Epic biblical story of Abraham and Sarah's journey from Ur to Canaan told from Sarah's perspective. A culture of ritual, opulence and idol worship is contrasted with the journeys and way of life that results from Abraham and his followers' faith in Yahweh. Rites of passage for girls and women and Sarah's growing obsession with childbearing and the power of beauty are powerful themes in this novel.
With her finely drawn lips, reddened now with amber, her high cheekbones, her strong shoulders, she had the authority, the passion, the heavenly remoteness of Ishtar herself. At last the sun reached the lower steps of the Staircase of Heaven, and Sarai raised her arms. Instantly, there was silence. The priests stopped drumming and their handmaids their chanting. The warriors no longer smote their shields, and their throats were stilled.