Saturday, October 12, 2013

Book Review: Tokens of Promise by Teresa Pollard

Tokens of Promise is a novel based on Genesis 38 from the Bible. Any parts in this novel not directly taken from the Bible or the Talmud have been fictionalized. It is the story of Tamar and others in Tamar’s life, such as Er, Onan, Judah, Hirah, etc.  Tamar believes in the God of Israel. She calls him “Yah”, which Teresa Pollard choose because some of the other names of God might be offensive to people or didn’t sound right for this novel. The end of the story will have readers wondering what happened after the Genesis 38 story ends, after her sons Perez and Zerah are born. Readers should also be aware that there is a handy discussion guide that is located in the back of the book that can be used for group or individual purposes.

This novel brought the story of Tamar alive for me. I suggest that readers read the “Author’s Notes” section in the back of the book before they begin the novel if they want more of a background on the story of Tamar. By the time I read the “Author’s Notes” section I could see how the story was pulled together beautifully from Genesis 38 after reading that Biblical reference. The “Author’s Notes” will also help readers with the symbolism of where the “Tokens of Promise” name came from for this book. This book also spoke about a festival called the Festival of Shepherds which I was not familiar with before reading the novel and I later learned from Teresa Pollard that it was a very early Hebrew spring festival.

This book is definitely for people who want to try to visualize more about the story of Tamar in Genesis 38, to expand their mind more on what life could’ve been like for her and other people in her story.

My review = 4 out of 5 stars

Tokens of Promise ISBN #: 978-193870814-5

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from BookCrash. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


  1. Thank you for your beautiful review, Jill. The Festival of the Shepherds was a very early Hebrew spring festival. It seems to be a precursor to Passover, but I think it celebrated the beginning of the lambing season.

  2. The title comes from the three tokens Tamar collects from Judah; a gold ring, his staff, and a cord (the Hebrew word is for the corded edge of a prayer shawl). Please see the author's notes for the symbolism of these.

  3. Thanks for this information, Teresa. I reworded my review to reflect on this.