Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Tyndale House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
Sometimes the evidence of our senses and the testimony of the world’s wisdom are plain wrong. Sometimes the Lord is busy forging victory when the mind expects only defeat.
When I picked up Land of Silence by author Tessa Afshar, I had no idea this novel was about the now famous woman who once dared to touch the hem of Jesus’s garment for healing. (Yup. Me and my habitual neglect of preliminary book blurb reading.) I only knew the novel was by this particular Biblical Fiction author, and that’s all I needed to know.
Afshar has such a knack and a grace for weaving these types of stories. The heroine here, Elianna, reminds me somewhat of Sarah from my favorite book by this author, Harvest of Rubies. Both Sarah and Elianna are unconventional for their time and culture, being rather educated and holding vocational positions that would normally be held by men. Even with everything in her life that makes her vulnerable, Elianna also has a spark of fire in her, and her rich and layered (back)story makes her eventual, few moments with Jesus all the more meaningful.
Now, although elements like hardship and tragedy are necessary to make triumphant stories triumphant, this novel became somewhat of a downer to me. Yes, the heroine’s life must be hard to give the book its substance, but with disaster upon disaster and repeating moments in the narrative rehearsing how unhappy Elianna is and all the reasons why, her rather constant sorrow became a little tiresome to me. (Gee, I know that sounds callous.) Then after all of the grief and pain, the sweeping and effusive resolution of it all—for there’s much to resolve—borders on being overdone, almost too sweet and perfect.
Still, overall, it’s an engaging and moving read, certain to touch the hearts of many Christian Fiction readers.