This story weaves in the Biblical epistles of Paul quite seamlessly into the story of his life. Much of the story was added, but not outside the realmThis story weaves in the Biblical epistles of Paul quite seamlessly into the story of his life. Much of the story was added, but not outside the realm of possibility, I believe. Some of it did seem unlikely, and I regretted that divorce was easily accepted by Paul and kisses sought at inappropriate times (one star off for that). Overall, however, I really enjoyed this book. Paul was made out to be very human, yet bold and humble, growing in grace, and strong in the faith, matching up with what the Bible conveys about him. The message was inspiring and the end of the story touching. It left off a bit early in Paul's life, and I wonder if there will be a sequel (there is a prequel, I found out at the end). The story-telling itself is not intricate--it is a straight-forward, first-person narrative, but with enough descriptions to add life.
Thanks, netgalley, for allowing me to review this book!...more
**spoiler alert** This was the time when Roman emperors reigned, when soldiers attended banquets . . . when a King is nailed to a cross.
Tribune Marcel**spoiler alert** This was the time when Roman emperors reigned, when soldiers attended banquets . . . when a King is nailed to a cross.
Tribune Marcellus Gallio, son of a senator, is young, handsome, and softhearted. His slave, Demetrius, is one of his best friends. At a banquet for the emperor (?) Marcellus makes a terrible (albeit amusing) mistake. For punishment, Marcellus is given an assignment to go in a group to dingy and dangerous Israel to put some men to death. Marcellus says goodbye to his friend, Diana, who has begun to become more than a friend.
In Israel, Marcellus is there at the cross, helping crucify three men. He wins the robe of a man called Jesus and drunkly stumbles away. At the meal afterwards, someone asks him to put the robe on for a farce, and Marcellus obliges hesitatingly. He feels awful and instantly takes the robe off.
He becomes mentally ill, and his family suggests he take a trip to Athens to relax.
Demetrius meets a woman who seems quite enthralled with him, and they meet secretly and talk about Jesus, whom Demetrius has learned more about.
Marcellus takes a tour to find out more about the Christians and Jesus, and he finds himself drawn toward them.
This is an interesting story, with compelling characters. However, I believe there are some untruths and discrepancies mixed with the truth, so that is something to be aware of, as well as a few swear words....more
This was a fictional retelling of the life of Mark, the author of the gospel of Mark. There are a lot of interesting details and the chapters are shorThis was a fictional retelling of the life of Mark, the author of the gospel of Mark. There are a lot of interesting details and the chapters are short, but I think there are a couple of (at least one) misinterpretations of the Bible. However, for a look at the times and places in which Mark lived, you may want to check it out...it's quite an interesting read....more
I had a difficult time getting into this novel, not that the setting is uninteresting. For some reason, the characters felt a bit flat and lifeless, aI had a difficult time getting into this novel, not that the setting is uninteresting. For some reason, the characters felt a bit flat and lifeless, at least to begin with. A better delving into their backgrounds might have helped me to gain sympathy with and interest in the characters. Both main characters, Leah and Alban, go on missions for Pilate and his wife to find out more about the "dead prophet," Jesus, and if His followers pose a threat to the Roman empire, but both Leah and Alban seem rather uninterested in their missions. There is some history and are some details about life back then that should sound intriguing, but for some reason come out sounding somewhat dry, instead of feeling like I was back in time with them, or maybe it was the mood I was in. As time went on, things got a little more riveting as the characters became interested in Jesus. I was glad there was not too much romance, though it did end up more-so in that vein. One thing I didn't like was that the centurion's "faith" that Jesus said was great seemed to be relegated to a simple faith of an unsaved man, probably done merely for the effect of the journey. Overall it was pretty well-done, but not my favorite....more
More of a romance than anything (and with some fairly sensual descriptions), though the story was interesting in other ways, and there were some goodMore of a romance than anything (and with some fairly sensual descriptions), though the story was interesting in other ways, and there were some good lessons about pride and such. I also didn't feel there was enough self-constraint on the part of Joseph, or enough focus on the true God. He was willing to marry a pagan in this fictional story, and we have nothing like that mentioned in the Biblical account. (Yes, Pharaoh gave Joesph an Egyptian wife, but it doesn't say whether he wanted to marry her, or if she was indeed a pagan.) Not very helpful to my walk with God, besides maybe a few parts....more
Meet Jamie, Evan, Leana, and Rose. Or revisit them. The characters are based on the Biblical characters Jacob and Esau and Leah and Rachel. But the tiMeet Jamie, Evan, Leana, and Rose. Or revisit them. The characters are based on the Biblical characters Jacob and Esau and Leah and Rachel. But the time and place are much different. In the Scotland Lowlands in 1788, twin brothers, James and Evan McKie, are constantly at odds. Jamie, with the help of his mother, deceives his father into blessing him instead of the firstborn Evan. Sisters Leana and Rose McBride are as different as night and day—Leana is scholarly and plain, Rose is childish and beautiful. Yet they love each other so much that their differences hardly matter. Until one day, that is.
As Jamie runs from the murderous hatred of his brother, he pens a letter to his Uncle Lachlan. In accordance with Jamie’s mother’s plan, he tells his uncle that he is seeking a bride from one of his two daughters, Leana and Rose. The letter is delayed, however, so when Jamie shows up in a bedraggled state, he wonders how his uncle will take him. Meeting lovely Rose first, Jamie finds himself attracted to her at first sight. Uncle Lachlan welcomes Jamie to the home.
During Jamie’s stay, Leana falls in love with Jamie, and Jamie is determined to marry Rose, even if he must work long and hard for her. A web is woven of deceit and jealousy, anguish and triumph. Who will finally win Jamie’s hand in marriage? Who will win his lasting love?
This book had a few surprises and twists, but the basic story is taken from the Bible. There are a few adult and intimate situations, therefore I would not recommend this book to children. Even I was a bit embarrassed to be reading it. The historical aspect is well researched and the story is captivating, but it is not one of my favorite books....more