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Ewart, Charles.

Scarborough (Ont.), Avon Books, c1984. 257pp, paper, $3.95, ISBN 0-380-88039-3.

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Ellen Robson

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

Charles Ewart, a native of Newcastle, Ontario and a lawyer now teaching at Durham College, is the author of No Man's Brother,* the story of Etienne Brule. He has now written a book based on the Book of Judges, Chapter 4, in which the Israelites do battle with the oppressor Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army at Tabor. Many of the characters are taken from the Book of Judges, including Deborah the prophetess and judge, Jabin king of Canaan and Heber the Kenite, as well as the heroine Jael and the brave Barak. However, Ewart's book Canaan revolves around the unbelievable love story of Barak, the leader of the Israelites, and Jael, the beautiful woman captured by Sisera. Even the ending of the biblical story is changed slightly to accommodate the love story. The book provides an exciting read, but the characters are too good, too evil or too beautiful to be believed. There are too many coincidences that save the hero so that he can return to fight another day.

The author has managed to give a good account of the period in which the Israelite tribes were harassed by the Canaanites. The temptations of pagan worship, the struggle for survival in the mountains and desert of Palestine, and the deep religious faith of the Israelites are shown in the midst of bloody battle, rape and treachery. True love and justice do win in the end.

This book is suitable for senior students and adults, but it is not necessary for library purchase.

Ellen Robson, Winston Churchill C.I., Scarborough, Ont.

*Reviewed vol. XII/4 July 1984 p.151.

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