If you enjoy reading a compelling Biblical Fiction novel once in a while, as I do, Angela Hunt is always an author you can count on to sweep you away with her masterful writing style which brings the history of God’s people to vivid life. Her newest release from Bethany House is entitled “Judah’s Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees”, and is the second story in “The Silent Years” series (preceded by “Egypt’s Sister: A Novel of Cleopatra”).
I find it fascinating that the story of “Judah’s Wife” is largely based on factual history that was recorded in 1 and 2 Maccabees, which were written in Hebrew in approximately 100 BC. As the author explains in her note to readers, these books are not included as part of the canon of Scripture but are part of the Apocrypha (biblical or related writings not forming part of the accepted canon of Scripture). The battles, historical context, many of the characters, and the political proceedings are all based on the true events of the courageous Maccabees as they fought for the freedom of the Jews to worship their God according to His laws.
The action and tension, emotion and drama of “Judah’s Wife” definitely made for an engrossing read. A couple notes of caution, however: For younger readers, the battle scenes may prove quite intense, and some may even bother mature readers, as well. Also, as in many “arranged marriage” stories there were several scenes that I wish had been omitted, but thankfully they were relatively few in number, and not overly detailed. Overall, I highly enjoyed this story set amidst the 400 “silent years” between the Old Testament and the New, especially once I learned how very founded in history it was. There is no question that Angela Hunt holds a gift for bringing hidden and forgotten stories from biblical times to life, and helping readers to perhaps be reminded of how the story of God’s people is still truly relevant for us, even today.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”