Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Centurion's Wife by Davis Bunn & Janette Oke

Typically the only Christian historical fiction you'll see me picking up is by Francine Rivers - the woman knows how to do it right.  Unfortunately, I haven't found many other Christian authors that I enjoy historical fiction from.  BUT I will say, I LOVED the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke, so when my mother-in-law dropped the Acts of Faith trilogy off at my house to give a try - I thought - heck why not?!

Sigh.....but it was not to be folks.  I read the first of the series, The Centurion's Wife and I just couldn't get into it.  And I'll admit I was actually a bit frustrated.  Here's why - because when Christian authors take actual historical Biblical accounts and "add" their spin to it, it confuses the absolute crap out of me.   And then next thing I know - I genuinely think there was a niece of Herod's out there by the name of Leah who fell in love with a Centurion of the name Alban and they had a bunch of interactions with Jesus and the disciples.  Didn't happen people.  Every now and then I do love a great historical fiction novel, but it has to keep some distance from actual historical events or it just loses me all together. I hope that makes sense.  Of course, that doesn't mean that I give up on Janette Oke all together, I just wasn't too keen on this one and therefore didn't feel compelled to read the remaining 2 books in the series.  Hey, at least I tried right?

Description: 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.

Rating: **

Recommend: If blending between fiction & actual historical events doesn't bother you, then by all means give this one a shot! 

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