This Scarlet Cord - Joan Wolf "Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho —and she lives among the Israelites to this day." -- Joshua 6:25This Christian historical fiction novel attempts to re-tell the story of Rahab, a Caananite woman living in Jericho who saved the lives of Joshua's spies, and, through that act, saved herself and her family from the destruction brought upon that city. Rahab's mention in the Bible is brief, and the author of this novel tries to fill in the gaps of her life before the spies arrived, how she came to know the true God, and how she came to later marry an Israelite and later become the mother of Boaz, an ancestor of Christ himself.I sometimes enjoy reading stories like this. I love learning more about the world during Biblical times, how people lived their daily lives, and be able to imagine what the heroes of the Bible were like as real people. Rahab is portrayed as a fiery fourteen-year-old -- brave, stubborn, and in love with an Israelite boy, despite her father's wishes to marry her off to a wealthy Jericho noble. She's a sympathetic character and star-crossed lover, which may be appealing for many readers and certainly makes for an interesting story. I found the main characters of Rahab and Sala somewhat immature. Their attraction develops at a very young age (Rahab was 12, Sala only a few years older) and then they're separated for two years before meeting again and almost upon meeting again immediately express their love for one another. Because of their backgrounds, they aren't given much opportunity to see one another before Jericho falls, they escape, and are married. The rapidity of their relationship made it feel more like puppy love than an actual romance.My greatest disappointments, however, come from the inconsistencies when compared with the Biblical accounts of Joshua 2-6. When I read historical fiction, I like it to be true to fact, expounding upon the known facts, but not contradicting them. Unfortunately, this book contained a couple of contradictions I couldn't overlook, the first being Rahab's reputation as a prostitute. Although the word used in the Bible simply mean that she was an innkeeper, the author chose to instead make the case that the Israelites only thought she was a prostitute because she was a Caananite, and didn't believe her or Sala when they told her she was actually pure. If the Biblical Rahab were a prostitute, it would be an amazing testament to God's forgiveness, and how He can use even the most lowly, despised, defiled people to fulfill His wondrous purposes. But by making the title of "prostitute" merely a misunderstanding among the Israelites, the author implies that God allowed the author of His inspired Word to make this error in the written account, and that God's Word is therefore based more on human's perception than on His inerrant inspiration.I also had a very hard time reconciling the place of Sala and his father in the Biblical account of the Exodus. His father tells Sala that some of Jacob's family -- including his ancestors -- had stayed in Canaan during the famine of Joseph's time -- "Not all of our people went into Egypt during the family, but well over half of us did", despite the fact that Genesis 46 makes it fairly clear that ALL of Jacob (Israel)'s descendants went down there to survive the famine:"Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel’s sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. So Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt, taking with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan. Jacob brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring." -- Genesis 46:5-7There were a number of other, smaller inconsistencies as well -- including Rahab referring to "the Judean hill country", despite the fact that these events took place before Judah had settled in the land (p221 e-book version).Overall, I like what the author tried to do with this book -- make a Biblical "character" into a real person with her own thoughts, emotions, dreams, and desires... but in how she did it, I think she did an injustice to the story itself as God told it in the Bible. This story is one of a girl's love for a boy and her courage to do she has to do to save herself; God's story is one of His love, forgiveness, and mercy for ALL people and His ability to use even the least-deserving among us to accomplish His perfect will.