“The story of Hagar, Abraham's wife along with Sarah, is often set aside by Jews and Christians - perhaps out of guilt or shame over what looks like Abraham's and Sarah's mistreatment of her. In Islam, she has a central role in the pilgrimage to Mecca, and in other ways. So she has become a sign of separation between the Abrahamic peoples,, rather than of community. This book is a signal step forward to give us all the fullness of her story, her family, her connection with God. May it help us all connect!”
—Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of The Shalom Center and co-author of The Tent of Abraham.
“Gordon (Mistress Bradstreet) offers a unique look at the Old Testament relationships between and among Abraham; his wife, Sarah; and his mistress, Hagar. Gordon approaches the biblical text as a literary study as opposed to a literal divine revelation. With no theological ax to grind, she draws upon the work of theologians, scholars, archaeologists, and historians to unpack a widely misunderstood and misinterpreted saga. Most interesting is her focus on the exiled, shamed, and shadowed Hagar, whom Gordon elevates to a mystic and prophet. Gordon ultimately shows that these biblical characters are complex and multilayered; they behave, in short, like human beings who wrestle with foibles, passions, and jealousies. Most important, the story speaks to the 21st century and its marital ambivalence, dysfunctional family systems, pervasive divorce, as well as to 9/11, the so-called "Axis of Evil," and West Bank unrest. The author's vision is that the retelling of this ancient tale might awaken the world to redemption. The sons of Hagar and Sarah, after all, came together in peace at their father Abraham's funeral. General readers with even a casual interest in religion and its impact on history, as well as on current events, will appreciate the lens through which the author peers.-C. Brian Smith, Arlington Heights Memorial Lib., IL”
—Library Journal
“Gordon’s exploration of an ancient Biblical tale is insightful, enriching, and rewarding.”
“The story of Abraham, Hagar and Sarah stands at the threshold of the three great Western religions—Christianity, Judaism, Islam—although each appropriates the story differently. Gordon gives new power to a woman often left in the shadows…glimpses of the power of Hagar’s story for modern religions.”

Watch a video of Charlotte talking about The Woman Who Named God >

“As Gordon delves into both Jewish and Islamic legend and commentary, it’s a pleasure to see Hagar emerge as the equal of Abraham and Sarah, co-creator of what we now know as the Abrahamic tradition. Especially for those who assume that the title refers to Sarah, this book is a must-read.”
—Lesley Hazleton, author of Jezebel: The Untold Story and Mary: A Flesh-and-Blood Biography
“…not another theological or historical excavation of ancient texts…refreshing viewpoint…Fresh take on an old topic.”
“In a work that is both readable and scholarly, imaginative and deeply respectful of the text, Charlotte Gordon reveals the complex relationships between recognizably flawed human characters and God. She extends an irresistible invitation to explore stories that embody the extraordinary spiritual insight that lies at the heart of the three Abrahamic religions.”
“This is a brilliant book that weaves history, archeology, myth, time and place into a larger-than-life (and all-too human) story of sin, lust, betrayal and blessing. It did for me what tedious years of Sunday school never accomplished: stripped away the veil of opaque religiosity and cast the heart of the biblical narrative into sharp—and entertaining—relief.”