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Rich in descriptive prose and emotionally supercharged, Tessa Afshar’s latest novel Land of Silence takes biblical fiction to new heights. Derived from a story that graces three of the four canonical gospels, Afshar puts flesh and bone on the woman with the issue of blood. Elainna’s story proclaims how we all possess worth in Christ and by Him we are made whole and well.
Following the death of her brother, 16 year old Elianna becomes imprisoned by her shame as well as her father’s grief. Like quicksand threatening to swallow her completely, she strives to regain her father’s love while attempting to keep her family’s business afloat. I was encouraged by how — when assaulted on every front and after enduring years of physical illness — Elianna remained anchored in God through prayer and reading scripture.
When the story opens, Elianna is betrothed to Ethan Ben Ezer. Like Sarah and Darius from Tessa’s sophomore novel Harvest of Rubies, I couldn’t help but love this strong willed woman and her stubborn, but noble man. Hold on tight; the road they travel together is replete with potholes and harrowing twists.
For it’s depth and ability to evoke such strong feelings from this reader, Land of Silence earns a spot on my Best of 2016 book list. I feel this novel is for perfect for anyone who has ever felt a yawning chasm in their heart – whether self induced or pressed upon them by another. That should encompass just about everyone. Buy it, read it, and then read it again. I know I will!
The difficult - and unknown - story of the woman who is healed with a touch to Jesus' robes after suffering from hemorrhaging for 12 years is brought to life with vivid clarity and compelling emotion. The story is captivating and honors the struggles that the woman probably dealt with, although Afshar had to imagine much of the background, given how little is provided in the Bible. Nonetheless, the story feels incredibly accurate - historically and Biblically. Elianna's story is, at times, difficult and frustrating to read, but it also makes the culmination of the book incredibly joyful. A beautiful read, and one that truly inspires faith and hope in the face of despair.
Inspiring story even though the dysfunctional disposition of the main character was hard to relate to at times. However, by experiencing almost anything that could go wrong and blaming herself for most of it, her ultimate surrender to God's grace was that much more powerful. I felt blessed by reading and identifying with characters in this book.
A fascinating compulsive read. My first experience with this author. I sincerely hope you add more of her books to the Library.
A wonderfully written book that has insight, grace and excitement. Tessa Afshar is an amazingly talented author who has researched certain biblical characters and their historical background to form storylines that really draw the reader. A must read!!!
Another excellent read by Tessa Afshar - one of my favourite authours for her creativity, believability, and unexpected plot twists. She is able to touch the heart and share her heroine's thoughts and feelings without dragging it out in a tedious way like so many authours do. A great contribution to Biblical historical fiction.
Afshar’s research into period medicine has unearthed some truly bizarre treatments which find their way into the course of the story, and which add interesting historical detail. The plot, however, is needlessly complicated by the main character’s dysfunctional disposition which, I found, made her unlikeable at best. For those interested especially in Biblical-based fiction, the subject matter Afshar tackles is unique, but like medicine, at times difficult to swallow.
For this story, Tessa Afshar should win more Christy awards, or any other award that can be conjured. This is the best story in the area of biblical fiction that I have been privileged to read all year. Afshar's brilliance as a writer is commendable as she immersed the reader into a compelling background story of the nameless woman widely known as "the woman with the issue of blood” . Afshar gave that woman a face, a name, and a struggle. Evidently well researched and divinely written, the reader is invited to the early times when Jesus Christ walked this earth. Jews still kept the law, Pharisees were inconveniently self-righteous, and bethorals were actually taken seriously! I met Elianna, a stubborn, brilliant woman longing for love and acceptance while living under a heavy cloud of guilt. Her circumstances robbed her of dignity, peace, and her one true love Ethan: a handsome man who was fiercely loyal. I admired and cheered the heroines' creative business acumen and obvious compelling nature. I lived through her struggle and her freedom after her encounter with the Messiah.
The story was deeply vivid with meaningful messages that will cheer the bible/historical fiction enthusiast.
This is an imaginative yet well researched work of historical fiction, my favorite genre. I loved how she expanded on Biblical accounts to creatively fill out the lives of characters and make them come alive.