BOOK REVIEW: 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.
MY REVIEW: I think I am becoming a fan of Biblical fiction. This book is set over the time of Jesus' crucifixion. Leah is the niece of Pilate, but she works as a servant in his household. She is going to be married to a centurion (the one whose servant Jesus healed) and is not happy about it.
Sent by Pilate's wife, Leah is to see if the disciples are planning a revolt. She cannot meet the disciples, but she makes friends with Mary and Martha and a few other women.
It was interesting to read of this time through the eyes of another person, and with Janet Oke and Davis Bunn's attention to detail, it fits very well with the true account.