The Living Water Series, Book 3
NO ONE KNOWS THE WORRIES that weigh on Martha, the burden she has carried for seven years. The townspeople call her the holiest woman in Bethany, but Martha's perfect reputation protects a secret that could destroy everyone she loves.
Only two men know the truth: her brother, Lazarus, and Simon, the strict Pharisee Martha is bound to marry. Lazarus's only wish is to follow his cousin Jesus, but Simon will stop at nothing to ensure that Jesus is exposed as a fraud and blasphemer. When Lazarus falls ill, Martha must decide if she will send for Jesus to heal her brother, or defy Simon, who threatens to expose her shame. Must she remain bound in her tomb of secrets and watch her brother die?
On the southern shores of Galilee, a tortured man roams, possessed by a legion of demons. When Jesus frees him, he finds that seven years have passed since he promised to return to the woman who gave him her heart. He sets out for Bethany, hoping he is not too late to reclaim Martha's love.
Full of doubt in the one her sister calls the Messiah, Martha risks all to send for Jesus. But will Jesus prove worthy of her trust, or will he--like the man she once loved--forsake her?
Stephanie Landsem continues to captivate me with her Biblical fiction. If you have ever found the Bible to be a dull read check out one of her books. I can almost guarantee that you will want to dig deeper into Scripture to discover more about the people and places she has fictionalized in her stories.
The Tomb centers on the story of siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. While Landsem has chosen to take a bit of license with the timeline of events and added in some what ifs, the story itself allows these well known historical figures to blossom. She has added in supporting roles that may very well have been accurate but we don't know because Scripture doesn't say. For instance we know a bit about Mary, Martha, and Lazarus but virtually nothing about their relatives and neighbors. I found the addition of these characters to enhance the story without detracting from the truths that are contained in Scripture.
I particularly enjoyed exploring the facets of Martha. Why did she act the way she did? Who was she besides Mary and Lazarus's sister? Did she ever marry? Did she have children? I could also ask those same questions about Mary and Lazarus. Frankly we don't know. Landsem has done a masterful job of walking the tightrope of historical fiction. She stays fairly accurate on known facts but allows her pen to put down some intriguing what if scenarios. I enjoyed the story immensely and look forward to reading many more of her books.
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