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Lydia, Woman of Philippi by Diana Wallis Taylor

Smart, strong, and a follower of the Jewish God, Lydia has nonetheless always quietly conformed to the expectations of the wealthy Roman society surrounding her. Even though married off at fifteen to a man she dislikes, she is determined to be a faithful wife. But when her husband is killed some years later, Lydia vows never to remarry and returns to her father's house in Thyatira with her twelve-year-old daughter. There, a new life begins to emerge.      //       

As she is trained in the family dye business, Lydia’s shrewd management quickly creates profit, prestige—and envy. At odds with her jealous brother, who is a staunch Roman and can't understand her obsession with the Jewish religion, Lydia finds herself yet again at the mercy of a patriarchal society. Will fleeing to Philippi be enough to protect herself and those under her care? Will she keep her vow to widowhood when a handsome Greek God-fearer turns out to be more than just an employee? ​And when she meets a strange man named Paul the apostle by the river one Sabbath day, will Lydia have the courage to once more let her life be dramatically changed—this time forever?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629118963
Publisher: Whitaker House
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 641,916
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Diana Wallis Taylor has written seven novels, including Mary, Chosen of GodMartha; Mary Magdalene; and Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. An inspirational speaker for women’s groups, Diana also leads creative writing and poetry workshops. She lives in San Diego, California, and has six grown children and ten grandchildren. Learn more at


San Diego, CA 92106

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Lydia, Woman of Philippi 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Mar-J More than 1 year ago
I was captivated by the story of Lydia: Woman of Philippi by Diana Wallis Taylor. She brought the Biblical character, Lydia, to life in this eloquent colorful account of this New Testament woman. I could not stop reading this fictional account filled with customs, worshipping of various gods, Roman rules, foods and activities during the early church age. The intersperse of the scriptures and chapters of Psalms that Lydia, her mother and other secondary characters relied on added depth along with the value of the early Christians who found the Lord, Adonai, to be the living God foretold in scriptures. I could see Lydia’s life happening as it did from her early teen years through her realistic life struggles with an arranged marriage that was not pleasant, raising a young daughter, but wanting to follow Adonai instead of the Roman God even though she suffered loss, grief and hardship. Her faith, fortitude, persistence, and love for Adonai emphasized the importance of fully surrendering to God, even during the early years for Christian believers. My emotions were attentive to all Lydia might of endured that is not told in the Bible. However, the beautiful experience of her encounter with Paul that led Lydia to her own spiritual conversion with salvation, baptism and in filling of the Holy Spirit to seeing others following Adonai with the teachings of Apostle Paul caused tears to fall while reading. Along with reading how possibly Lydia and her business of selling purple came about during a time women were not in business. Lydia selling purple was a tribute to her loving earthly father and the blessings of her sovereign Heavenly Father, Adonai. Diana Wallis Taylor’s writing lures her readers into the past with all the research she has done to create her Biblical fiction books. Lydia could become readers’ favorite Biblical woman character after reading this remarkable novel. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Whitaker House. I was not required to write a positive review but have expressed my honest opinion. I gave Lydia: Woman of Philippi 5 stars. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Taylor’s Biblical fiction books in the future.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite While her father is a proud citizen of Rome, her mother believes in the Jewish faith and is allowed to teach and take Lydia to the temple. Lydia’s marriage is arranged when she is only fifteen to a man she does not love and at many times during the marriage doesn’t even like. When her husband dies, Lydia’s only choice is to return to her parents' home to live with her young daughter. Her father has a very successful business making beautiful purple cloth and hopes to leave the well established dye business to his son. His son is not at all interested in the smelly business of dying cloth, but prefers the life of a soldier. Lydia, therefore, becomes next in line to inherit the factory and shops. As time passes and her father dies, circumstances force Lydia and her mother to leave their home and relocate in Philippi. Lydia works behind the scenes to keep the business alive and flourishing. Lydia and her mother go the river to meet other believers and, while there, Paul, Silas and Luke approach the crowd and share with them the story of Jesus. The rest of the story is taken from the Bible, plus Lydia’s trials and tribulations of daily life, perhaps imagined, perhaps very accurately shared concerning her mother, her daughter and grandson, Nikolas, the man she has come to love, and her new found religion. Lydia, Woman of Philippi brings the word of God to life and adds a fictional side that made this book great. There is much in the book that quotes the scripture and verses of the Bible accurately and in the right context, but the best part is that it brought Lydia to life and made her a real person with a very real life. Lydia should be on the reading list of every Christian and Jew because author Diana Wallis Taylor has written a beautiful story dating back to the days of the Romans, Greeks and Paul’s biblical journey. I highly recommend this book; it was both enjoyable and factual and well worth reading on both levels. Please do not pass Lydia, Woman of Philippi by.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
Her faith will be remembered... Let me just say that this book has a lovely cover, Lydia's trademark purple is sumptuously on display both on the front and back. I think that's part of what first caught my attention about Lydia, Woman Of Philippi. The author, Diana Wallis Taylor was new to me, though I had heard her name before, but the lovely cover beckoned so I had to check it out. At first the story seemed to move a little too fast, skipping quickly over several years, but then things became interesting as Lydia becomes a widow and must make a life for herself and the women in her household who depend on her. As a history lover I found the details of ancient Roman life to be fascinating. And as a Christian I found the familiar Biblical account taking on a new light with the fictional background of Lydia's life. On the whole, Lydia, Woman Of Philippi is a fairly quick read and an interesting look into the early Church and the (fictional) life one of the Bible's more intriguing women. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
Kathae More than 1 year ago
The first thing that struck me about this book was its gentle tone. Although Lydia, in this fictional account of a woman mentioned in the New Testament of the Bible, experienced abuse in some personal relationships, those elements were handled delicately. What emerged was a strong female character in a decidedly man's world who stood up for herself and protected those she loved. Though not given much source material in the Biblical record, author Diana Wallis Taylor deftly fills in the gaps with a well-researched and believable tale. Fans of Biblical fiction will enjoy the in-depth look at formative church history in this engaging novel. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Whitaker House, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed how Diana brought Lydia to life. She made Lydia of Philippi so real. I needed to see how this story would end. It is so nice when an author can take a few words in the Bible and flesh out a character so you think this might actually be how they lived. Now I understand who the Philippians really were. I received an ebook copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
CafinatedReads2009 More than 1 year ago
I am a picky reader when it comes to Biblical fiction. I've found very few authors who captivate me completely with the Biblical fiction. Diana Wallis Taylor is one of those few authors. When I sit down to Ms. Taylor's work, I know that I can prepare myself for the powerful messages within, I can prepare myself for the feeling as if I am right there in the middle of some of the most incredible happenings in the Bible. That's how good her writing style is.  With Lydia, I got just that. Taken from the book of Acts and Lydia's story, we learn all about the wonderful woman of the color purple. The things she endured with a father who didn't care for the fact that she chose her mother's religion, and with an arranged just really tugged at my heart and made me fall in love! I loved the way she was chiseled so vividly. The way she overcame her issues, and her determination to stand tall despite it all, and the way her heart opened up after meeting all really just enveloped me and took me on a ride that I won't soon forget!  This is definitely a 4 star worthy Biblical novel. If you love learning about the Bible in interesting ways, if you want a deeper relationship with reading and with God, then Ms. Taylor's Lydia is one you don't want to miss. You'll be taken to the center of the story, captivated completely, and fall in love with the Biblical accounts in a whole new way. I know I did! I can't wait to read another amazing, moving, and heart twisting story from the talented work of Diana Wallis Taylor.  *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Lydia Woman of Philippi is the second novel that I have read about this Biblical character that opens her home to the first church in that area. This is a story of a woman who is smart and capable but because she lives during Roman times, she is living very much in a man controlled world. Her father chooses her husband and her husband is neither kind nor loving to her. She pretty much just endures her marriage having no real loss of love for her husband either. When she receives devastating news of his death, she goes back to her father’s house with her beloved daughter. She, being a woman and a daughter is not expected to have an interest in her father’s dyeing business. That privilege goes to her very self-centered brother who actually shuns their father’s livelihood. So Lydia takes a bold approach with her father, who does relent and lets her, learn the trade. Purple and fine linens were a huge commodity during Roman times and Lydia proves herself capable of learning and running the shop. Unfortunately, she must do so secretly because she is a woman and a woman in business was unheard of and was not tolerated. With great attention to historical and Biblical detail, author Taylor immerses us into the lives of Lydia and her household and bringing to life the very first meeting they have with Paul the apostle. Lydia, being a God fearer, has already forsaken the household Roman gods, but now Paul and his companions have come amongst her and the other God fearers and tells them about the Messiah they have all been waiting for. This was a compelling story about a little known woman in the Bible and what circumstances may have surrounded her as she becomes a seller of purple and the events that take place upon her meeting with Paul the apostle. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
I feel like I’m on a Lydia kick this year. This is the second book I’ve read on this Biblical woman since August and both are different as night and day. We know Lydia as a savvy business woman in a time that women didn’t run businesses. We assume she was possibly a widow as she ran a business without male oversight or protection. We know Lydia as a dyer of purple. Sorry I’ll NEVER understand this love of purple, totally not for me. We know that mostly likely, at some point she lived in or was from Thyatira. We know her as the first convert in Europe who opened her home to Paul, Silas, Timothy and those traveling with them. We can make historical assumptions of where she was from, how she lived, her background and family. But we don’t know. And hence we have books about this amazing woman that are so different. Both drew me to them and both left me wanting just a little bit more. There are some things in this book that bothered me and did leave me lacking. The time jumps in the beginning were a bit jarring. I realize that they were necessary to get to the heart of her life but they didn’t feel well setup. The other biggie was the constant repetition. The same story told in the same way chapter after chapter. The same story of his experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus. The same story equating Jesus on the cross to the Passover lamb. The same conversion, the same prayer, the same everything. The same story so many times, chapter after chapter. It felt like it was a copy and paste from one telling to the next. I almost felt like it was NANO and word count was what mattered. I feel like so much depth could have been added by variances. Of referencing without retelling. It would have left so much open to deeper character development and story progression. I feel like the story of Lydia was window dressing on what could have been an amazing story. The back story was here but was missing the depth. The idea of her running her business behind the curtain was surface for what could have been a deeper dive into the story, the characters, and the location. I loved the interlacing of her family, the good and the bad. I loved her independence and her strength. Lydia, in this book and in the Bible, has a lot to teach us. But like Christ, only if we are open to the learning. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by CelebrateLit. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
LucyMR1 More than 1 year ago
Well researched Biblical Fiction that brings to life what Lydia's life may have been like. I found this to be a book I couldn't put down, as it is well written and draws you in from the beginning. Nothing takes the place of reading the scriptures, but this book enlightens you to the foods that were eaten, laws concerning women, and clothing traditions. I cannot fathom the amount of research that went into this retelling. It makes the characters seem real in a way that you can relate to and want to get to know. This is my first book by Diana Wallis Taylor, but I look forward to reading many more. I received a complimentary copy from the author/CelebrateLit. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
KLF More than 1 year ago
I had ideas in my mind about Lydia's, "seller of purple" background and how she came to be so wealthy, but Mrs. Wallis Taylor packs a plot to be remembered that inspired and intrigued me! Lydia torn between the fact that her father cared nothing for God, but she and her mother did. Torn into a very disastrous marriage, but faithful and dutiful all the while raising her daughter to know the Lord. Torn between her success, and culture's expectations of her as a woman, not to mention her brother's. But the whole time, Lydia allows the Lord to lead. She does right on her end and trusts the Lord to lead her, protect her, and bless her, and we all know that He does when we trust Him! I fell in love with the characters because they were so real, and their emotions and interactions so life like. This story really gripped my heart and wouldn't let go. It was a true blessing to my soul. The plot is so well thought out and I had to give 5 stars because we know so little about Lydia, yet our author made her seem like a dear friend. All fiction readers should read Lydia- you're truly missing out if you haven't! I personally can't wait to read more of Mrs. Wallis Taylor's intriguing Biblical fictions! :) I received a complimentary copy of this book, and all opinions given are my own.
cdscotton More than 1 year ago
Lydia, Woman of Philippi, is the first book I’ve read by Diana Wallis Taylor. I'm happy I got a chance to read it, as Ms. Wallis Taylor has written an excellent book. In fact, I hardly stopped to take notes for this review because I was so engrossed in the story! The book is well-written and the description of the environment enables the reader to completely immerse themselves. It is not overwhelming and the descriptions never become boring. On a side note, as a historian I appreciated that the characters had difficulty getting information to and from people in other cities. This is accurate to the time but rarely mentioned in fiction! Lydia is calm but not a doormat, though she is a more submissive at the beginning of the book. She becomes stronger as the story unfolds and watching her journey as she becomes the woman God meant her to be is one of the best parts of this book. Nikolas is more mysterious and less developed as the story is told from Lydia’s point of view, but he is a kind, dependable, and emotionally strong man. For me, it is easy to see how Lydia could fall for him and how he could fall for her in return. With one point of view it is often difficult to make the secondary characters seem like real people. Yet I understood their emotions, feelings, and thoughts through the writing. A single point of view can also make romances unbelievable but Ms. Wallis Taylor does an excellent job here with Lydia and Nikolas. The story itself moves slowly, though there are a few time jumps. The story begins with Lydia as a fourteen-year-old and ends when she’s in her thirties. The transition between younger Lydia and twenty-four-year-old Lydia as the second act of the story begins felt rushed. I wanted more information about those ten years and was disappointed the story skipped over them. The Christian messages, especially about learning to trust in God no matter the circumstance, appears on almost every page. This makes sense as Lydia is a woman who was an early convert to Christianity. If you like your Christian messages and themes a little less prominent, this book may not be your style. Lydia is a calm book in which events happen and the characters remain serene and poised, though there are a few moments where the tension ramps up. At a couple of points in the story I wanted more emotion from the characters, and the lack of it did hamper my enjoyment of this book. I recommend Lydia, Woman of Philippi, to readers who enjoy well-written and well-researched Biblical Fiction with a compelling main character and a sweet romance and give it 4/5 stars. I took away one star for quibbles involving the lack of tension and wanting more emotions from the characters at certain points. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
annelr More than 1 year ago
Lydia, Woman of Philippi by Diana Wallis Taylor is a fictional account of the first Gentile convert to Christianity in Asia and is an amazingly remarkable story of this woman who had a significant impact on the growth of the Church. Drawn from the Gospels, the story of Lydia is expertly and beautifully written as the author fleshes out the characters, crafting them into people that seem to step out of history right into the reader's heart and with whom they can connect. Biblical fiction is one of my favorite genres to read and this book did not disappoint. The author brings to life the joys and heartaches of a young woman who enters a loveless marriage and is betrayed by her family and yet, she remains strong in her faith that God would provide and care for her and her loved ones even though her future was uncertain. The richness of the characters and their emotions is completely realistic, grippingly honest and evocative. With descriptive prose and a compelling story, readers are pulled in quickly and it is almost like being right smack dab in the scenes. I like how Paul and several of the other disciples of Christ are written into the story and brought to life too. Lydia is a story of the hope that even in the disappointments and storms of life God can take the broken pieces of our lives and fit them together into something beautiful--a captivating story you will not want to miss. I'm looking forward to reading more of this author's work. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via CelebrateLit. A favorable review was not required and opinions are my own. This review is part of a CelebrateLit blog tour.