Seeking peace 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 can rest easily. But the land is ruled by Antiochus IV, descended from one of Alexander the Great’s generals, and when he issues a decree that all Jews are to conform to Syrian laws upon pain of death, devout Jews risk everything to follow the law of Moses.
Judah’s father resists the decree, igniting a war that will cost him his life. But before dying, he commands his son to pick up his sword and continue the fight–or bear responsibility for the obliteration of the land of Judah. 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.
The book, Judah’s Wife, is the second addition to Angela Hunt’s The Silent Years series. This series is based on stories that occurred in the four hundred year period between the Old Testament and the New Testament. During this era, it was believed that God refused to speak to the Hebrews and the book that contains the story that inspired this book is called Maccabees. I’ll admit that I have never heard of this book, nor was I familiar with the story of Judah Maccabee. So for me, this was an unique opportunity to embark on a journey through a new biblical story.
The story is captivating and I found that despite my lack of time to read, I was squeezing it into every spare second of my days. As someone who grew up in a less than perfect home environment, I felt a kinship for young Leah as she suffers from witnessing her father’s constant abuse of her mother. As her relationship with Judah grows and develops, I found myself wanting to reach between the pages and shake her for not recognizing that Judah is everything her father was not. The interesting aspect of this book is that the reader gets to see both Judah and Leah’s perspectives. This style choice allows the reader to remain more objective as Leah and Judah have moments of disagreement.
This is the kind of story that broke my heart. Several of the story elements left my poor empathetic heart breaking as Leah endures unimaginable moments of loss. Which is laughable, as the author admits that Leah is a fictional character. In fact, the story of Judah and his family fails to shed light on any of the women who would have shared their lives with these men. Knowing this, I applaud the author’s attempt to create a story of love and trust, while telling of a great triumph that the Jewish people encountered during these silent years.
I’ve never been fond of biblical fiction, but Angela Hunt’s style and willingness to explore different perspectives has enticed me. I will continue to read her work and perhaps, I may even explore similar works from other authors… maybe.
I would highly recommend this book to fellow readers who are interested in history or enjoy Biblical fiction.
Reviewer’s Note: This book was requested through Netgalley. All views and opinions are my own.