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Posted November 21, 2010
Review by Jill Williamson
Rivkah's mother died long ago. It's just her and her father, who is a shepherd. Rivkah wants to be a shepherd too, though many of the boys tease her that girls cannot be shepherds. Only Shemu'el is her friend. Rivkah just knows in her heart that Shemu'el is going to marry her someday. Years pass, and the day comes when Shemu'el travels with his family to Jerusalem so that he can become a man. But when some Jews protest outside the temple and Roman guards attack, Shemu'el gets lost in the crowd and does not come home. His family believes he was killed.
But he is not dead. Shemu'el is taken as a slave to serve the Romans. He struggles to hold onto his faith, and hopes that he can someday return to marry Rivkah.
Yet Rivkah mourns Shemu'el's death as if they had already been married. Her father pressures her to move on and marry another man before she is too old. Can Rivkah and Shemu'el find their way back to one another before it is too late?
This is a love story, and a good one. The cover, while beautiful, doesn't make it look like a historical romance. Do not be deceived. This was a fascinating look at Jewish life and culture. It was fun to see Rivkah befriend Mary and little baby Jesus. And I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to know if Rivkah and Shemu'el would find each other in the end. Two thumbs up for this book. It's a fun read.
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Posted January 12, 2011
Witness, book one of the Seeds of Christianity series, starts with a masterful scene. Delightful details set stage and character, time and temperament; young Rivkah tends her flock and tries to obey the dictates of Yahweh and her Abba while village boys throw insults and lion roars.
There's a beautiful innocence to Rivkah and her thoughts, and the author has a gentle way with words, explaining with just enough detail to intrigue, leading with just enough hints to entice. The story unfolds from wondrous choirs of angels to the storm-clouds of despair, and follows the fractured love between shepherd girl and talented young man, just as the soldiers of Rome are putting down yet another insurrection. Divided by fate, united by love, the two young people grow to separate adulthood, each with their dreams and desires unfulfilled, while the world of Rome and conquest moves inexorably on.
Favorite movies and novels of my youth include The Robe, Demetrius and the Gladiators, Ben Hur, The Great Fisherman, Dear and Glorious Physician. Author E.G. Lewis has paid the same careful attention to detail and research as these classic writers did, taking a carefully studied historical background and sketching a consistent view of the unknown with masterly pen. The worlds of shepherd and slave, Judea and Antioch, Roman and Jew all come to life. Their concerns become real, the longing palpable, the hope, the joy, the sorrow, and the seeds of faith referred to in the title.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it highly to anyone wondering how those early days might have felt when the Seeds of Christianity were first sown.
Disclosure: I got this ebook from the author after failing to win a paperback copy.
Posted March 26, 2010
Normally Christian fiction books are not something that I gravitate toward for recreational reading. My tastes run to thrillers and mysteries. However, as an avid reader I'm always sampling something new. This book was a random purchase and a pleasant surprise. I genuinely enjoyed the read. The book is well paced, well written and the historical aspects very interesting. I'm looking forward to the sequels as the book states it's the first of a series. So if you don't usually read Christian fiction go ahead and give this a try. You won't be disappointed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.