Land of Silence
Before Christ called her daughter . . .Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment . . .Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body . . . and soul?

Land of Silence Details

TitleLand of Silence
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 1st, 2016
PublisherTyndale House Publishers
ISBN-139781496414007
Rating
GenreChristian Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Biblical Fiction, Christian, Fiction, Biblical, Romance, Audiobook, Christian Historical Fiction

Land of Silence Review

  • Shantelle
    January 1, 1970
    Tessa Afshar writes such marvelous stories! I haven't loved all her novels, but I feel Bread of Angels and now Land of Silence are absolutely incredible. The writing style, the characters and the authenticity of their world, the faith ... it all draws me in and I find myself hardly able to put the book down! Ah, I was so excited to read another book by this author, and Land of Silence did not disappoint. Tessa Afshar, along with Connilyn Cossette, is a master at writing Biblical historical novel Tessa Afshar writes such marvelous stories! I haven't loved all her novels, but I feel Bread of Angels and now Land of Silence are absolutely incredible. The writing style, the characters and the authenticity of their world, the faith ... it all draws me in and I find myself hardly able to put the book down! Ah, I was so excited to read another book by this author, and Land of Silence did not disappoint. Tessa Afshar, along with Connilyn Cossette, is a master at writing Biblical historical novels. I truly believe she has a God-given gift for it.So Land of Silence takes the story from The Bible of the woman who had a bleeding condition for fourteen years and imagines who this woman was and what her life was like prior to her encounter with Jesus Christ.From practically the first page, I was drawn in and this book never lost my interest. I did at times become frustrated with Elianna, though my heart ached for her. She was perhaps very much like me in ways! Pretending she was in control; trying to fix everything and save everyone. It was gut-wrenching watching her make some choices that she did instead of choosing to trust God and those who loved her. Surrender. Overall, it was a very good lesson for me! Though a secondary character who's not seen much, I loved Elianna's sister, Joanna. I also really liked Ethan, Viriato, and Claudia. So many wonderful characters!The storyline and plot were hard in many ways, but intriguing and, oh, so beautiful! The parts about using dye, embroidering, and selling merchandise were very interesting. The world and customs fascinating. And the themes and lessons! They were truly deep. We go on this incredible journey of forgiveness, surrender, and healing. Some of the lessons are subtle in a way, but powerful. The idea that this woman's life has been completely gutted before she has her encounter with Jesus resounds with me. Like ... sometimes God allows everything to be taken because what we truly need is Him. -To look into His eyes and hear Him call us "daughter" or "son".Wow. Amazing story. Thoroughly engrossing book. I eagerly await my next chance to read another of Tessa Afshar's novels.
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  • Chantel
    January 1, 1970
    Land of Silence was an excellent book. I was drawn to this story for a few reasons; One, It was written by Tessa Afshar! Two, The main character is based on one of my favorite accounts of Jesus, the woman with the issue of blood. Tessa did a wonderful job of fleshing out the back story of this woman. Which in itself is so amazing, because there was so limited info about the woman. I guess that's where prayer and creativity comes in. :-)Tessa really captured the history, Law, and culture of the Land of Silence was an excellent book. I was drawn to this story for a few reasons; One, It was written by Tessa Afshar! Two, The main character is based on one of my favorite accounts of Jesus, the woman with the issue of blood. Tessa did a wonderful job of fleshing out the back story of this woman. Which in itself is so amazing, because there was so limited info about the woman. I guess that's where prayer and creativity comes in. :-)Tessa really captured the history, Law, and culture of the time. But even though the history was well done, the story and issues that the main character faced felt relevant at the same time.The prose of the story is really beautiful, the author really illustrated the pain and loss Eillianna suffered physically and emotionally, over the years. All which would lead her to her life changing encounter with Jesus. Which was just beautiful! The way the Tessa set up the scene, it feels like your right there seeing the healing taking place of Jesus making this woman whole. Let's just say I was a crying mess! I am so glad Jesus lives and loves us and wants to make us fully whole and healeld just like the woman with the issue of blood. I thought Eillianna was a strong likeable character, she really was a woman of integrity, who struggles with issues of guilt and self worth. I really liked the supporting characters which offer some levity and and rich depth to the story. Oh! And the love story between Ethan and Eillianna had me feel all the feels y'all! I think God puts people in our lives to show His love and grace. that's what Ethan, her sister Joanna, and Viriato and a few others did (BTW Viriato was my other favorite). This book really made a impact on me and I will forever cherish it.♥Extra, extra! :-) Here's a video of Tessa Afshar explaining the development behind this story and it is so beautiful! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zThUOJr...My Favorite Quotes ♥ "I thought of the hand of God that must have carried this plan and his wisdom that had been at the very root of it. For the first time I acknowledged that God himself had saved us. Not my cleverness or Ethan’s boldness, but the immeasurable kindness of God. How many times had we come to the brink of disaster and he had brought us through? How many times had this business almost sunk beyond recovery and he rescued us?""I came to realize that the God I found in the Scriptures might be my only source of comfort. I read his Word voraciously and clung to that spark of promise."“Then you must repent. You must learn to see him as he is, Elianna, not as your experiences declare him."In the span of a few moments, the Messiah had cleansed me. What I could not have earned with all my efforts and rule-keeping, he gave to me for free. He had set another captive free."
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    I am very particular about the authors that I follow when it comes to Biblical fiction. Tessa Afshar is one author whose books I will always pick up and expect to be enthralled by the story. Land of Silence grabbed my heart from page one. She created a provocative, engrossing story for the woman with the issue of blood. When I first heard that this would be the basis for her new book, I admit, I did wonder how she was going to make it work. I wasn’t worried, of course, but I did wonder how she w I am very particular about the authors that I follow when it comes to Biblical fiction. Tessa Afshar is one author whose books I will always pick up and expect to be enthralled by the story. Land of Silence grabbed my heart from page one. She created a provocative, engrossing story for the woman with the issue of blood. When I first heard that this would be the basis for her new book, I admit, I did wonder how she was going to make it work. I wasn’t worried, of course, but I did wonder how she would choose to tell this story. She takes a figure that appears in one scene with the Bible and fleshes out her story into something beautiful – a tapestry, if you will, that rivals the beauty of the fabric creations in Elianna’s household.The characterization of Elianna is superb; her voice in the first person narration style is crystal clear and distinct. I love that she chose to tell the story in first-person. I think it made the telling of such a personal, emotionally-charged story that much more poignant and compelling. Speaking of fabric and tapestries, the details about fabric production, dyeing and even the selling and trading are fascinating and greatly enhanced my reading experience.This author excels at creating strong women that suit the setting and time period, and Elianna is truly an inspiring character. She is determined and wants to take care of her family, yet her pride keeps her from accepting help from her betrothed, Ethan. The novel spans many years, and I ached with her and cheered for her as she matures throughout the story. The way that she is battered by life circumstance and then later on by physical ailments, yet still holds tight to her faith, makes her a compelling character. I can’t let the review go without mentioning Ethan again – enduring, steadfast Ethan. The scenes between these two spark with feeling, and he matches Elianna’s stubbornness with a hard head of his own.The groundwork for the story is set up in a strong way. The opening scenes set up perfectly both the despair and hope that are to come. Stricken by grief, guilt and condemnation, Elianna works hard to be the perfect daughter and basically run her father’s textile business on her own. However, all of her hard work cannot prepare her for what’s to come. Looking back, I am once again impressed that the novel wasn’t bogged down with despair. Much of the novel is leading to her lowest point, but I never wanted to put it down – the story flows that well and is that engrossing. Though there were some times I felt that the pacing was a bit slow, the events that took place felt realistic and naturally placed in the story. It is only through reaching her lowest point, that the most important event of her life takes place – that of touching the hem of Jesus’s robe and finding physical healing, yes, but, more importantly, deep, irrevocable love, free of condemnation.Afshar’s writing just keeps getting better and better, and fans of her previous novels will not be disappointed in the slightest. I highly recommend this novel for readers of Biblical fiction, but also for any reader looking for a strong story of healing and redemption.I received an advanced copy of this novel, and I chose to review it. This review is my honest opinion.This review first appeared on Straight Off the Page: http://straightoffthepage.com/land-of....
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  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    Tessa Afshar is such a talent with Biblical Fiction. This beautifully told story was filled with hardship. I thought of Job as I read Elianna's story. The length of time and magnitude of tragedies were well beyond what the average person could endure. Elianna is a character to revere. Likewise, for the main male character Ethan. Ethan was a compassionate, loving and strong man.I highly recommend this novel for fans of Biblical Fiction.
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  • Natalie Vellacott
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book of Christian historical fiction. It tells the story of the woman subject to bleeding for 12 years mentioned in 3 of the Gospel accounts. Most of the details are obviously fictional as we know little about her other than her medical condition and Jesus' healing of her. The story was full of twists and turns and kept my interest. It was easy to read with explanations for all of the cultural issues that arose in the narrative.The book is mostly clean--free of bad language, there I enjoyed this book of Christian historical fiction. It tells the story of the woman subject to bleeding for 12 years mentioned in 3 of the Gospel accounts. Most of the details are obviously fictional as we know little about her other than her medical condition and Jesus' healing of her. The story was full of twists and turns and kept my interest. It was easy to read with explanations for all of the cultural issues that arose in the narrative.The book is mostly clean--free of bad language, there is some limited violence and a sexual assault scene but neither are graphic.I recommend this book for Christian readers particularly those struggling with disappointments or long term illness. There are some helpful reminders that God is in control and that His plans for us are for our good. They are woven naturally into the storyline and applied to the lives of the characters. This has the effect of making them also relevant to readers without them feeling judged or preached at!My only criticism was that the book felt a bit rushed at the end and was maybe a little idealistic in outcome. Also that the Gospel message could've been clearer for non-believers, maybe by including it at the end of the book. Although, I did appreciate that there was a note stating that the best way to learn what really happened was by reading the Bible itself as the true authority.
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  • Emilee
    January 1, 1970
    Not being fan of Biblical fiction in the past, I was skeptical when I picked up this book but I loved it! The author did such a beautiful job bringing the setting and characters to life! The spiritual aspects are so touching. This novel is wonderful. I highly recommend it!
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  • Dan Curnutt
    January 1, 1970
    This is quite frankly one of the best historical novels that I have ever read. I think what makes this so good is that Tessa Afshar was born in Iran, grew up in a nominal Muslim Family and later moved to the West and came to know Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.She brings a very fresh look at Biblical stories and also brings a great understanding of Anthropology and Sociology in regards to the Biblical Times when Jesus Christ walked the shores of Galilee.In this story we trace the life of a This is quite frankly one of the best historical novels that I have ever read. I think what makes this so good is that Tessa Afshar was born in Iran, grew up in a nominal Muslim Family and later moved to the West and came to know Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.She brings a very fresh look at Biblical stories and also brings a great understanding of Anthropology and Sociology in regards to the Biblical Times when Jesus Christ walked the shores of Galilee.In this story we trace the life of a young girl, Elianna, and her life with her Jewish family in Roman Occupied Jerusalem. She and her family must deal with the hardship of heavy taxation, bribes, thieves and the general hardships that the Jewish Religion placed on their people in regards to customs, laws, sacrifices, etc.Elianna has a tragic situation in her young life when she takes her brother to a hillside to look at the flowers and has the unfortunate issue of his being stung by a bee and discovering (although she wouldn’t know this) that he would go into anaphylactic shock from an allergic reaction. He dies and sets the course of her life on a path of feeling rejection from her father instead of love and acceptance.The story weaves through her young life, through meeting Lydia the dye maker of the New Testament and how she works to bring about success to her families business while hiding the fact that she is the driving force, because Jews would never buy from a woman.At first I thought this was going to turn into a so / so romantic period piece, but then it takes a turn at a little over the halfway mark. This turn sets the course of the whole story and ties it into a Biblical Character that you will be familiar with from the New Testament.I don’t want to divulge who the individual is because it kind of would be a spoiler to the first part of the book. But I think you will like where Tessa Afshar takes the story.This book would truly be great for a church book club or even better as a dialogue starter for the Gospel with someone who doesn’t know Christ or is a bit turned off by religion.Enjoy!
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  • Amanda Geaney
    January 1, 1970
    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 qui 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!
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  • Nora St Laurent
    January 1, 1970
    This story grabbed my heart from the beginning, “When I think of the ruin my life has become, the slow wrecking of the dreams, the destruction of every love, I always return to the bee. That one tiny sting, which robbed my place of favor in my father’s heart and changed the course of my destiny.”Oh, wow, I was hooked. This author pens a compelling thought-provoking novel that encouraged and touched my soul. I like the author notes to readers when she shares that nothing is known about the woman This story grabbed my heart from the beginning, “When I think of the ruin my life has become, the slow wrecking of the dreams, the destruction of every love, I always return to the bee. That one tiny sting, which robbed my place of favor in my father’s heart and changed the course of my destiny.”Oh, wow, I was hooked. This author pens a compelling thought-provoking novel that encouraged and touched my soul. I like the author notes to readers when she shares that nothing is known about the woman with the issue of blood; but what is known was this woman was called daughter. The author states, “This was, the only time Jesus addresses a woman as daughter.” She explains the situation around this woman’s healing and how Jesus doesn’t just throw around words. The novel builds up to the moment where Jesus stops everything he is doing to ask, “Who touched me?” The people he was traveling with and the disciples thought this was a bizarre question to ask since the crowd was pressing in on every side. But Jesus knew someone was healed physically and he wanted to give them more than they were seeking.This story is a powerful, gripping and emotional read I couldn’t put down.It reminded me of Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Eilanna is like the female lead in Francine’s book. She is a woman beaten down by life’s blows and is left with nothing. Both of these women were strong, desperate for love and were willing to risk it all to get a touch of Jesus to heal their bodies and their souls. Elianna (the woman with issue of blood) represents us and our journey in darkness, trying to make it on our own. This author brilliantly shows readers the many ways God reveals himself to us and desires to love us beyond our wildest dreams; it’s ours if we let him in our heart. He desires to heal us from the inside out. I enjoyed how this author brought scripture to life and included other bible characters into the mix to interact with Elianna. It was surprising to read about the “Jewish purity laws” and how they were in forced on daily basis. It could make a person crazy. Grin! I loved how this story naturally flowed and wasn’t preachy!The author said that her story line revolved around a few questions I hadn’t given much thought to. The first was, “Why would Jesus delay an urgent procession to save the life of a little girl in order to find out who had touched him? The second was, “Why would he take time, they did not have to call a destitute woman daughter?” This writer pulls out all the stops as she delves into the answers to these questions and gives the reader a profound look at the heart of Jesus.I was fascinated by the role women played in society back then. I grew to deeply care for Eilanna as she searched for answers. This young lady who was forever changed by a chain of events that were out of her control to fix. Heart sick and desperate to be healed of a sickness that plagued her body and shaped her life. What a remarkable journey!There are twelve discussion questions to enhance your book club experience. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author, it won’t be the last. This is an amazing story that would be great for your book club. I highly recommend this novel to everyone. It’s a must read.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Club Network and Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”Nora St. LaurentTBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I have always stayed away from reading biblical fiction because I didn't want it to skew how I read the Bible. I am so glad I read this though and look forward to reading more. I came away with a better understanding of the cultures and laws that varied between the Jews and Romans. It taught me a lot about the work that went into dyeing and creating fabrics. It was all very fascinating. Although, I found the middle of the story to slow down in pace, I appreciated that the author took the time to I have always stayed away from reading biblical fiction because I didn't want it to skew how I read the Bible. I am so glad I read this though and look forward to reading more. I came away with a better understanding of the cultures and laws that varied between the Jews and Romans. It taught me a lot about the work that went into dyeing and creating fabrics. It was all very fascinating. Although, I found the middle of the story to slow down in pace, I appreciated that the author took the time to really let us struggle with the heroine so that we could truly appreciate and believe in her faith and how miraculous her healing really was. I LOVED reading about the other miracles that Jesus was performing, through the eyes of secondary characters too. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading books that are well written with historical details that will teach you and encourage you in your faith.
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  • Lydia Dyslin
    January 1, 1970
    Land of Silence is by Tessa Afshar. I decided to pick up this book after I saw a book signing event with Afshar that was happening in my area. Unfortunately, I was going on vacation on the day it was happening, but I still finished the book. I liked the cameo with Lydia (seller of purple cloth!). I was named after this Bible character and I think she's a great role model. So reading about her was fun. I also liked Joanna being in there because my little sister is named after her, although I di Land of Silence is by Tessa Afshar. I decided to pick up this book after I saw a book signing event with Afshar that was happening in my area. Unfortunately, I was going on vacation on the day it was happening, but I still finished the book. I liked the cameo with Lydia (seller of purple cloth!). I was named after this Bible character and I think she's a great role model. So reading about her was fun. I also liked Joanna being in there because my little sister is named after her, although I did think her supposed relationship with Elianna was implausible. Although there were some strange, hurried time-skips, the writing was beautiful -- it was probably my favorite part about this book. It really drew you in and I felt like I was in the book with Elianna. What I really didn't like, though, was the romance. I really, really disliked Ethan. He was too perfect and he seemed to know it. I wanted someone besides this cookie-cutter guy to marry Elianna -- if she had to marry at all. As I said in one of my status updates, I was cheering for Viriato&Elianna the entire book, and it did seem like it was going to happen, but then at the last minute Ethan came back into the picture, even though he really did nothing to help and comfort Elianna like Viriato had. It frustrated me. The book was also extremely slow, especially in the middle, which caused me to not be as excited to read it, so it took over a week for me to finish. Overall, I did enjoy reading the book, especially the ending (setting aside the romance). Ethan and the strange pacing have caused me to give it 3.5 stars out of 5 instead of 4, however. I would still recommend Land of Silence!
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  • Hilary
    January 1, 1970
    Another great offering from the writer of Pearl in the Sand. Tessa Afshar has taken the short reference to the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, and given this woman a name, a life and a story. Now her name is Elianna, favored by God, but instead of God's favor, Elianna feels cursed. Her young life is full of guilt, sorrow, and rejection from the people who mattered the most, and even running her father's workshop, creating new designs and sourcing new dyes, can only dull the pain.As Another great offering from the writer of Pearl in the Sand. Tessa Afshar has taken the short reference to the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, and given this woman a name, a life and a story. Now her name is Elianna, favored by God, but instead of God's favor, Elianna feels cursed. Her young life is full of guilt, sorrow, and rejection from the people who mattered the most, and even running her father's workshop, creating new designs and sourcing new dyes, can only dull the pain.As Elianna's life slips away, as she deals with year after year of uncleanness, becoming an outcast from all Jewish society, she has two choices: become bitter and full of hatred, or turn to the Scriptures to find God's truth. Even as she tries every medical treatment available, at great cost to herself (and these treatments ranged from the expected to the bizarre) she begins to question the Laws that condemn rather than heal, that become a weapon in the hands of the religious.And then she's told of a strange new prophet from Nazarus, a man whose words may bring life and salvation.This book is filled with cultural details of the politics, the contemporary interactions between Jews and Gentiles, the day-to-day impact of the Romans, and the fascinating skills of those who weave and dye linen, but ultimately it's a story of searching, of sacrifice, and of redemption. Unusually, the discussion questions at the end are very personal, provoking thoughtful review and insights into myself rather than those I would normally share with a group. I hadn't realized the targeted nature of Jesus' words, so now I read this section with a whole new light.Disclaimer: I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Allison Tebo
    January 1, 1970
    4 1/2 stars. Content: Near rape scene. The MC is grabbed and groped. There are several scenes of one jerk forcing her to kiss and being rough with her. Lots of angst, sorrow and loss. Stressful scenes involving Elianna’s illness, barbaric treatments for it and several skimmed over physical examinations.Note: I did feel there was historical inaccuracy in how Elianna and Ethan kissed/hugged/cuddled before marriage. While a Jewish betrothal meant much more than the weddings engagements that we are 4 1/2 stars. Content: Near rape scene. The MC is grabbed and groped. There are several scenes of one jerk forcing her to kiss and being rough with her. Lots of angst, sorrow and loss. Stressful scenes involving Elianna’s illness, barbaric treatments for it and several skimmed over physical examinations.Note: I did feel there was historical inaccuracy in how Elianna and Ethan kissed/hugged/cuddled before marriage. While a Jewish betrothal meant much more than the weddings engagements that we are familiar with - they still seemed a little too touchy. THE REVIEWSome people don't like Biblical fiction - presumably because of the Bible verse cautioning us not to to add or take away anything from scripture. But the problem with that - is that it tries to eclipse imagination from the Bible. I can struggle engaging in the Bible sometimes, not to read it pat after so many times. Biblical fiction is not taking anything or adding anything - it is merely introducing a "what if" into the mix - awakening the imagination, kindling our soul to ponder what we know. Jesus himself used stories to communicate with people - because usually a story is the only way a finite human mind can grasp spiritual concepts. It is stories that resonate deep within our being and often have the ability to change us. The Land of Silence is one of those stories that will strike you to the core. The sorrow that Elianna goes through is so palpable, it’s painful. This was not an easy book to read by any means, but it was worth it. Unlike some authors who pile on the troubles solely for sensationalism, everything here was on point, in place and sticking to the theme. I cannot review this book properly – it would take too long to gather my scattered thoughts. Needless to say, my favorite part, as always, in any Biblical Fiction, is the anticipation of seeing Jesus. I am always beside myself as the tension to see him rises – as I see the characters start to move towards being confronted by the Son of God, I am always beside myself with excitement. The scriptures relating the woman with the issue of blood has always touched me – and I can guarantee you – read this book and you will be enriched by it. You will never read that story the same way again. RANDOM THINGS I LOVED. I also appreciated that Ethan (the MC's love interest) was a actual VIABLE character. He actually had a life and an existence outside of the Elianna - he wasn't around just to make life perfect for her and kiss her - he had a job, a personality, a life. The author even went to the lengths of actually pointing out his FAULTS. Elianna knew she wasn't marrying a perfect man - they were both marrying an incomplete person with "gapes" that only God could fill. HALLELUJAH FOR A LITTLE REALISM. (Note – I DIDN’T like how Ethan just married some other girl when Elianna turned him down – it seemed like he was willing to settle for a female – any female – for baser reasons – I did feel like that was out of character and thus was rather annoyed when he came back, claiming that he had loved Elianna all along. To me, even to emotionally love someone else while married to another smacks of infidelity and is a big turn off to me in a character. But anyway – this authoress hit way closer to the mark for a realistic romance than most).I always smile and shake my head when I hear Christians imply that they wish they were born Jewish – as if they would somehow have an easier relationship with God or more blessings, or that it would simply be awesome to be one of God’s chosen people. I have had the privilege of not only working with Jewish people but also calling some of them my friends. I grew up under the tutelage of a Messianic Jewish pastor – and my outlook on many aspects of Christianity is “more Jewish." While the Jews are a blessed people and are God’s chosen ones, they have problems just like Gentiles. There are many, many stumbling blocks that the Jewish people struggle with on a daily basis that are totally foreign concepts to Gentiles. This book highlighted the differences incredibly well. I found myself cheering when Elianna’s Gentile friends bypass the Jewish laws of not associating with the unclean. It was a wonderful, blazing message showing that to follow laws is not enough. You can do this and do that – and turn your back to showing love, to actually being a living sacrifice, living like Christ – because you are so busy checking legalistic boxes. Sadly - many Christina live in this kind of merciless, sanctimonious life - they are Gentiles, but like Pharissees they live by a law and are "joyless and powerless." On the other hand, Elianna’s Gentile friends struggle with certain concepts about God and faith that she simply and trustingly accepts. With many concepts Gentiles are often engaged in complex mind games, wrestling with their mind and emotions when Jews simply believe and accept these concepts. It’s a fascinating and instructive and it shows that we all have a part to play and something to offer to the body of Christ. I loved how Tessa Afshar showed Elianna have rich friendships with many different types of people from very different walks of life – showing that people are puzzle pieces that make up a beautiful picture – corporately. I also loved how she showed that everyone in this world – Christian or non-Christian – is moved upon, directed and used by God. ("The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.") Proverbs 16:33IN CONCLUSION - Aside from being excellently and beautiful written, this book is inspiring and uplifting. It is the sort of book to read with a pencil and highlighter as the authoress shares wisdom throughout the pages. From the grievous first pages – to the magnificent and jaw-dropping culmination of surrender on the last page – you won’t be able to put it down. The woman that reached out and touched the hem of His garment is a story that I can relate to personally and some of the sorrow and surrender that Elianna wrestles with throughout the Land of Silence are also things I have struggled with. Have you ever had to deal with something in your life that you simply couldn't swallow? Have you ever been rejected over and over again by family or lived with continual physical or limitations? This is a book to sooth us - because it is about the balm of His grace. And I can testify that through the pain - He is there - and He is good. Psalm 40:2 - "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."
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  • Margaret
    January 1, 1970
    Not often do I give a book 5 stars but this one book was so intriguing, captivating and so touching. I have always been curious about the woman with the issue of blood who was healed simply by touching Jesus' robe. The author did a superb job of using fact and blending "what could have happened" without losing spiritual integrity. I think that I have found a Christian author who writes with a depth that I enjoy, especially Christian fiction.
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    A MILLION stars!!!
  • Libby May
    January 1, 1970
    The minutes after I finished this book it was five stars, but I didn't get to review it right away and took a day to think it over. It lowered to four stars, but still a good book. •Things I likedI liked Ethan. So much. He's perfection. I liked Joseph too, even though we only knew him for like the first chapter. I liked the era and the way that the surroundings were written. I felt like it was actually a real place. Which it was. XDI liked the healing. I loved Jesus. I wish he was in this book m The minutes after I finished this book it was five stars, but I didn't get to review it right away and took a day to think it over. It lowered to four stars, but still a good book. •Things I likedI liked Ethan. So much. He's perfection. I liked Joseph too, even though we only knew him for like the first chapter. I liked the era and the way that the surroundings were written. I felt like it was actually a real place. Which it was. XDI liked the healing. I loved Jesus. I wish he was in this book more. The fact that He was mentioned to Elianna very late in the book, even though he should have probably been more obvious to her before that, sort of threw me off. •Things I didn't likeI didn't like the ending. It was so happily ever after, but I think if the author hadn't done that the book would have been less likable. It just seemed guessable. I didn't like the centurion. I can't spell his name. Ok. I don't know if it's fair to say I don't like him. I liked him at first, and I liked him pretty well as a character, even though he did what he did. But I hated the reason he was in the book. He ruined everything. I didn't like Elianna herself. I'm sorry. I just couldn't relate to her at all. She seemed babyish, and then she was just like... insecure because maybe girls should be? I don't know. I just never clicked with her. But I'm happy that Ethan loved her so much and that Ethan was happy, even though I didn't like her. XDSo basically, why is it 4 stars? All together it was a great book. I enjoyed it. Now onto a more content review. Violence/graphicness: A couple of swords mentioned, Ethan has one to try and defend Elianna twice. Elianna and her father's wagon is jumped by thieves outside the main city, but there was no graphic descriptions. Elianna's father is injured and his head injury is described, semi to not detailed. Romance and sexual content:When Elianna's wagon is jumped one of the thieves makes inappropriate advances towards her. Her dress is ripped and veil falls off, but other than "being touched places no one had ever touched" her before during the struggle, nothing is done. The centurion makes advances toward Elianna that in turn, when exposed to Ethan, force her to lie to Ethan and break their betrothel. Ethan and Elianna are betrothed, so Ethan mentions the wedding night a couple times, but not describing anything. Elianna has a disease in her womb that is mentioned many times, she is the woman in the Bible with the sickness for 12 years after all. I put this here for the sake of boys who look at the review. I just wouldn't recommend it to boys in general. Language:100% clean, except for one instance where Ethan says "son of a she-dog" at the thief who tried to molest Elianna. Magic/witchcraft:Clean. Mentions of the Roman gods plenty over there, because of the time era. Elianna goes to different physicians and people suggest witches, though she refuses. All in all, ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Recommended for girls 16 and up, 18 will be more comfortable.
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  • ~Bellegirl91~
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book as a recommendation all because a friend of mine said that I should read this book and she seemed pretty adamant that I did and I ended up ordering a used (and very good) copy of it from thriftbooks online and I'm so glad I didn't wait to put this book on hold for so long and picked it up when I did. I loved loved LOOOOVED this book so much and did some serious binge reading too. But I have to say my friend was amazing enough to truly recommend this to me and I'm truly glad she I read this book as a recommendation all because a friend of mine said that I should read this book and she seemed pretty adamant that I did and I ended up ordering a used (and very good) copy of it from thriftbooks online and I'm so glad I didn't wait to put this book on hold for so long and picked it up when I did. I loved loved LOOOOVED this book so much and did some serious binge reading too. But I have to say my friend was amazing enough to truly recommend this to me and I'm truly glad she did.All I can say is that I cried so much with that one moment of this story when the infamous woman with the incurable issue of blood was healed all because she had the faith to know that she'd be healed by touching the robes of Christ. With this phenomenal story of this unknown woman with this 12 year suffering. I LOVED Elianna's story. I actually related to her so much in so many ways, I cried a few times and even more so for one particular page between her and Christ. I could NOT stop crying for the life of me and I guess I felt like I needed it too. As if He Himself were there calling me "Daughter" and because I needed it. Also I was AMAZED I made it through just one page with that tender moment because of all the crying/sobbing and tears. It did take me a bit longer than I wanted haha but it was just so special to me in so many ways with this whole new perspective.The other thing I loved with this book was her betrothed Ethan for most of the book. Oh my heck don't get me started! I want an Ethan so bad! he was AMAZING, handsome, a sweetheart... oh gosh I just wanted him to be real. I can't describe Ethan. So overall, this book was so well written, I do love/like a good historical fiction scripture/bible story (depending on what it is AND the author and their style) and this one was just wow! I'll DEFINITELY want to read more of Tessa Afshar books in the future. She truly is such an amazing storyteller and this book is indescribable and no words can describe this book and story. I say just read it for yourself. Even in general just read it. It'll be worth it. and I LOVED the ending too!
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  • Joleen
    January 1, 1970
    After reading one Tessa Afshar book that I enjoyed, I decided to pick up another, not realizing I had digitally borrowed the audio version of Land of Silence . But since I had, I want to say kudos to the narrator. Pleasant voice, and it was read so well. I could envision each character clearly, and each inflection and emotion were true to the book's intention. I'd definitely listen to Suzy Jackson again, happily.The story was about the life of young Jewish girl in Judea, Elianna, from age 18 to After reading one Tessa Afshar book that I enjoyed, I decided to pick up another, not realizing I had digitally borrowed the audio version of Land of Silence . But since I had, I want to say kudos to the narrator. Pleasant voice, and it was read so well. I could envision each character clearly, and each inflection and emotion were true to the book's intention. I'd definitely listen to Suzy Jackson again, happily.The story was about the life of young Jewish girl in Judea, Elianna, from age 18 to over 30; the eldest daughter of a cloth merchant. More synopsis and spoiler...(view spoiler)[When out on a Jerusalem hillside with her little brother, the only son and light of their parents' life, he was stung by a bee. As Elianna grabbed him up to run down to her parents' home, he was gasping for breath. She returned carrying Joseph, past the ability to save him. His strong physical reaction to the sting could not have prevented death.Years were lived under not only her own condemnation for being the cause of her brother's death, but family condemnation for killing the heir, and the censure from neighbors and religious leaders was oppressive. The mourning went on for months and their business suffered. Her father decided that she was responsible for all of this, so she would be more involved in the business to keep it going, while the rest of the family mourned. She did well with the wool and thrived, but her head was for fabric design, not keeping books. In the long run, not keeping up with the books by tracking what people owed took its toll, and they always seemed to struggle. Ethan, a young man who believed in her and deeply loved her, wanted Them to marry, but her obligation to her parents was so great that she put it off for years. After her father's head trauma accident she worked even harder. Ethan was getting impatient.As a Roman centurion began to show her more attention he was forceful with her, twice. Once as Ethan saw an unpleasant exchange, and was about to come to her defense, Elianna stopped him and it was over. Accosting a Roman would have landed him in prison. But on the second attack, her life was altered, and the next week their betrothal was broken. So many sad things in her life kept happening that I just wanted to put the book down. It seemed her future was always bleak. I persisted and I'm glad I did. Ethan married another woman shortly after he broke their engagement. Her father died and she had to sell the business and their home and move to a smaller place with her mother. Elianna developed a disease where, what she thought was her monthly, simply didn't stop. Month after month of doctors dwindling her savings with bizarre "cures", turned into years. Because of her being unclean she couldn't touch people or they would be unclean for seven days. They couldn't eat with her, and if she went to their house she couldn't touch anything. When her sister Joanna lost a baby, the mother-in-law blamed it on Elianna saying she cursed them with her unclean blood. During the next pregnancy Joanna never touched Elianna but sat outside with her to visit often. That baby died too. Elianna decided to stay away and have no contact with her sister for nearly 2 years, but when they lost the next baby they finally realized it had nothing to do with Elianna. This went on for over 10 years. Her only friends and patrons during this time were Gentiles who were a great comfort to her. Then in the space of a couple of weeks, three different people came to her to tell her about the new healer in town, the new prophet, simply speaking to people and they would be healed. Elianna decided to follow him to see if he was a trickster or the real thing.Because I hadn't read the synopsis of this book prior, I had no idea that the Elianna in this book was the woman that bled for fourteen years, and who touched the hem of Jesus' garment and was healed. Like I said, I almost stopped reading this book several times, but at this point I wouldn't have missed this for the world. Tears were streaming down my face as I read this section. So well written, and such change came over her, in body and spirit. (hide spoiler)]I can't say more because all the really good things happen in the last few chapters. But I will say the lesson of going through fiery trials to come out victorious is a powerful message. At one point Gamalial had some amazing words of wisdom for Elianna and her sister about trusting God for the way He truly is rather than in the way our emotions seem to dictate the way we see Him. There was one storyline that was fun about how to make a purple dye, and a young girl named Lydia was brought into the book. The timing was about right, because what would have been 15 years later was in Acts 16. Excellent writing. Perhaps a bit long but still a good book.
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  • C.E. Hart
    January 1, 1970
    If the LORD had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. (Psalm 94:17 ESV) Land of Silence is the first book I’ve read by Tessa Afshar. Her writing style is superb, and she moves the story forward with purpose and an elegant smoothness. Although little is said in the Gospels about the woman with the twelve-year bleeding issue, Ms. Afshar gives a compassionate, fictional account of her life prior to the miracle of healing that occurred as she reached out in faith a If the LORD had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. (Psalm 94:17 ESV) Land of Silence is the first book I’ve read by Tessa Afshar. Her writing style is superb, and she moves the story forward with purpose and an elegant smoothness. Although little is said in the Gospels about the woman with the twelve-year bleeding issue, Ms. Afshar gives a compassionate, fictional account of her life prior to the miracle of healing that occurred as she reached out in faith and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment.This novel is both tragic and marvelous, showing us how young Elianna’s sufferings and sacrifices bring her to a place of healing. For it’s through perseverance that we gain strength and character.I adore this character. Elianna is believable, and her dilemmas are authentic, especially for Biblical times. Times were much different then, but her struggles are easy to relate to, easy to sympathize with. Ms. Afshar hauled me through the trenches with this Biblical retelling, drawing nearly every emotion out of me. As I neared the end of the book, no matter how I tried to slow my pace (to make the story last longer) I quickly turned the pages until I came to the satisfying end. I highly recommend this book. I love delving into Biblical retellings, getting a feel for the customs, hardships, and lessons we learn from Bible times. And when a story leaves me changed, I become a fan—I’ve already purchased another Tessa Afshar novel, and I can’t wait to get started.5 StarsCover: LoveTitle: LovePublisher: TyndalePages: 400Pace: SteadyFirst Lines: When I think of the ruin my life has become, the slow wrecking of my dreams, the destruction of every love, I always return to the bee. That one tiny sting, which robbed my place of favor in my father’s heart and changed the course of my destiny. I received a Review Copy from Tyndale Publishers.
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  • Christian Fiction Addiction
    January 1, 1970
    Tessa Afshar has long been one of my favourite authors, and so I met the news of her latest novel, "Land of Silence", with excitement. And let me tell you that this novel certainly lived up to my expectations! I have long been fascinated by the Biblical account of Jesus healing the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, but I've never spent much time thinking about how she came to the place of reaching out in the crowd to touch Jesus' cloak, desperate for a healing. Afshar has succeeded at br Tessa Afshar has long been one of my favourite authors, and so I met the news of her latest novel, "Land of Silence", with excitement. And let me tell you that this novel certainly lived up to my expectations! I have long been fascinated by the Biblical account of Jesus healing the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, but I've never spent much time thinking about how she came to the place of reaching out in the crowd to touch Jesus' cloak, desperate for a healing. Afshar has succeeded at bringing this woman's story to life in a mesmerizing way, using her gift of fiction to craft "what could have been" in such a way that I couldn't put the story down. Instead, I was moved to tears more than once as I walked alongside the broken character of Elianna, feeling her pain as she experienced rejection and hardship, making her encounter with Jesus all the more beautiful. I never before realized that the only time Jesus refers to someone as "daughter" is with this woman, and I can only imagine how that felt to this woman to hear those words and what change she experienced not only in feeling healing enter her body, but her soul as well. Afshar has created a truly remarkable character in Elianna, and I can say with confident that this is one of those books that I will be reading over again in the future.If you have never yet had the privilege of reading a book by Afshar, then I encourage you to start at once by picking up a copy of Land of Silence for yourself. You will walk away with a deeper appreciation for what Jesus did when he healed this woman, and will have been blessed to have read such a wonderfully written story. 5 out of 5 stars.An egalley has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Tyndale, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the most beautiful novels I have ever read. God is SO much more than my puny brain could ever comprehend. What a perfect, well-written story. I most appreciate that something that takes a few lines in the Bible has now be blown wide open. God is love. This book is amazing. I highly recommend this novel.
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  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    My first biblical fiction and I absolutely loved it. What an amazing author!I enjoyed Afshar's description of the time and place, the textile trade & dyes and also the way different sections of the society viewed each other. It is interesting to read about Jesus from the perspective of his contemporary, even though it is fictional. I expected the book to be a tearjerker and it is. The story starts with a low and when things starts looking up, there is another blow and the pattern repeats for My first biblical fiction and I absolutely loved it. What an amazing author!I enjoyed Afshar's description of the time and place, the textile trade & dyes and also the way different sections of the society viewed each other. It is interesting to read about Jesus from the perspective of his contemporary, even though it is fictional. I expected the book to be a tearjerker and it is. The story starts with a low and when things starts looking up, there is another blow and the pattern repeats for quite some time. But the light at the end of the tunnel brought goosebumps with it. The way Afshar uses first person narration is amazing and Elianna's inner voice makes me empathetic. Credit also goes to Suzy Jackson, the narrator. Her voice is haunting and voice modulation for all the characters is very authentic.Ethan is such a good character. Though Elianna is so stubborn, he is so patient with her. (view spoiler)[I was devastated when he married Sarai. I liked how Afshar built the story in such a way that Elianna did not have any one to lean on except God. I really appreciated that Elianna and Ethan are brought together in the end or else I would have been miserable. (hide spoiler)]Elianna's interactions with Viriato brings a little bit of comic relief. Claudia's friendship brings to light the relationship between Jew and Romans. It is so great to discover another amazing author. I will have to wait sometime to read another book of hers because my heart can only take so much of emotional roller coaster.
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  • Rissa
    January 1, 1970
    Where a womans word means nothing she will be heard.
  • Tima
    January 1, 1970
    Elianna's past is marked with tragedy and sorrow. She makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the life of her fiance, but looses him in the process. Now she's years into a debilitating disease the robs her of strength and human contact. She's tried every doctor and has almost completely exhausted her resources. Her last hope is this strange man reported to heal people. Elianna knows that she is unclean. But if she can just touch Him, she hopes that she'll be relieved of her physical burden.Afshar i Elianna's past is marked with tragedy and sorrow. She makes the ultimate sacrifice to save the life of her fiance, but looses him in the process. Now she's years into a debilitating disease the robs her of strength and human contact. She's tried every doctor and has almost completely exhausted her resources. Her last hope is this strange man reported to heal people. Elianna knows that she is unclean. But if she can just touch Him, she hopes that she'll be relieved of her physical burden.Afshar is a gifted writer. She takes a character from the Bible and weaves a story that captivates and enthralls the reader. The reader will be drawn in to the story and will come away with not only a deeper understanding of Jewish history and customs, but with a sense of the love the Savior has for His children. I'm not usually a fan of Biblical fiction, but this author is definitely an exception. I think even readers who tend to not enjoy Christian fiction would enjoy this novel for it's historical depth and expert story telling. Overall, this was an amazing book that I will be sharing with friends and would highly recommend.I received this book free of charge from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Andi
    January 1, 1970
    The story of the woman who bled for 12 years is my absolute favorite miracle in the Bible. In her fifth book Tessa takes what little is known about her prior to being healed and creates a life around her, gives her a name, Elianna which means favored by God. She is the only one called Daughter by the Master. When she touched the hem of His garment she was healed physically, and spiritually. The writing was so visual that I felt as if I was in Galilee watching from above. This story is special to The story of the woman who bled for 12 years is my absolute favorite miracle in the Bible. In her fifth book Tessa takes what little is known about her prior to being healed and creates a life around her, gives her a name, Elianna which means favored by God. She is the only one called Daughter by the Master. When she touched the hem of His garment she was healed physically, and spiritually. The writing was so visual that I felt as if I was in Galilee watching from above. This story is special to me for another reason, I played this woman in a Christmas play one year and I fell more in love with the story, and when I had brain surgery I told God the night before that while I was in surgery I would be touching the hem of His garment. Don't miss this book! I guarantee you won't be sorry!
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  • Becky Van Daniker
    January 1, 1970
    I’m skeptical when it comes to Biblical fiction because I don’t like being confused by the Scriptures being taken out of context or moved around to better the story, as well as all of the added detail that isn’t found in the Bible itself. Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar did not disappoint. In fact, this is the first novel that I have read by her and it most certainly won’t be my last.This story is engaging, raw, and beautiful all at the same time. When I found out that the author was writing abo I’m skeptical when it comes to Biblical fiction because I don’t like being confused by the Scriptures being taken out of context or moved around to better the story, as well as all of the added detail that isn’t found in the Bible itself. Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar did not disappoint. In fact, this is the first novel that I have read by her and it most certainly won’t be my last.This story is engaging, raw, and beautiful all at the same time. When I found out that the author was writing about the account with the woman with the issue of blood mentioned in 3 of the Gospel accounts, I wondered how she was going to do with it so little information other than that she had been bleeding for 12 years and that Jesus healed her. I was impressed with how she did it. The author takes a character that we hardly know anything about and gives her a story that is so passionate, heart-gripping, and beautiful.I enjoyed how the author explained the culture of that day, especially for readers who aren’t familiar with the Old Testament Laws. It’s obvious how much attention to detail and her thoughtful, well researched shined throughout the book.Elianna has become one of my favorite characters. Isn’t Elianna a beautiful and unique name? I normally don’t care for books told in first-person, but it only added to Elianna’s voice. We get to see deeply into the heart of a woman who is hurting and going through so much. She truly is an inspiring woman. While I thought there were many times she was annoying, she truly cares about her family and will do anything to provide for and protect them, including letting pride get in the way of her dream of being married to her love, Ethan. Readers will be encouraged that no matter how much life throws at her, and life does get scary and send her to the lowest point of her life with a physical ailment making her considered unclean and an outcast, she still holds to her faith in God throughout it. In fact, we see her sharing her faith with close friends who don’t believe multiple times. Then there’s Ethan. I cannot forget to mention him because he plays a powerful role in the story. While he is hurt and angry at Elianna, he is loyal, steadfast, and still loves her. Even in his stubbornness, he is the perfect match for our beloved heroine.So much has happened in Elianna’s life that it’s amazing how the reader doesn’t get depressed and bogged down. Instead, the reader will find themselves engrossed in the story while turning the pages. I found it impossible to put this book down! The story is not far-fetched at all, but realistic and relatable. This is a beautiful and powerful story about a woman who at her lowest point finds the most important moment of her. Not only just touching the Jesus’ cloak and being healed, but finding forgiveness, deep and compassionate love, and freedom of condemnation.But most importantly, I love this quote found in the author’s notes at the back of the book.“While the Bible provides profound inspiration for novels like this, the best way to study it is not through a work of fiction, but simply to read the original, the way Jesus himself would have done. This story can in no way replace the transformative power that the reader will encounter in the Scriptures.“I love that the author encourages her readers to read the Scriptures for themselves rather than just rely on her work of Biblical fiction. This is so important.Highly recommended!Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Cindy
    January 1, 1970
    An amazingly, creative, imaginative novel based on Biblical characters whose names appear in the Bible with little background descriptions. The author gives us her own descriptions of their daily lives and backgrounds perfectly blending this with story lines from the Bible. I absolutely love this author's books! A must read!
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  • Sally Poyzer
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. It is well written and helps you really imagine what it might have been like for the woman who reached out and touched Jesus. The characters are convincing and the story line is not what you'd expect. Another masterful tale from the very talented Tessa Afshar! I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good story set in Biblical times.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this story!! Ms. Afshar did an excellent job as usual. Elianna's story is a sad one in many ways, but is redeemed by Jesus' healing & love.
  • Ane Mulligan
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED it!! Tessa Afshar makes the characters from the Bible come alive in her fiction. I had to set the book down to meet a deadline, but picked it up again and finished it in two afternoons.
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