Saturday, June 29, 2013

Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate

Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate is new biblical fiction from Diana Wallis Taylor.  Claudia has led a very sheltered life banished to Reggio by her grandfather the emperor of Rome because of the sins of her mother.  She is allowed to return to the palace of Rome to be groomed for marriage when Tiberius takes the thrown.  She is given in marriage to newly appointed governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate.  Claudia finds a rare joy in Roman marriages, she deeply loves her husband and he returns that love.  Longing to support her husband in his new post as governor seeks to learn all she can about the people and their beliefs.  She is not only intrigued as she learns about the Jewish religion, but feels stirrings in her soul as she learns more about a new teacher, Jesus.  Being personally impacted by the miracles of Jesus, she becomes a silent follower.  Claudia is torn with her new found faith and being obedient to her husband.  When Jesus is brought to Pilate to be executed, Claudia is beyond devastated and it will take God’s grace for her to forgive her husband. 

I absolutely loved this book!  Taylor did a great job depicting the time period and weaving a fictional story around the few known facts about the wife of Pilate.  The love story between Pontius Pilate and Claudia is both lovely and complicated and you could feel the pressure that his post as governor put on their marriage.  Claudia’s journey to truth was beautiful to watch.  As she turns her back on Roman gods while trying not to offend her husband or jeopardize his position and seeks every opportunity to learn of Jesus and his teaching.  This book is a very powerful example of how God can change our lives for the better when we give him control.  I could read it again in a heartbeat and know that historical fiction fans will not be disappointed with this book!

Provided by the publisher for Review

Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Grace's Pictures

Grace’s Pictures is an Ellis Island novel by Cindy Thomson.  Grace has spent her life in an Ireland workhouse to pay off her deceased father’s debts.  Her mother remarries so that Grace can escape to America.  Not only does Grace have to learn how to adapt outside the workhouse she must learn how to survive in New York City, learn how to become a governess and how to keep out of trouble.  God has given her a strong Christian support system, but Grace struggles with believing in God’s goodness when she has known so much darkness.  Grace finds that she has a passion for photography, but when a very powerful gang thinks she is taking pictures of them, Grace is in very real danger.  Can God send her a protector in Officer Owen McNulty?  Can she trust God and Owen to protect her? 

I was very impressed with the research and authenticity of Thomson’s work.  I didn’t know very much about New York history in the early 1900’s and found this book to be fascinating.  From the workhouses in Ireland to the corruption of the New York police department this really is a great novel.  The relationships in Grace’s life were very real and raw at times.  Thomson made her characters come alive which made the book very touching.  Grace’s journey to trusting in God and learning to believe in herself was beautiful accompanied with a gentle romance.  Anyone who enjoys historical fiction will love this book. 

Provided by the Publisher for review