabaster talks the story about Maryam. Her life is no [...]

    2. Let's see judging by the blurbs surrounding the book and the beginning it has, I kind of expected it to be about women fighting to free themselves from an oppressive patriarchy and religion. It was a read I was enjoying until you are presented with the figure of God and prophets and then it went downhill for me, because I am not a religious person (although I have studied different religions, and enjoyed doing so) and somewhat along the line this book kind of turned to religious propaganda for m [...]

    3. "You see, there is something more contagious than leprosy that people fear catching through contact with the sufferer, and that's misfortune."Alabaster in the title refers to the perfume jar that is given to Maryam's father, one that should have boded well for her family's future. Instead, her father contacts leprosy and is shunned as well as exiles from his village. Early on, it is understood how life went for women in bygone times in the middle east. They mustn't shame their family and especia [...]

    4. The short review: "Alabaster" is a moving, well written (cleverly, even), and beautiful portrait of a young girl's struggle in a Middle Eastern village.Disclosure: The author, Chris, was a friend in the early '90's (and still is on Facebook) and I thoroughly enjoyed his previous book, which was memoir rather than fiction. These were the reasons I picked this book up and I had little idea what Alabaster was about. (I didn't read anything past the blurb before picking it up.) In fact, I expected i [...]

    5. Alabaster is a story that takes us on a journey with a young woman in a Biblical Middle Eastern village. As I read this I was very thankful that I did not live in that time or place. There were laws on top of laws, and when men broke the laws, the women were mostly the ones who had to pay for it. This story was not a light-hearted read, it dealt with gossip, cruelty, rape, and abuse. This story shows just how precious and fragile life is. I found the in-depth rules and regulations concerning lep [...]

    6. I picked this book up in my parent's local library on their 'new in' shelf. The cover was pretty, and the back of the book intrigued me. I rather wish I hadn't bothered. As other reviews have mentioned, the first two thirds of this book is an interesting story about a woman and her sister living in a village under a rather oppressive system of patriarchy and fundamentalist teachings. It is an interesting take on value, honour and reputation, and I found myself intrigued. However, the last third [...]

    7. I thought I'd read enough novels based on Bible stories for the time being, but this one slipped past my guard. It's sneaky, since the title, cover and blurb give no indication that that's what this is. Neither do other reviewers, so hopefully I'm not being a spoil sport, or breaking some unwritten code. But I wasn't far into the story when the identities of the two sisters and their brother dawned on me. They are none other than Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Their names have been changed slightly t [...]

    8. Loved it. Interestingly, I had forgotten what the blurb said by the time I came to read the book, and as I got into it I wondered where and when it was set could be Middle East, Turkey, could be one of many centuries. Village life, with its well, marketplace and olive groves, was lovingly described. As the story unfolded, told by Mariam, the time period and location became crystal clear. Cleverly written and very enjoyable! Had I known beforehand what the story was based on, I might not have be [...]

    9. This review is based on a NetGalley ARC.How shall I describe this book? It was one half good and one half 'meh'. First, the writing was good. I was drawn into the story immediately. I felt for Mariam, the main character, and her struggles in her husband's family. At first, I thought this was a book about female empowerment in the Middle East. It could have been a rather contemporary work. Bit by bit it became clear, this story is set in a very early century AD among a small Jewish community.The [...]

    10. When going into reading this I didn't know that this was based on a story from the Bible, a biblical retelling of sorts. I found out from reading other reviews afterwards.It deals with themes such as loss, rape, domestic violence and leprosy and the stigma that surrounds it. I'm not going to go into much detail about the story but this story is much about the oppression of women as much as anything else and was quite a quick read. It delves into religion, and prophets so if you're not keen on re [...]

    11. When reading the Bible, context is a cornerstone. This book gives the historical, cultural, and emotional context to help you place yourself in the life & plight of a young Jewish woman living at the turn of the century, when grace happens upon her unexpectedly (the realisation of who she is will bloom upon you slowly & beautifully). Eyes opened & heart hit through this beautiful narrative.

    12. As Religious Education teachers in Catholic or Christian schools, one of our greatest challenges is bringing the world of the Gospels to life in a way that makes sense to our students. It seems to me that many children and young people struggle to really understand what life was like for people, specifically Jewish communities, living at the time of the historical Jesus. How as educators are we best able to convey the complex nature of this culture and address ideas such as the roles of men and [...]

    13. ALABASTER BY CHRIS ASLAN I received this book for free from the site netgalley in exchange for my unbiased review.About :Maryam ,Marta and Eleazer live in a world with strict rules in a strict religious middle eastern village where the men learn ,study and the women draw water from wells ,clean , do the housework ,plant and weed the garden and do whatever is asked of them .Any disgrace or misbehavior and there is a danger of being shunned or stoned to death . Maryam's father meets a leper in the [...]

    14. I was kind of torn on how to rate this novel. The writing is wonderful, the main characters is interesting and sympathetic, the plot has a lot of potential and the world-building is great. Unfortunately, the last 25% of the novel just didn't do it for me. The first part of the novel focuses on the women's struggle for a better life and the problems they face living and making it on their own. But then the story just suddenly takes a religious turn with the appearance of Jesus and his ability to [...]

    15. I'm deeply moved by Alabaster by Chris Aslan.The first-half of the book focuses on the lives of women (following the Laws) in 1 A.D. It was engaging to read and visualize how women's life had been in those days. I won't be commenting on the religious aspects of the book after 50% because I knew the scriptures. It did had me tearing up on instances.I have studied multiple religions and found Alabaster very engaging. To know how the society was then and how it is now - isn't much different. Chris [...]

    16. Have you ever wondered about the background of sisters Mary and Martha? What events and struggles may have shaped their personalities? Chris Aslan has created a fascinating back story for these sisters (Marta and Mariam in his retelling) and their brother, Eliazar. Alabaster immerses the reader in the life, culture and some of the struggles of women in Bible times.In Aslan's book, sisters Marta and Mariam have grown up without their mother, having only the woven rugs she created to remember her [...]

    17. Alabaster begins ominously with a young woman experiencing an earthquake and its aftermath. We learn immediately that she’s treated like a slave by her husband’s family, is a mere 15 years of age, and has an older sister who lives alone. While the earthquake has caused some damage in the village, and a nearby family has suffered a fatality, Maryam is relieved to find that her family’s most precious possession has survived. From there, the first person narrative goes back to the time when M [...]

    18. This book will open your eyes to what life was like for those who suffered with leprosy and give you hope for the healing only Jesus can bring.I have read the Bible several times. I read about the lepers and didn’t think too much of it. I didn’t think about the devastation that it brought to families or how families were torn apart because of the sickness. This book painted a picture that I will not soon forget.I was immediately concerned for Maryam and the life she was apart of. I wanted a [...]

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