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Tag Archives: Biblical Fiction

Redeeming Grace

Redeeming Grace: Ruth's Story (Daughters of the Promised Land, #3)Redeeming Grace: Ruth’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another wonderful Biblical fiction story from Jill Eileen Smith, quite possibly her best yet. I love how she paints the Biblical settings with everything from what the landscape would look like to what the people would eat and wear. She does a wonderful job bringing these settings to life.

Redeeming Grace is a Biblical story anyone who grew up in the church will know. Naomi’s husband moved her and her sons to Moab to avoid a lengthy drought. Ruth is a Moabitess who married Naomi’s son. Naomi’s husband dies in Moab, and then years later, both her sons die there. She decides to return to her home in Bethlehem. Ruth travels with her, accepting the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as her own God. Once in Bethlehem, Ruth meets Boaz. And the rest … as they say … is history. 😉

The expansion of this true story into a compelling book, along with Jill Smith’s excellent historical detailing, makes it a must-read for anyone who enjoys Biblical fiction. If you haven’t read any Biblical fiction because you think it’ll be boring, pick up a copy of this one. It might just change your mind!

 

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The Prophetess

The Prophetess: Deborah's Story (Daughters of the Promised Land, #2)The Prophetess: Deborah’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jill Eileen Smith writes some of the best Biblical fiction I’ve read. I enjoy her storytelling and appreciate that she always lets the reader know, at the end of her stories, which parts are true and which parts are fiction. She brings well-known, as well as lesser-known, Biblical characters to life.

“The Prophetess” is about Deborah, but major players from the Bible are also Barak and Jael. Considering someone at church once introduced me as the woman most like Jael from the Bible (long story) … I found her part in this story intriguing.

Deborah is the only woman judge to serve the nation of Israel. She serves at a dark time in the nation’s history, when Canaanite terrorists are a constant threat. In her heart she knows this is the result of her people turning away from Adonai to the false gods of the people of Canaan. She hears the cases brought before her and counsels the people to destroy their idols and return to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Even so, it takes twenty years of oppression until Adonai answers her prayers and liberates her people.

I enjoyed this story. Deborah is fleshed out as both a wife and mother, as well as judge. Her relationships with her family and friends bring the story to an intimate level with the reader. There are a few places where the story drags a bit, but after all, they had to wait those twenty years. There is some violence, as there is in the Biblical account, so this story is best for older teens on up.

 

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Risen

Risen: The Novelization of the Major Motion PictureRisen: The Novelization of the Major Motion Picture by Angela Elwell Hunt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The title gives the book away – it’s about the resurrection of Jesus. Instead of the usual telling from the point of view of His followers, this story is told from the point of view of a Roman soldier.

Clavius is a Tribune, a commander of soldiers in the Roman army. He’s stationed in Judea under the leadership of Pontius Pilate. Soldier to the core, he has pledged his life to Rome. Surrounded by death on a daily basis, it has little meaning to him. Even so, the death of the one the Jews call Yeshua is anything but ordinary.

Rachel is a Jewish woman, widowed without children and left to make her own way in the world. She sells bread in the market to earn her living. Lonely and weak in her faith, she succumbs to the attentions of the handsome Roman officer.

Jerusalem is a simmering pot, ready to boil over. The tomb in which Yeshua was placed has been broken into. His followers claim He has risen from the dead. The Jewish leaders claim the followers have stolen the body and perpetrated a lie on the people. Pilate just wants them all to shut up and go home. He sends Clavius to make that happen.

Clavius finds more than he’s bargained for. His orderly world is rocked by what he discovers. Rachel and Clavius both follow the believers to Galilee. There they come face to face with the decision that will forever change their lives.

I enjoyed the book. It was a fresh look at a story I’ve grown up hearing and reading. I doubt I’ll see the movie, however, because at the end of the book, the author says that one of the main characters does not appear in the movie version. I like this book too much to watch a watered-down version.

 

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