It’s not often that I find a book I don’t love, but this one fits that category. I typically know what I like, and I have a pretty good idea that something sounds interesting before I pick it up. I’m not even completely sure why I didn’t like all of it, if I’m completely honest. There were definitely parts that I did like, but it’s not something I grieved over finishing.
Don’t get me wrong, it was well written. I felt many feelings in relation to those characters, and the characters were well developed. The plot flowed well, and the story line made a lot of sense.
What I did really like, and what drew me into the book in the first place, was the historical setting — set in that vague in-between time between the Old and New Testaments in the Bible, the “silent years” — scholars say something like 400 years? — I was very interested to learn a little bit more about the way of life, being a pretty big historical fiction nerd. It was very interesting to read about Jerusalem during the time of Alexander the Great. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find I don’t often connect the Biblical history to the Classical history and what I know about the two of them. It never seems to occur to me that they would coincide, although obviously they have to. I loved that part. The story sets up the story of the Maccabees and the history around Hanukkah, which I did find fascinating.
Again, I can’t say that I loved it, despite it being well-written. I’ve liked other works by Angela Hunt as well! I’m just not sure. I even waited a while after finishing to write the review, hoping it would come to me, but it hasn’t. It took me a long time to finish the book, too. Almost a month, actually. And that’s not like me.
Anyway, I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has tried this book, and what you thought of it?
Seeking quiet and safety after a hard childhood, Leah marries Judah, a strong and gentle man, and for the first time in her life Leah believes she’ll have peace. But the very nation Judah was named for has been conquered by a cruel king, who decrees that all Jews are to conform to Syrian laws or risk death for following the laws of Moses.
Judah’s father resists the decree, igniting a war that will cost him his life. But before dying, he commands Judah to pick up his sword and continue the fight–or bear responsibility for the obliteration of Israel. Leah, who wants nothing but peace, struggles with her husband’s decision–what kind of God would destroy the peace she has sought for so long?
The miraculous story of the courageous Maccabees is told through the eyes of Judah’s wife, who learns that love requires courage . . . and sacrifice.
Book was provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and Baker Publishing Group.