NO WOMAN SO FAIR
Who would think a love to shake the foundations of the world might begin with a man shoving a beautiful woman into the mud? Morris exercises poetic license to draw us into the story but ultimately sticks close to the Biblical account of the often turbulent life of Abram and Sarai, later known as Abraham and Sarah.
Morris takes them from their unpromising meeting through their old age and the promise of a Savior made possible by Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac. The most enjoyable parts of this book are the beginning and ending. Action and tension are high, and the characters show interesting behavior. The middle sags, partly because of the long time span covered, but mostly because the characters are sometimes flat, robbing events of emotional empathy. (May, 320 pp., $11.99)