The Centurion's Wife

The Centurion's Wife

4.3 205
by Davis Bunn, Janette Oke

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Janette Oke has dreamed for years of retelling a story in a biblical time frame from a female protagonist's perspective, and Davis Bunn is elated to be working with her again on this sweeping saga of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Christianity...and the very personal story of Leah, a young Jewess of mixed heritage trapped in a vortex of competing

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Janette Oke has dreamed for years of retelling a story in a biblical time frame from a female protagonist's perspective, and Davis Bunn is elated to be working with her again on this sweeping saga of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Christianity...and the very personal story of Leah, a young Jewess of mixed heritage trapped in a vortex of competing political agendas and private trauma.

Caught up in the maelstrom following the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine, Leah finds herself also engulfed in her own turmoil—facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Roman soldier, Alban, who seems to care for nothing but his own ambitions. Head of the garrison near Galilee, he has been assigned by Palestine's governor to ferret out the truth behind rumors of a political execution gone awry. Leah's mistress, the governor's wife, secretly commissions Leah also to discover what really has become of this man whose death—and missing body—is causing such furor.

This epic drama is threaded with the tale of an unlikely romance and framed with dangers and betrayals from unexpected sources. At its core, The Centurion's Wife unfolds the testing of loyalties—between two young people whose inner searchings they cannot express, between their irreconcilable heritages, and ultimately between their humanity and the Divine they yearn to encounter.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Grandmother of the evangelical Christian fiction boom, Oke teams with Bunn, another established author brand, in this biblical fiction embroidered around a minor character in the gospels, one Roman soldier whose young servant was miraculously healed by Jesus. The centurion Alban seeks advancement in the Roman government of occupied Judaea. His plan to advance will win him an unwilling bride, Leah, a young woman whose family's economic disgrace has forced her into servitude in the household of Roman governor Pilate, who has recently condemned to death a controversial Jewish spiritual leader by the name of Jesus. This nicely plotted series kickoff provides interesting back stories for the central characters that cry out for further development. A few supporting characters hold interest, including Alban's fellow soldier Linux and Pilate's wife Procula, another intriguing bit player in the gospel of Christ's passion. Unfortunately, the characters who follow Jesus have but a single dimension: piety. Fans of these popular authors will love their joint effort imagining and animating the context of Christianity's birth.
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Product Details

Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
Acts of Faith, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

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The Centurion's Wife (Acts of Faith Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 205 reviews.
andrea10 More than 1 year ago
This story of the early Christians just after Christ's ascension to heaven was uplifting and interesting. However, the story did drag a bit in the middle, but picked up toward the ending. I liked the story because of my interest in the early Church and ancient history. Don't know how historically plausible everything was, but I enjoyed the premise and setting, and the sweet love story between a Roman Gaul and a young Jewish woman. Will definitely read the remaining two books in the series.
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
When I heard that Janette Oke had a new book coming out, I was beyond thrilled. It's been a long time since we had a new book from her and I was looking highly forward to reading it. I was also excited to see that this book would be another collaboration between her and Davis Bunn. I highly enjoyed the other books the two had written together in the past. This would be the first Biblical fiction novel from Oke, so I was also curious to see what a book from her NOT set in Canada would be like. The book starts out rather slow. It took a while for me to get into the story and I could not relate to the characters at first. It doesn't feel rushed but it seems like the reader doesn't have enough time to get to know the characters well enough. Also I didn't feel like Leah and Alban spent enough time together, especially since the title has the word wife in it. However once you get past all that, the story is absolutely brilliant. Even though the reader knows about Jesus' resurrection, seeing how the characters had to find clues about what really happened was like reading a mystery novel. Leah and Alban did not have religious upbringing so for them to find out the truth and the meaning behind it was a joy to read. I really love biblical fiction and the historical research done for the story is excellent. You really do feel like you are in the time period and can see the setting perfectly. I liked seeing characters from the Bible that we all know given "screen time". I really liked the background stories given to the characters that aren't even given names in the Bible. I know there are some people who don't like Biblical fiction, but I personally enjoy it. I don't feel that it is sacrilegious to give religious characters personalities and imagine what life was like for them. I am going to be looking forward to the next book in the series.
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
When I read a story, especially historical fiction, I want to be transported to another place. The Centurion's Wife does just that. But it's not just a story about Leah, the wife. It is just as much the story of Alban, the Centurion, who was originally from Gaul. He was sent by Pilate to find out more about the "prophet" Jesus, who was crucified, yet continued to influence all of Judea. Pilate was afraid of a Judean revolt, but what he didn't realize was that Jesus had come to live, and died, and then rose again to free mankind from their sins.

Alban was sent by Pilate to find out more about the man, Jesus, and at the same time Leah, his niece, was sent by Procula, his wife, to seek that very information. Each step in their search for truth was profoundly beautiful. Jesus influenced lives in ways that was difficult for them to comprehend, but still very real. The more they learned about Jesus, the more drawn they felt toward him. And His teaching was contrary to what they had both been taught their entire lives. I was on this journey with them and rejoiced as each slowly transformed their thinking.

The thing that thrilled me about this story was how the reader also needed to examine what to do with the man, Jesus. If he had indeed risen from the dead, what does that mean for them? The Centurion's Wife was engaging and profoundly spiritual. I loved the setting and the way the authors led the reader on a spiritual journey as well. I was deeply moved as the story concluded. This is the kind of story that leaves an impact on your heart and makes you think more about your faith. This book would also make an excellent supplement to a Bible study and would be a fabulous book for book clubs and reading groups to study. I plan to read the rest of this series because if the other stories are this amazing, they are not to be missed!

This book is definitely going on my favorite fiction list for 2009.
Nicole Whitworth More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The attention to detail in following the Bible was really good. What I did not like about it was it focused on the political size of the story. Another thing was there was a lot of dialog. There was a lot of dialog that went over the same information over and over. Honestly I was lost a lot and not sure of how much I actually read. I was really expecting more out of this book. I liked the idea but not so much on the exacusion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book. Very good story. A little long in middle but other than that a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read
Sherry Revill More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book imensely on several levels: I enjoy history and historical fiction, I'm a Roman Catholic, and I have also been to Rome. My only real criticisms of the book are the number of typographical errors and the repeated use of the word 'legionnaires' to describe Roman soldiers. The proper term is 'legionaries.' I found myself wanting to know more about Procula, especially since she was patrician by birth, being a Claudian; and how much real influence did she have over Pilate either as his wife and/or a patrician?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great. I think it going to be one of my favorites historic based faith building books that I have read. I would highly recommend this book and it's author Thank for letting me enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent! 300 pages of a story set at the time if Christ's crucifixion, Leah and Antol find not only love for each other, but also become Christians, following the path God will send them on. The fact that the book was part historical and part fiction made it even better. Made u feel like u were really there with them during this time of the birth of Christianity. I was sad when the book ended. These authors did a great job. I recommend this book to everyone. U won't be disappointed. Vallie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just loved this book the charecters may not be real like in the bible but it is still very in teristing € leah is very nervouse because she has to marry a man she berely knows but as they come across each other and get to know one another better...............
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a winner ( i knew it) i could tell just from the title. Its about the time of when peter and other disciples roamed the earth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book. I loved how the author mixed historical fact and fiction. I can't wait to read more books from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book with a very strong female lead. A great book about faith. I can't wait to read the next in series!
Char_Lee More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story. It dealt with a period not often discussed in Christian fiction. The love story was perfectly muted, while the search for faith was highlighted. This story didn't try to go too far and over explain faith but faith was present thoughout. I have recommended this book to friends and will be looking for more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found it very interesting, as it all happened in just a short period of time around the time Christ was crucified. It helped me to understand some of the customs of the time also. I saw that it is numbered Number 1 so I am anxious to see what title 2 will be about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book took an interesting spin on what the early believers faced after Jesus' death. It expands one's view of the biblical account by showing the reader how Rome was affected by all of the events. Great story and romance. ; )
Janna6 More than 1 year ago
I love the idea of a book being written about non-Christians finding Christ during the period of Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension without ever actually meeting Jesus. Here we have Leah and Alban who are separately trying to find out what actually happened to the man named Jesus' body when it was "stolen" from the tomb and if his followers are a threat to Rome. We follow them separately on their journeys for truth knowing that they have been promised to wed each other after the truth is found. Leah is not happy about this and Alban initially just sees Leah as a means to a higher status in life. Can they find the truth before those seeking to hide it get them out of the way? What will the truth mean to them? Can a life without love really be worth living? The Centurion's Wife answers all of this and much more in a beautiful story and a fantastic setting. I really enjoyed this book and fans of historical fiction (especially like Francine River's Mark of the Lion series) will love this book!
Anonymous 8 months ago
A story of hope and love which can be read over and over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book made me consider more about what real people may have experienced during this very difficult time in history. I loved the read and will look for more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Learned so much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful! The characters were believable and the plot followed the Bible. I study the Word of God and these authors made it come alive without tainting God's Truth. Thank you for the diligent research and the sensitivity to all people.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Inspiring love story involving the greatest love of all-that of Jesus. The human love story is wrapped up in that underlying theme. True to the Bible.