Bread of Angels
Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant's daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.With only her father's secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances--along with her father's precious dye--help her become one of the city's preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can't outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.

Bread of Angels Details

TitleBread of Angels
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseJun 6th, 2017
PublisherTyndale House Publishers
ISBN1496406478
ISBN-139781496406477
Number of pages375 pages
Rating
GenreBiblical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Historical, Adult Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction

Bread of Angels Review

  • Mesu
    February 8, 2017
    Tessa's unique voice--offering both wit and wisdom--emanates from every page. Lydia's story is achingly tender from the first flutter of romance to the last sting of betrayal. An intensely emotional journey. An utterly satisfying read. Acts 16 comes to life in BREAD OF ANGELS.
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  • Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
    April 18, 2017
    4 1/2 stars TOP PICK
  • Alyssa
    October 8, 2016
    So I got on the launch team!!!
  • Staci
    May 13, 2017
    Tessa Afshar brings to life Acts 16 and the story of Lydia. There is so much to love about Lydia. She is independent, hard working and kindhearted to name a few of her positive attributes.The story spans over many years taking readers to the time when Paul was alive and visited Phillipi. It was a treasure to be present during Paul's visit and gain a better understanding of what life was like for him and other followers of Jesus.While I wasn't completely caught up in Lydia's story, it was an enjo Tessa Afshar brings to life Acts 16 and the story of Lydia. There is so much to love about Lydia. She is independent, hard working and kindhearted to name a few of her positive attributes.The story spans over many years taking readers to the time when Paul was alive and visited Phillipi. It was a treasure to be present during Paul's visit and gain a better understanding of what life was like for him and other followers of Jesus.While I wasn't completely caught up in Lydia's story, it was an enjoyable journey and I especially loved the way the author wrapped up several pieces of the story at the end. As a bonus, there was a character visit from Elianna from The Land of Silence.Tessa Afshar is a talented author and I look forward to reading more of her work.My gratitude to Publisher Tyndale for a NetGalley copy of the novel. I was not required to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Caitlyn Santi
    May 24, 2017
    With the exception of one short story, this book was my first foray into the world of Biblical fiction. Tessa Afshar was a new-to-me author, but since I had heard lots of good things about her books I decided to give this book a try. I very much enjoyed this book. I could relate to Lydia's fear of basically everything, that is a demon I struggle to overcome (sometimes daily) myself, so needless to say the message of this book was exactly what I needed! I envision opening the pages of this book m With the exception of one short story, this book was my first foray into the world of Biblical fiction. Tessa Afshar was a new-to-me author, but since I had heard lots of good things about her books I decided to give this book a try. I very much enjoyed this book. I could relate to Lydia's fear of basically everything, that is a demon I struggle to overcome (sometimes daily) myself, so needless to say the message of this book was exactly what I needed! I envision opening the pages of this book many times in the future to help remind me to trust in Jesus and not to fear! This book was very easy to read, though it is a very emotional read and there were moments that my heart hurt for the characters! This book was very compelling, it held my attention throughout and I was never bored while reading it. While Biblical fiction is still not one of my favorite genres, I am very glad that I read Bread of Angels and I do plan to try more of Tessa Afshar's books in the future! Highly recommended.I received this book from the publisher. No review required. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.
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  • Nora St Laurent
    March 7, 2017
    WOW, Couldn't put this down. Brought me to tears and rejoicing. Full Review to follow!
  • Shantelle
    May 17, 2017
    Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar surprised me. It took my breath away. Made me weep. Made me laugh. Yes, I stayed up until the wee hours of morning to finish this; it was that good! I've enjoyed this author's previous books, but was not prepared to absolutely adore this one!It's set in the New Testament time, following the life of a woman, named Lydia, who sells purple cloth. (She's mentioned in Acts 16.) The story spans many years flawlessly, unfolding Lydia's life tale with beauty, betrayal, gr Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar surprised me. It took my breath away. Made me weep. Made me laugh. Yes, I stayed up until the wee hours of morning to finish this; it was that good! I've enjoyed this author's previous books, but was not prepared to absolutely adore this one!It's set in the New Testament time, following the life of a woman, named Lydia, who sells purple cloth. (She's mentioned in Acts 16.) The story spans many years flawlessly, unfolding Lydia's life tale with beauty, betrayal, grief, miracles, and grace. I was enraptured.First off, the writing quality was spectacular! It was so easy to read each chapter, and start another! They style keeps you interested and ready to read more. I finished most of this not-so-small book in one night.Secondly, Lydia. She was a wonderful character, whom I quite liked! I related to her struggles. Hoped for her happiness. Loved her friends. Rejoiced in her discovery of true life. Even though Lydia is in her 40s (perhaps?) for a good part of the book and there's not a steady theme of romance, I just related to and loved this story so much. There were so many interesting secondary characters too! And a villain. And some nefarious going-ons. Lydia was a creative and busy woman - and nurtured lots of people. It put hope in my heart. ^_^Meeting Paul, Silas, Timothy, Luke, and Marcus was truly one of the highlights of the book. Perhaps my very favorite part. I loved it, my friends. *hugs them all* It felt so much like the family of God, and I could imagine myself there amongst them, accepted and cherished. There was so much faith, joy, laughter, and love! Miracles abounded. Trust was discussed and put into practice. They leaned on each other as they sought to follow God with all their hearts. (view spoiler)[And Lydia's learning of Jesus, conversion, and baptism. And the baptism of all the other ladies! And Lydia's overcoming fear. (hide spoiler)] Because of those, I cried. And cried. And was filled with such warmth, like a bubble of peace and joy surrounded me. Perhaps I glimpsed the family of God - the bliss of heaven. It was stunningly beautiful.Filled with intrigue. And interesting facts about the dyeing process. Action. Betrayal. Wonderful and spirited people. The good news of Jesus Christ.I sorrowed with Lydia. I rejoiced with her. I healed with her. And at the end of Bread of Angels, I was filled with hope. Tessa Afshar has written a phenomenal novel, and it is definitely not to be missed!I received a copy of Bread of Angels from Tyndale House Publishers through the Tyndale Blog Network.
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  • Amanda Geaney (Christian Shelf-Esteem)
    April 24, 2017
    An accomplished wordsmith, Tessa Afshar has written Bread of Angels with precision, heart, and purpose. Each well-tuned phrase, simile, and scene, serves to immerse readers into Lydia’s first-century life. I read the prologue like one might enjoy the first bite of a decadent cake, and in the same way it left me wanting more!The book opens in Thyatira (AD 25) and moves to Philippi where it concludes in the year 50 AD. It’s in Thyatira that a great deception takes place which really sets the story An accomplished wordsmith, Tessa Afshar has written Bread of Angels with precision, heart, and purpose. Each well-tuned phrase, simile, and scene, serves to immerse readers into Lydia’s first-century life. I read the prologue like one might enjoy the first bite of a decadent cake, and in the same way it left me wanting more!The book opens in Thyatira (AD 25) and moves to Philippi where it concludes in the year 50 AD. It’s in Thyatira that a great deception takes place which really sets the story into motion. I confess I was neither taken in by Jason’s affections nor duped by Dione’s scheming. This was due in part to how Lydia confessed her love for Jason, while contradicting her words by her actions.A favorite character of mine entered the story just before Lydia heeds her father’s advice to flee to Philippi. Rebekah, an unmarried Jewess, won my affections with her gentle spirit. In time, her personal understanding of the character of God as well as her loyal friendship prepares the way for Lydia to accept the gospel. Furthermore, Afshar uses their fathers to make the beautiful, albeit stark comparison, between our earthly and Heavenly Father.The leap to AD 50 ushers in the appearance of Paul and Silas as well as the miraculous works recounted in Acts 16. As always, Afshar handles the absolutes of scripture with respect, while using creative license to color between the lines. I am so fascinated by early church history that Lydia’s time with Paul was the portion of the story I savored the most. Bread of Angels is a compelling and satisfying work of biblical fiction.I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required of me. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Raechel
    March 20, 2017
    What a beautiful book, inside and out! But what else would one expect from a Tessa Afshar book? Truly, her books astound me and I love spending time in each one. "Bread of Angels" provides a very touching and impacting story of Lydia the seller of purple. I so enjoyed following her life-journey, through trials and joys. And "meeting" Paul! That was really good. I was just incredibly impressed and touched my this book. The lesson of trust - the symbolism of the Bread of Angels, manna, and relying What a beautiful book, inside and out! But what else would one expect from a Tessa Afshar book? Truly, her books astound me and I love spending time in each one. "Bread of Angels" provides a very touching and impacting story of Lydia the seller of purple. I so enjoyed following her life-journey, through trials and joys. And "meeting" Paul! That was really good. I was just incredibly impressed and touched my this book. The lesson of trust - the symbolism of the Bread of Angels, manna, and relying on God for everything. That really hit me. Needless to say, I have many, many marks in this book to revisit and cherish. :)Lydia was such a real character. I identified with her struggle against fear and the anxiety that brings. And to see the Truth of Jesus and what He's done for us heal her was beautiful, knowing that He can perform that healing in all of us. What I love about a Tessa Afshar book is the deep truths of Jesus woven so care-fully throughout the story, the absolute love for Him and glories to Him shines from the books.I find these books healing - God uses them in my life and I am very thankful. To Him be the glory!
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  • Amy
    March 14, 2017
    Bread of Angels tells the story of Lydia during the Biblical times. She is the loving daughter to her father, living in the house that has been in her family for generations, and enjoys making dye. Tragedy strikes and she has no choice but to run to her friend Philippi for help. She learns to make it on her own as a woman and with much determination, she becomes a prominent merchant in the city. Having doubts about the past, she is still scared. It all changes when she meets Apostle Paul. He tea Bread of Angels tells the story of Lydia during the Biblical times. She is the loving daughter to her father, living in the house that has been in her family for generations, and enjoys making dye. Tragedy strikes and she has no choice but to run to her friend Philippi for help. She learns to make it on her own as a woman and with much determination, she becomes a prominent merchant in the city. Having doubts about the past, she is still scared. It all changes when she meets Apostle Paul. He teaches her the message of hope, faith, and love. Will this new message help her get over the past secrets and heartache? Bread of Angels is one of the best Biblical Fiction novel I have read to date. The historical details and vision of the author is so vivid, I felt like I was right there living beside Lydia. Just a beautiful, well written story. A must read! I definitely recommend this book! 5 plus starsI received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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  • Paula-O
    April 11, 2017
    Bread of Angels by Tessa AfsharI enjoy reading about bibical stories in fictional style. I can picture Lydia living everyday life and falling in love with a charming man, then to find out he and his mother had plans that were to hurt Lydia and her father was so sad. Trust is a big issue and when it is broken life takes on a different outlook.I felt along with Lydia the betrayal. I admired the way she moved in a different direction yet still made purple and did well as a woman in the trade.thanks Bread of Angels by Tessa AfsharI enjoy reading about bibical stories in fictional style. I can picture Lydia living everyday life and falling in love with a charming man, then to find out he and his mother had plans that were to hurt Lydia and her father was so sad. Trust is a big issue and when it is broken life takes on a different outlook.I felt along with Lydia the betrayal. I admired the way she moved in a different direction yet still made purple and did well as a woman in the trade.thanks Tessa for your research and the work you put into this book.
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  • Rebekah Love Dorris
    May 18, 2017
    Tessa Afshar’s new masterpiece, Bread of Angels, brings the same breath-catching color to the ancient story of Lydia, the seller of purple, as the sunset that graces the cover.I confess. I signed up to review the book, expecting it to be a fun, romantic read that might teach me something about plotting through the reading. Surely any novelist chosen by Tyndale has to be worth my time. And her covers are so great! So I’d eventually get through it. And hopefully write a nice review.I was not prepa Tessa Afshar’s new masterpiece, Bread of Angels, brings the same breath-catching color to the ancient story of Lydia, the seller of purple, as the sunset that graces the cover.I confess. I signed up to review the book, expecting it to be a fun, romantic read that might teach me something about plotting through the reading. Surely any novelist chosen by Tyndale has to be worth my time. And her covers are so great! So I’d eventually get through it. And hopefully write a nice review.I was not prepared for how much I’d love this book.I can’t explain everything, because some things I loved were too personal for common sharing. This book spoke to me in ways few novels have. And not just in one area, but many.THIS BOOK PREACHES LIKE A SUNRISE PREACHES.Picturesque, unmistakable in its message, and impossible to tear your eyes away from. Okay, not impossible, but I definitely didn’t want to put it down last night and go to sleep.And that’s another thing. I did put it down, and I was glad I did. Some books force you to read on, one chapter pushing into the next like a relay baton plowing you forward. I do like those books. But this one was too good to miss its beauty in a sprint to the next scene.LET ME SHOW YOU WHAT I MEAN.She clasped her hands together. “I am going to fail,” she said with certainty.“You are afraid you are going to fail. That’s a different thing.”“You can’t comprehend my anguish. You have never feared anything.”“I have never struggled with the spectacular array of worries you contend with, it is true. But this one fear–” he shoved the point of his finger into the air for emphasis–“this, I understand. I had to overcome it myself when I was about your age.”Lydia whirled her head. “I don’t believe it.”“It’s the truth. I dreaded failing. Fear became like a chain that bound me. Then I realized that I would never achieve anything of worth until I wrestled with this monster in my heart. You know my dyes are different than anyone else’s here in Thyatira. Do you think I was born with the formulas already composed?” He shook his head. “By trial and error, I discovered them. I found them in the dark of confusion. I dithered. I wasted time and currency. I failed. But in the end, I found my way to places no one else had.”“You failed?” Lydia stared at Eumenes as if seeing him for the first time.“With striking regularity.”AHH! Isn’t that great?!OKAY, ONE MORE. I ADORE THIS ONE:Her father had thrown his cloak over her when she shivered in the cold. It had been a casual gesture, one of a thousand like it, imbued with unbounded affection. Now Lydia would give anything to have those hands shield her against the cold again.“What do you see?” he had asked her.She had grinned. “Are we testing my eyesight?”“No. This is a heart test,” he said cryptically.“I see several very splendid villas.”He shrugged. “They did not used to be here. This whole area was made of farmlands and orchards. Then as Thyatira grew and became crowded, the wealthy merchants decided to move their homes out of the city. They came here because in late spring, the blossoms would bloom, and later in summer and fall there would be fruit and harvest. Red, gold, and green covered the hills, transforming them into the Elysian fields. It was a stunning sight. They came, drawn to the beauty of the valley.“The farmers were happy to sell their land for good profit. A handful lingered on, clinging to their old way of life.” He pointed to a small piece of land surrounded by three luxurious villas. “Do you see that one?”A pitiful parcel of land, brown and barren, sat in the middle of the villas. In the western corner a modest farmhouse, with one wall crumbling and another poorly repaired, straddled the land. “That’s not very pretty,” Lydia had said with the disdain of the young.“No. It isn’t, not in early spring. This is planting season, when they plow the land, turn it over, and make it ready for the next harvest. The land is plain and ugly now.”Her father then pointed to the dilapidated farmhouse. “I know the man who lives there. He must be ninety years old by now. Born in that house and raised to the work of farming, he continues to do what he knows. Plant wheat and barley. Some of our bread comes from that farm.”“That must be convenient for the residents in the villas,” Lydia had said, wondering why her father thought this land presented a test for her heart.Eumenes had shaken his head. “They despise that little farm.”“Why?” she had asked, astonished.“Because in the winter and early spring it is barren and unsightly. Right about now, the old man starts to apply fertilizer to the soil, and it stinks! That’s what the owners of the villas have to bear with. The stench of manure and the unsightly appearance of the bare ground.”“But you can’t have a harvest without fertilizer and bare dirt!”Her father had looked at her the way he sometimes did, with unblinking eyes that seemed to delve into her deepest heart. “Life is like this valley, Lydia. You can be like the owners of the villa, wanting only the beautiful end result. The good things of life: its fruitful seasons, its rich harvest. Or you can be like the farmer, bearing with the stinky seasons in order to produce a harvest.”Lydia pressed her father’s letter against her lips. She was in the barren season now. The one whose stench made your eyes water. And from beyond the grave her father was prodding her for a decision. Which did she propose to be? The farmer or the owner of the villa?Lydia gritted her teeth. “I will be a farmer.”Oh, this book is so good. I’m not spilling any of the story, I’ve spilled so much as it is. I’ll just say, it’s not mostly philosophizing, but the truth it contains pierced me. I so hope you get to read this book.Tyndale, thanks again for providing this book free in exchange for my honest review. I loved it.I love Tyndale more with each book like this it sends me. Gripping, poignant, and dripping with sweet-as-honey truth.
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  • Hayden
    May 19, 2017
    I almost didn't review this book.I had requested it from Tyndale a couple months ago (they usually have you put in your requests relatively early before the book comes out) but the thing about book reviewing is that sometimes there are dry spells, and sometimes you are swamped. This past week has been the latter. I had five books come in the mail at once and, unsure if I would be able to commit, I tried to remove my request for Bread of Angels...only to find out the book had already been sent.I' I almost didn't review this book.I had requested it from Tyndale a couple months ago (they usually have you put in your requests relatively early before the book comes out) but the thing about book reviewing is that sometimes there are dry spells, and sometimes you are swamped. This past week has been the latter. I had five books come in the mail at once and, unsure if I would be able to commit, I tried to remove my request for Bread of Angels...only to find out the book had already been sent.I'm glad it was.This book was pleasant and heartwarming. I doesn't follow the pattern of most Christian fiction plots, and in some ways felt more like a fictional biography (in a good way) of Lydia's life, and how she came to a place where she was open to Paul's message about Jesus. It's was definitely more character-driven than plot driven, but it was a good change of pace for me, and I love all of the connections and friendships Lydia made along the way, both Christian and pagan, in her journey. (view spoiler)[ (This was wrapped up wonderfully in the end when they all stood by her!) (hide spoiler)]Overall, I really liked this one, and I think a part of it was because how many likable characters there were who I just wanted to be friends with! It was one of those books that had the unpredictable fortune of "clicking" with me,I couldn't help but close the book with a smile on my face.I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Beth
    May 25, 2017
    I loved it so much. This book is so very much infused with the Gospel. I went back and read the Biblical account and it became so much bigger to me! It opened my eyes to more of the Scriptures and helped me feel more aquainted with Paul. Most importantly, it redirected me to Jesus, and the simplicity of the Gospel and what that means to mankind. The love of God is real.
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  • Tamera Rehnborg
    May 18, 2017
    Eagerly do I wait for each one of Tessa Afshar's books. She is an exquisite storyteller. Bread of Angels did not disappoint. Long after I read Tessa's books I ponder and mull a phrase, a thought, or an idea inked on her pages. Tessa creates believable and strong characters who develop slowly and richly; the reader grows with them. In Bread of Angels Tessa fleshes out the woman we briefly meet in Acts, and her Lydia is not at all who or what I expected and yet I loved her--this ability is the mar Eagerly do I wait for each one of Tessa Afshar's books. She is an exquisite storyteller. Bread of Angels did not disappoint. Long after I read Tessa's books I ponder and mull a phrase, a thought, or an idea inked on her pages. Tessa creates believable and strong characters who develop slowly and richly; the reader grows with them. In Bread of Angels Tessa fleshes out the woman we briefly meet in Acts, and her Lydia is not at all who or what I expected and yet I loved her--this ability is the mark of a mature and developed writer.
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  • Bethany
    May 15, 2017
    I think when it comes to Biblical fiction Tessa Afshar is about the best author out there, the rich detail that goes into each and everything book she writes is amazing and the way one connects both to the characters and to the story line is just magical.Taking a women mentioned in passing from the scriptures Tessa weaves together a beautiful story about a women cruelly betrayed but able to find hope and fullness in Christ. One will feel instantly transported to the world of early Christianity a I think when it comes to Biblical fiction Tessa Afshar is about the best author out there, the rich detail that goes into each and everything book she writes is amazing and the way one connects both to the characters and to the story line is just magical.Taking a women mentioned in passing from the scriptures Tessa weaves together a beautiful story about a women cruelly betrayed but able to find hope and fullness in Christ. One will feel instantly transported to the world of early Christianity and will fall in love with Lydia and the myriad of other characters.Well written, meticulously researched and perfectly executed this book was a thoroughly enjoyable read.I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Kris
    April 12, 2017
    I confess – I was predisposed to like this book because I read the previous one – and I was not disappointed! It was phenomenal and I just absolutely loved it! It did cost me a little sleep one night because I just could not put it down!Lydia is known in the Bible as the dealer of purple cloth who Paul meets in Philippi (Acts 16). This is her story – from her early adolescence in Thyatira to her life in Philippi. The author Tessa Afshar has done her research on Roman life and brings the ancient I confess – I was predisposed to like this book because I read the previous one – and I was not disappointed! It was phenomenal and I just absolutely loved it! It did cost me a little sleep one night because I just could not put it down!Lydia is known in the Bible as the dealer of purple cloth who Paul meets in Philippi (Acts 16). This is her story – from her early adolescence in Thyatira to her life in Philippi. The author Tessa Afshar has done her research on Roman life and brings the ancient days to life, giving the reader a rich understanding of Biblical days but in an enjoyable, fascinating novel. She adroitly weaves in Biblical narrative, bringing so much more meaning and understanding to the events in Acts.Bread of Angels is a sequel to Land of Silence but is a complete separate story – the characters of the previous novel are briefly woven into this story but knowledge of them is not important to the following of the story line.“I lost everything and found God. But it wasn’t until you (Paul) came into my life and told me the Truth that I found peace.” Early in the novel Lydia faces some extreme tragedies and then finds the God of the Old Testament through a Jewish friend. But it is not until much later that she finds Christ through his messenger Paul.I wish I could give this book more than 5 starts as it was just so wonderful! I received it from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Andi Newberry ~Tubbs
    May 18, 2017
    Ms. Afshar's attention to detail and historic facts take you right into the time of Paul during his travels through the Roman empire. She brings Philipi and Thyatira alive on the page, as well as the art of dying purple.One thing I love about biblical fiction is that it prompts me to go to the Bible and read the original story. Lydia is mentioned once in Acts chapter 16. I re-read that chapter the other day and so much of this book is based on this chapter. The theme through this book is forgive Ms. Afshar's attention to detail and historic facts take you right into the time of Paul during his travels through the Roman empire. She brings Philipi and Thyatira alive on the page, as well as the art of dying purple.One thing I love about biblical fiction is that it prompts me to go to the Bible and read the original story. Lydia is mentioned once in Acts chapter 16. I re-read that chapter the other day and so much of this book is based on this chapter. The theme through this book is forgiveness, and trust; mainly in accepting Jesus' forgiveness, and trusting God for everything.This is a perfect read for this summer. I highly recommend it!
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  • J. Else
    March 8, 2017
    Lydia is the daughter of a well-established cloth dyer whose purple is unmatched. When her father is falsely accused of theft, and his business is swept up by a wealthy Roman citizen, Lydia flees to Philippi with her father’s secret formulas. Through an old acquaintance of her father’s and her own fierce determination, Lydia is able to become a well-known merchant. By chance, Lydia meets the apostle Paul, who teaches her about Jesus. Moved by his words, she becomes baptized. But when Lydia’s pas Lydia is the daughter of a well-established cloth dyer whose purple is unmatched. When her father is falsely accused of theft, and his business is swept up by a wealthy Roman citizen, Lydia flees to Philippi with her father’s secret formulas. Through an old acquaintance of her father’s and her own fierce determination, Lydia is able to become a well-known merchant. By chance, Lydia meets the apostle Paul, who teaches her about Jesus. Moved by his words, she becomes baptized. But when Lydia’s past comes knocking at her door, will she be able to stand firm in her new-found faith, or will she allow her fears to destroy all she’s worked for?While there are some lovely faith-filled dialogues, Afshar’s messages are sometimes laid out too clearly, which can come across as preachy. However, Afshar masterfully builds both character and plot. The fears and insecurities of the main characters are genuine and relatable. Additionally, the time period and places are captured skillfully. Basing her novel on the Biblical story of Lydia during Paul’s second missionary journey, Afshar teases out a rich and emotional story from only a couple mentions of Lydia in Acts 16. A very enjoyable story.I read this as a reviewer for the Historical Novel Society. Review posted via their website at: https://historicalnovelsociety.org/re...
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  • Kimberly Arcata
    March 11, 2017
    Tessa Afshar has done it again! Her characters leap right off the pages and straight into my heart! She begins in AD 25, with a young girl named Lydia who is becoming a talented dye maker of the coveted purple of this time ,under the tutelage of her very artistic father. Tragedy befalls her family and their business and she has to flee her beloved land to start anew in a strange new city. Her journey is an adventurous one filled with many circumstances which lead her ever closer to The One True Tessa Afshar has done it again! Her characters leap right off the pages and straight into my heart! She begins in AD 25, with a young girl named Lydia who is becoming a talented dye maker of the coveted purple of this time ,under the tutelage of her very artistic father. Tragedy befalls her family and their business and she has to flee her beloved land to start anew in a strange new city. Her journey is an adventurous one filled with many circumstances which lead her ever closer to The One True God, the God of Israel, of the Jews. There are beloved friends made, a few villains along the way, and ultimately a meeting with the apostle Paul who leads her and many to faith in Jesus Christ. Did I mention a romance in the late bloom of her life as well? Tessa never disappoints in the romance department!Above all , what I most appreciate about Tessa's books is that it ALWAYS makes me hungry for the actual word of God. She always says in her " Note From the Author" that while she draws inspiration from the bible for her characters and her stories, " it can in no way replace the transformative power that the reader will encounter in the scriptures".Readers of historical fiction, romance, and/or biblical fiction will fall in love with Tessa Afshar's novels. Her humor, wit and tremendous poignancy all make a superior read!
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  • Elizabeth Dennison
    May 31, 2017
    There is a brief passage in the Bible about Lydia the seller of purple, so I jumped at the chance to review this book. Also, I have read another book by Tessa Afshar and I loved it. She does a wonderful job of writing about biblical stories and brings them to life in her books.Her newest novel takes place during the time of Paul's travels through Roman empire. We find Lydia learning the trade of making purple dye from her father. Her life is filled with spending her days with her father making t There is a brief passage in the Bible about Lydia the seller of purple, so I jumped at the chance to review this book. Also, I have read another book by Tessa Afshar and I loved it. She does a wonderful job of writing about biblical stories and brings them to life in her books.Her newest novel takes place during the time of Paul's travels through Roman empire. We find Lydia learning the trade of making purple dye from her father. Her life is filled with spending her days with her father making the dye that provides for their needs. One day her father has an accident causing him to be unable to perform his job, Lydia takes over the everyday duties of making the dye. The young man that rescued her dad makes an offer to both of them seems too good to be true.As time passes by, Lydia's life is overturned by false accusations against her father, Running from the disgrace, she finds a home in Phillippi. Doing the only thing she knows she chooses to use her father's secret formulas to provide an income for herself and her ward.The years pass by with Lydia's purple cloth becoming a very popular item. Still, she longs for more in her life than just selling purple cloth. When Paul and a group of apostles come to Phillippi, they meet up with Lydia and her friends. Upon hearing the gospel, her heart is filled with joy that is met with a struggle. All of her past hurts and secrets catch up with her causing Lydia to choose. Does she stand firm in the faith or succumb to the fears that have chased her all of her life??I received this book from Tyndale Blogging, this is my honest review and I have not been compensated for it.
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  • Stephanie Howard
    May 30, 2017
    This is a fantastic book!! If you like Biblical fiction, mystery, a little romance, give it a shot!! I first became acquainted with Tessa when I read her book Pearls in the Sand—the story of Rahab. After that book, I was hooked!! Her latest, Bread of Angels does not disappoint. Bread of Angels is the story of Lydia, the seller of purple cloth, who is mentioned in Acts 16. I have always admired Lydia, I named one of my daughters after her, because she was first described as a worshiper of God. W This is a fantastic book!! If you like Biblical fiction, mystery, a little romance, give it a shot!! I first became acquainted with Tessa when I read her book Pearls in the Sand—the story of Rahab. After that book, I was hooked!! Her latest, Bread of Angels does not disappoint. Bread of Angels is the story of Lydia, the seller of purple cloth, who is mentioned in Acts 16. I have always admired Lydia, I named one of my daughters after her, because she was first described as a worshiper of God. When Paul stopped in Philippi he met a band of people who were worshiping God by the edge of a river. There he was able to introduce them to Jesus Christ. Lydia opened up her home to the missionaries and later would be instrumental in the growth of that church. Tessa has written a fictional backstory, fleshing out the story of Lydia. As I am a history teacher, I loved learning about the lands around Macedonia and Greece. I did not realize how sophisticated Philippi was, how affluent it was, how Roman it was. Most of all I loved the grace that God poured out on Lydia’s life. I was thoroughly engrossed from start to finish and wished it wouldn’t end. Give Bread of Angels a try. I promise you, you won’t regret it!
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  • Dana Kamstra
    June 2, 2017
    Tessa Afshar is one of my favorite authors who brings to live some of the people we encounter in the Bible. From the well-known, such as Ruth, to some that are a little less known which is the case of this novel. Bread of Angels tells a fictional story based on the little that the Bible tells us about Lydia, a dyer of purple cloth. True to her previous novels, Bread of Angels is a beautifully written story that really does bring to life a moment from the book of Acts and the city of Philippi. Th Tessa Afshar is one of my favorite authors who brings to live some of the people we encounter in the Bible. From the well-known, such as Ruth, to some that are a little less known which is the case of this novel. Bread of Angels tells a fictional story based on the little that the Bible tells us about Lydia, a dyer of purple cloth. True to her previous novels, Bread of Angels is a beautifully written story that really does bring to life a moment from the book of Acts and the city of Philippi. The novel is rich with historical details and characters that feel like long lost friends. With a theme of fear running through the pages, this is also a novel that offers encouragement and a message for the soul. If you are looking for a great novel set in biblical times, Tessa Afshar’s books are worth checking out. And if you had a chance to read Land of Silence, you’ll enjoy catching up with Elianna a bit in this novel. But if you haven’t, don’t worry, this isn’t really a sequel and both books can be read as standalone novels. **I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
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  • Emily Bonga
    May 30, 2017
    I read this book in two days- I could hardly put it down! Tessa does such an amazing job of bringing women of the Bible to life. She creatively weaves her fictional story with both the facts found in Scripture as well as the history of biblical times. You become quickly fascinated by Lydia and her work ethic and concern for those she loves. 10/10 would recommend!
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