This week, the
Howard Books (March 17, 2015)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A word from the author:
I write historical fiction because I love adventure in far-off times and places. I’ve traveled since I was a teenager—backpacking through Germany and Eastern Europe, studying German in Salzburg, eating gelato in Italy, and riding camels in Morocco were some of the highlights. Travel kindles my imagination, fuels my love of history, and introduces me to one-of-a-kind characters. It’s the best kind of research.
When I can’t travel, I read. I love fiction, of course, but I’m often found behind a stack of history books or searching the web for historical tidbits. How people lived together, worked, and what they ate (I love food!) is usually what catches my imagination. No matter where or when we live, people are more alike than they are different. I love to find the similarities between our lives and those of the men and women of the ancient world.
I make my home in Minnesota with my husband of 22 years, four children, three fat cats, and a tortoise named Moe. When I’m not writing Biblical fiction, I’m feeding the ravenous horde of kids and their friends, volunteering at church and school, battling dandelions, and dreaming about my next adventure – whether it be in person or on the page.
ABOUT THE BOOK
In this captivating retelling of a classic biblical story, Jesus shocks the town of Bethany with Lazarus’s resurrection from the dead, leading Martha—a seemingly perfect woman trapped by the secrets of her past—to hope and a new life.
Everyone in Bethany admires Martha—the perfect Jewish woman. She feeds and clothes her loved ones, looks after the family farm, and meticulously follows every precept of the Pharisees’ strict laws. But Martha is hiding a secret. At her sister’s marriage feast, she gave her heart and her innocence to a young musician who promised to return and marry her, but instead betrayed her love and abandoned her.
Seven years later, only two people in Bethany know of Martha’s secret sin: her brother, Lazarus, and Simon, the righteous Pharisee to whom Martha is betrothed. When Lazarus falls ill, Martha is faced with a choice: send for Jesus to save her dying brother—risking the wrath of Simon who threatens to betray her—or deny Jesus’ healing power and remain trapped in her tomb of secrecy and lies.
Meanwhile, on the shores of Galilee, Isa roams the wilderness, tortured by demons and knowing only that someone is waiting for him. When he is healed by Jesus, he finds that seven years have passed since his descent into madness. Isa journeys home to Bethany only to find he is too late to win back Martha’s love.
When Martha risks all to heal Lazarus, will Jesus arrive in time, or will he—like Isa—come too late?
My thoughts and giveaway:
This was a book that I started reading on a night I was very tired and thought I would fall asleep before I got too far into the book. And hour later I forced myself to stop reading even though my mind was fully stimulated by this story.
This is the first book I have read by Stephanie and I have to say I have found another Biblical fiction author I need to keep my eyes on.
What an interesting twist she gives to Martha. Not anything I would have ever imagined for her but Stephanie makes if very plausible.
I love how she combined several events from the Bible in this book. We have the whole situation when Jesus tells Martha that Mary is choosing the good thing. Then there is the man possessed by demons that Jesus casts out. Then we have the death of Lazarus.
Stephanie portrayed Jesus wonderfully. It was interesting to read about him in a fiction book, that doesn’t happen too often.
I could go into a lot more detail but then this review would be very long. Overall, this is a wonderful book that will give you some things to think about and possibly view Martha in a new way. I highly recommend this read.
Visit Stephanie here.
Leave a comment by April 1st for your chance to win a copy. (U.S. residents only, I am not responsible for books lost in the mail.)
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.