About the Book
Judah’s Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees is the second book in The Silent Years series. I’ve enjoyed previous books by Angela Hunt and was excited to have an opportunity to read more. The Silent Years series are not connected to each other, so you don’t need to read the first one prior to Judah's Wife, though I recommend it as Ms. Hunt writes excellent Biblical Fiction.
Ms. Hunt brings the story of Judah and his wife Leah to life in a well researched and well-written book that anyone who wants to learn more about the Maccabean Revolt will appreciate.
Judah’s Wife alternates first person point of view between Leah and Judah and that can be difficult to pull off, but Ms. Hunt manages it deftly. Leah’s and Judah’s voices are very distinct from each other and it is easy to feel the differences in their characters.
The title character is Leah, who is raised in an abusive household. She has an encounter with Judah where he saves her from harm and is intrigued, as he is so different from her own father. Judah is also intrigued by her and their fathers arrange a marriage. Judah is twenty-four and Leah fourteen when the marriage takes place.
Based on her childhood, Leah’s desire for a safe, pleasant, untroubled life is understandable. Judah’s lack of interest in violence makes her happy and they begin to fall in love. Yet when the Maccabean Revolt begins and Judah believes he is called to fight, she begins to fear he is violent like her father and draws away from him. However, it takes longer than I would have liked for Judah and Leah to talk with each other about this.
Judah struggles with what he feels God is calling him to do (leading the Revolt) and his love for Leah. His characterization is not as deep as Leah’s but I understood his emotions and feelings, and was pleased with this character development. Judah’s chapters spend a lot of time recounting battles and at times they read like a textbook, but Ms. Hunt writes so well that the chapters are enjoyable and propel the story forward.
The themes that Ms. Hunt develops include listening for God’s voice instead of our own. Both both Leah and Judah struggle with their callings and their own ideas about what they want out of life. Ms. Hunt also touches on the conflict between following God and submitting to governments if they are demanding we do not follow God.
One of the things that Leah struggles with regarding her faith is not understanding who God is. She also doesn’t think she is special enough for God to speak to her. That is a point a lot of Christians struggle with.
Judah’s Wife is a well-written, well researched work of Biblical Fiction. Leah and Judah are both great characters and the journeys they undertake together and separately are worth the read. The other characters aren’t fleshed out as well, though none feel superfluous or unimportant to the story.
I will definitely read more books by Ms. Hunt and the other books in this series. I give this book 4/5 stars and recommend it for anyone who enjoys Biblical Fiction.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House, the publisher. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran. Bakery Owner.