Archive for the ‘“Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses”’ Tag

ONLY 99 CENTS   Leave a comment

I just noticed that is selling “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” Kindle edition for $0.99. Now’s the time to grab a bargain. You might even like it well enough to tell a friend, or write a review.


Maybe this will whet your appetite?

Anyway, thanks to Elle for permission to reproduce this 44th review.

4.0 out of 5 stars The Meaning Of The Title Is Beautiful By Elle Amore on September 16, 2017

*** I received Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses: A Love Story in exchange for an honest review***

Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses by Mona Gustafson Affinito portrays the life of Job’s wife Dara. Her childhood, her adolescence, and adulthood. This was a refreshing look into the way women, men, and children lived during that time. I love historical fiction that can show how people lived and what it meant to them. For me, Affinito has done just that without being overbearing or condescending. Over the years I have tried to add a face and personality to what scripture says about Job’s wife. Affinito’s view of her definitely made me think of Dara’s presence in the book of Job. I also thought of how her life affected Job’s life and what his, his family and friends actions meant to her. Dara is written as a caring strong-willed woman who knew another culture and way of living before she married Job. Who she worshiped before Job finds God is another window into her life, and the culture it thrived in. It wasn’t hard for me to view modern culture and lifestyles in comparison to Dara’s. Technology, medicine, and science are the only differences. In my eyes, there are people who behave and think like all the characters in today’s society. Some light editing is needed. I didn’t find any of this story gory or sexualized. The main couples relationships are clean, for any readers who don’t read books with scenes like that.
This is the first one of Affinito’s books that I’ve read. I liked so much, without a doubt, I will read any of her other works. I recommend this anyone who enjoys historical fiction and biblical fiction.


With tact, this author did not write Dara’s full thoughts on the friends that harshly judged her husband. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. I thought all of the characters were well written and that their involvement was great. On the other hand, I would have liked to see the main character’s full opinion and view of those elders. The death of Job’s and Dara’s children is handled well, even though it’s not very detailed either. I would have liked to read more about them and the way they lived.
For a while, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Dara’s childhood friend Adah. Once they were both married, Adah treated Dara in a way that I could partially understand. The wealth and the new lifestyle that Dara had married into separated her, in some ways, from her best friend. I felt like it was too prideful for her to not except her friend. When the tragedy happened and Adah would not go to comfort her friend, I didn’t think she was a friend worth having. Yet, the way the two made up after Job died, was worth reading. Yes, Job dies in this book. However, the end of his life does not overshadow the rest of the book. It is in the beginning and the end. The rest of the story starts with Dara’s life and leads into the Book of Job’s events.
I hope this review is helpful to whoever is looking for a good read. Have a great day.




What else can one do when one lives in crazy times? Whatever possible within one’s ability to foster the good as one sees it, I guess. And keep on working at life, because it will go on.

Therefore, I want to point out an addition to my web site — some recent reviews of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” at


What a joy to check and find this thoughtful review of figs & Pomegranates & special cheeses. Many thanks to the author.

on July 18, 2017
Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses
The novel is a rendition of the Job and his biblical trials as told from Dara’s (Mrs. Job’s) viewpoint, namely, that of a woman living in a patriarchal world. Story embarks when and Dara goes down the memory lane, enriched with the hues of love, friendship and faith.
The mystic and extramundane world of nomads created by the author is an interesting backdrop.
Dara grows up with her childhood friend Adah, living like nomads, going through all feelings different and new. Adah is constant in her life.
While Dara’s betrothal and marriage evokes plethora of emotions like, sadness, trust, joy, eagerness and pain, all developing into her love for Job; Dara’s faith for goddess Astarte becomes her Ariadne’s string. She finds her solace in hugging the firm body of Astarte.
The third-fourth of the book focuses on the Dara’s growth into a woman who confesses fully to her personality and owns it all with the faults and strengths; it’s later that it transposes to the terror of trials, anxiety of choices and consequences of decisions.
The author Mona G Affinito writes the story in a unique first person narrative, which binds you from the get go. The writing style is simple, idiomatic yet calls on something deep. Detailed, descriptive yet never monotonous monologue and immortalised biblical characters set in a olde worlde are the tools which have spun this beautiful tapestry.
Reader connects with Dara as she strives for happiness through all her travails and blights. The protagonist is raised with values and some she assimilates from her experience of being a daughter, a wife, a best friend and a mother.
The friendship and faith are her beacon and they leads her back to the light of clarity whenever she finds herself in the darkness of incertitude.
A working principle of a machine makes it easy for us to understand and marvel at it more, this is how the Addendum section at the end of the book felt. It’s just like behind the scenes of a great play, and instead of actors’ work you get a kick at the can to understand the working of Mona’s mind and the extensive research done during the writing of this book.
The first read would feel like the figs & pomegranates & special cheeses love and you would keep coming back for it’s potage love.
This bracing read is largely recommended to one but all.

“Nothing looked or felt quite the same. No one seemed to notice that I was no longer Dara. I was someone else. Yes, I knew this would happen, but now it was real, making me feel like stranger.”

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair review.


You’d better believe I check every day for any new reviews of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses. Today I discovered two that I hadn’t seen before. My daughter tells me she always looks first at the less-than-five-star reviews for a book she’s interested in — claims they give her more information. Maybe these will serve the same purpose.

4.0 out of 5 stars A love story including trials and integrity

ByBecky Zaleson July 16, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition

An interesting story by Mona Gustafson Affinito. Definitely enjoyed reading a story about Job but from the fictional perspective of his wife Dara. After seeing Job’s affliction, Dara may have been confused to see her husband continue to worship God. She tells Job to “curse your god and die” which seems to make her a bad person, for possibly believing they have been abandoned by God. This poignant story helps one to reflect on what it must have been like to be Mrs. Job.
The story presents the challenges and struggles of Dara’s life and the turmoil of having to serve a different God from the one she served in childhood. After years of blessings from her new god it must have been even more difficult to lose all of her children, servants and livestock. The most challenging trial for Dara is seeing her husband sick with boils all over his body. She also had to witness the long debate among Job and his companions. His comforters imply Job is wicked and should admit his wrongdoing and accept his punishment from God. Yet, Job insists on maintaining his integrity.
A great read, for those that enjoy a nice love story and characters that suffer hardships yet persevere, forgive and maintain integrity.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

4.0 out of 5 starsAn interesting take on Job’s story

ByRebekah Gon April 26, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition

Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses tells a story about Job’s wife, following her life as a child through to Job’s death. It was interesting to read this take on Job and his suffering from Dara’s perspective and I found it a worthwhile read. Unfortunately, I found that the story perhaps went too far back (as a child) and took a long time to actually get to Dara and Job’s life together. Mona’s descriptions are vivid and enthralling, but I felt like there was a real shortage of dialogue.
Overall an interesting story and a great effort by Mona.

*I received a copy of this book through the author and Booktasters in exchange for my honest review.




Another nice review of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” has been posted on amazon (both US and UK sites.) Many thanks to Arpad B. When you go to the site, be sure to scroll down and select newest review first.

I received this book free in exchange for a review. I really enjoyed it and am happy to recommend it. I felt drawn into the story straight away. The author quickly and effectively builds the world of Dara and her family. You warm immediately to the characters and their story and I found this book difficult to put down as I wanted to know what happened next. It’s very skillful writing as the author depicts the images and colours of the world, the hopes and fears of the characters and moves the story a good pace. Although it’s based on the story of Job you don’t need to know anything about this to enjoy the story.

Also, I’m happy to report that we had a nice group at yesterday’s party  for the anthology “Where Rivers Converge” by the Carver County Writers Group. The readings were fun, interesting, and often moving. The atmosphere at the Sower Gallery at Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska, MN,  was lovely, even fascinating, with it’s great display of local art.


FORGIVE AND FORGET?   8 comments

I have really enjoyed seeing sales of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” increase as I’ve shared some reviews, but I had promised to get rolling on the issue of forgiveness. So here’s my first entry. It ties directly back to promises I made when my web site was established some time ago.

First, let me say that I personally don’t like posts that are too long. I find myself anxious to get back to writing “My Father’s House,” so I’ll assume that it’s a good idea to keep my own posts short. That means what I say is going to be imperfect. I hope that in itself will encourage arguments, examples, and other comments.

So, here goes.

I loved Lewis Smedes “Forgive and Forget,” but I hated the title. I was told later by someone who knew him personally that he didn’t like it either. Publishers have a way of imposing things on authors. Why not like it? Because it’s basically impossible, certainly unrealistic, to think you can forget the offense you’ve suffered.

Try to shove the offense out of your mind? Well, to put it maybe too simply, but realistically, you’ll be pushing it into your body to create all the possible negative effects of stress. Like a viral or bacterial infection it will grow without control.

The truth is, you can work on relieving the terrible aftermath of suffering an offense, but you won’t forget it. What will happen with good forgiveness work is you’ll lose the emotional pain and protect your body.

Forgiveness usually takes hard work over time. Why would you want to forget the benefits of that herculean effort and all you learned from it?

If I can tear myself away from my other writing, I’ll soon be sharing the forgiveness process as presented in “Forgiving One Page at a Time.”

By the way, I loved Smedes’ later book, “The Art of Forgiving

I grieved as if I had known him personally when he died.


Please check out this latest review of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” on  You’ll have to go to the end of the reviews and ask for the “most recent” to find it.

“What a surprise! The writing is clear and concise, painting a beautiful picture of ancient times. A truly interesting take on the story of Job, and a glimpse into the historical setting the Hebrews came from. I enjoyed the author’s attention to detail so much. A great read!”


TIME OUT FOR JOY   10 comments

Of course a review like this make me very happy, the newest one for “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses,”posted on

“I read Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses a few days ago and I’d like to express my gratitude to Ms. Affinito for a wonderful read about Job and the trials of his wife Dara. I loved the idea of portraying the emotional and psychological growth of Dara. We see her grow up with Adah, her best friend, and following this is an emotional ride of engagement, marriage and tribulations.

“Never for a minute could I put down the book as I was so immensely engrossed in the vivid portrayal of the lives of Job and Dara and their daily existence as well as Dara’s journey from a tribe to wealth. She may not have aspired for wealth but it sure did come her way with a share of difficulties. The sheer imagination of this book is absolutely commendable. This book is a must read!”


I don’t want to take your attention away from my previous blog, and even the one before that, but I’ve managed to get this great photo of “The Library” at Petra from my son. For those of you who have read “Mrs. Job,” or its later update “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses,” I hope it’s of interest to see this Petra landmark. Remember that Petra is basically Edom where the biblical Book of Job is located.

Doug's Petra

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