Judah’s Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees by Angela Hunt

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. Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

Judah’s Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees by Angela Elwell Hunt

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

Leah never felt safe in the home she grew up in. So when she marries a kind man named Judah, she believes she can finally experience a life of peace. But when Judah is challenged to fight for his people’s sacred way of life, Leah’s hopes for peace are threatened in Judah’s Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees by author Angela Hunt.

I was intrigued by The Silent Years series from the get-go, as I’d never read Biblical Fiction that addresses the four hundred years of (apparent) “silence” between the biblical books of Malachi and Matthew. I liked the first novel in this series, and have either liked or loved every novel I’ve read by Hunt, so I started anticipating this book way before its publication.

I was quickly drawn into the place, the period, and the setup of dual first-person narrators, which I’ve seen in other novels by this author. Although I’m sure I would have enjoyed this book at a different time, I only got a fifth of the way through before I decided not to continue. I’ve heard of the Maccabees and was most interested in reading about their revolt, but I’ll admit there are some aspects of Biblical Fiction I find much harder to read now than I used to.

As I recently said about another novel in the genre, my struggle with this book is reflective of a changing reader, not the quality of the story. While this likely means I’ll have to take a personal step back from the genre for now, I wouldn’t discourage other ChristFic readers from checking this novel out.

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Here’s my review of the first book in The Silent Years series, Egypt’s Sister: A Novel of Cleopatra.

 

Egypt’s Sister: A Novel of Cleopatra by Angela Hunt

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. Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

Egypt’s Sister by Angela Elwell Hunt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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

As the Jewish daughter of a royal tutor, Chava grows up close to palace life in Alexandria. She’s sure that she’ll not be parted from her girlhood friend, the princess Urbi, not even when Urbi ascends to the throne and becomes Queen Cleopatra. But when a crushing betrayal lands Chava in slavery, she wonders what will become of her life and a promise God once spoke to her in Egypt’s Sister, a novel by author Angela Hunt.

I’ve enjoyed Biblical Fiction by this author before and was intrigued to hear that she’d be writing a series about the biblical “Silent Years.” My favorite aspect of this novel is the fact that Chava hears God during this period when He’s supposedly silent. (Yeah—I don’t believe God goes mute so much as we go deaf, but I won’t get into that.)

Now, there were some things in the novel that didn’t make complete sense to me. The process of Chava’s enslavement, for one, didn’t seem to make logical business sense. Aside from that, while this book is called A Novel of Cleopatra, the queen is off screen for most of it. She’s out there living her (now notorious) life, while Chava is left to pine and obsess over her. Eventually, Chava herself alludes to “obsessing over Urbi” for years.

I also found the extent of Chava’s naiveté to be unbelievable at times. Although she’s done some growing by the later chapters, it’s hard for me to be super-enthused about a story when I only feel so-so about the main character.

Still, the ending of the novel has put me in anticipation of the next one in The Silent Years series.

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A little interesting experience with me and the next book in The Silent Years series, Judah’s Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees.