Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how โ€œperfectโ€ 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.

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

With the potential for greatness, Lydia is poised to become a notable expert and seller of purple in a Roman world, despite her being a woman–and an unmarried one, at that. But it will take more than success in her trade to free her from deep-seated fears that threaten to be her undoing in Bread of Angels, a novel by author Tessa Afshar.

I don’t have many “I’ll read any novel with his/her name on it” authors, but this author is one of those for me. I got what I was expecting here: a rich and touching story, delving deeply into the life of the heroine in a historical/biblical setting. While this book is certainly a standalone, if anyone may be interested in or plans on reading the novel Land of Silence by Afshar sometime, I’d recommend reading it before this one, for possibly spoiler-ish reasons.

Now, I’ll admit I enjoyed the first two-thirds or so of this novel more than the final parts. Recognizing Lydia from the Bible, I knew the renowned apostle Paul would be a part of this story. But I’ve seen it before in a different book by another author too, when Paul’s presence onstage practically nudges the main character into more of a minor role while Paul is there. Lydia seems to fade somewhat with the incoming of new characters in the later scenes, and as the story stalls a bit in the midst of their increasing Scripture and faith discussions, it felt for a while like I was reading a different book than the one I’d started. It also appears the story runs out of time for some major events and rushes to tie them up with a few short summaries in the last chapter.

Still, I’d gladly recommend this novel to fellow readers of Biblical Fiction, and I’m keeping my eyes open for more from this author.


2 thoughts on “Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

    • Nadine C. Keels says:

      It’s a pretty long novel at about 400 pages, so Lydia certainly does have the lead for plenty of time. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just think the challenge with this novel was in developing the newcomers enough to justify their significant roles in the story. I guess it can be difficult to do that relatively late in a book, when the other characters have already had hundreds of pages to develop.

      In another novel I read, the arrival of Paul basically supplanted a fellow male character, Aquila, which I found unfortunate, since the book was mainly supposed to be about Aquila and his wife, Priscilla. So I guess Paul may just have that effect on other characters sometimes, when he shows up. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thank you for “stopping by” my review!

      Liked by 1 person

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