To be silent would be to deny their God. To defy would bring the wrath of the King.
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 that Judah has been 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 law 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 the 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.
I'm a toe-dabbling biblical fiction reader so I approach this genre with a bit of trepidation. Hence Judah's Wife sat on my TBR pile for a couple of weeks while I gathered the gumption to crack it open. And wouldn't you know it? Once I did, I couldn't stop reading. Seriously, I was instantly mesmerized. Hunt's words seamlessly flow, creating captivating images that helped me feel like I was actually witnessing events as they unfolded.
Using alternate points of view, this story comes to life through the eyes of both Leah and Judah. Now I'm not a biblical scholar. At all. And I knew absolutely nothing about the Maccabean Revolt -- or even thought much about that 400 year gap between the Old and New Testament so I learned a lot from this novel. It's a brutal piece of history so not always the easiest of reads but the author balances that with Leah's and Judah's developing love story.
There's tragedy and triumph and deep sorrow -- all the hallmarks of an epic tale. And as I read, I found myself making modern day connections. In 168 BC, the Jewish faith was threatened by assimilation from Greek culture. The result was the watering down of the old ways which led to unimaginable hardships. Thousands of years later Christians face the same challenge -- do we assimilate current cultural mores in order to please the society we live in? Or do we stand true to biblical teachings? It really got me thinking about where I stand and if I'm ready to answer the hard questions when my answers aren't going to be popular with today's culture. Pretty humbling...and, if I'm truthful, terrifying. I love it when a novel challenges like that!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.
If you would like the chance to win a copy of Judah's Wife, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 25 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!