Aussie Book Review: Asenath by Anna Patricio

AsenathAnna Patricio- Asenath

Format- Paperback

Source- review copy provided by author

Synopsis: Two Destinies…One Journey of Love

In a humble fishing village on the shores of the Nile lives Asenath, a fisherman’s daughter who has everything she could want. Until her perfect world is shattered.

When a warring jungle tribe ransacks the village and kidnaps her, separating her from her parents, she is forced to live as a slave. And she begins a journey that will culminate in the meeting of a handsome and kind steward named Joseph.

Like her, Joseph was taken away from his home, and it is in him that Asenath comes to find solace…and love. But just as they are beginning to form a bond, Joseph is betrayed by his master’s wife and thrown into prison.

Is Asenath doomed to a lifetime of losing everything and everyone she loves?

Review: Asenath is the debut novel by Australian author Anna Patricio. The story of Joseph from the bible was one of her favourites; however she was intrigued by his Eyptian wife, Asenath. Patricio’s novel is a fictional account of Asenath’s life and her marriage to Joseph.

We are introduced to Asenath as a young girl, living in a fishing village and enjoying the blissful carefree life of a child. Her simple life is turned upside down when she is kidnapped along with many other children from the village by a jungle tribe. Luckily, Asenath escapes unscathed, only to return to her village where she is now orphaned.

A wealthy family of high status in the city adopt Asenath and so the once peasant girl from a fishing village named Kiya, becomes the elegant Lady Asenath with prestige in society. Despite her new path in life, she falls in love with a kind, caring steward, named Joseph. However, there are many obstacles placed in their way over many years that keep them apart.

Asenath, is written in a simple, almost child-like prose in the beginning and matures somewhat as Asenath ages in the story. The writing style was a little stop and start at times, but once I got into the flow, I found this story quite enjoyable. The romance is sweet and it was interesting to learn more about ancient history in Egypt, to which I have little knowledge of.

Asenath is a quick and engaging historical love-story from debut author, Anna Patricio.

3.5/5 rating

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About the author: Anna Patricio is a lover of ancient history, with a particular interest in Egypt, Israel, Greece, and Rome. She is also intrigued by the Ancient Near East, though she has not delved too much into it but hopes to one day. She undertook formal studies in Ancient History at Macquarie University. She focused mostly on Egyptology and Jewish-Christian Studies, alongside a couple of Greco-Roman units, and one on Archaeology. Though she knew there were very limited job openings for ancient history graduates, she pursued her degree anyway as it was something she had always been passionate about. Then, about a year after her graduation, the idea to tackle historical fiction appeared in her head, and she began happily pounding away on her laptop. ASENATH is her first novel. Recently, she traveled to Lower Egypt (specifically Cairo and the Sinai), Israel, and Jordan. She plans to return to Egypt soon, and see more of it. In the past, she has also been to Athens and Rome. Anna is currently working on a second novel, which still takes place in Ancient Egypt, but hundreds of years after ASENATH.

This novel was read as part of the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2012 & the Aussie Author Challenge 2012


With thanks to the author, I have 1 paperback copy of Asenath to giveaway to one lucky Australian follower. (I’m sorry international followers, but postage costs are very high!)

To enter, simply leave a comment for Anna at the end of this post with your email address. You must be a follower of The Australian Bookshelf to enter.

Entries close 17th January, 2012 (Syd time). Winner will be drawn via and contacted via email.


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