Author: Angela Hunt
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Series: Jerusalem Road #2
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Yeshua of Nazareth has two sisters: Damaris, married to a wealthy merchant's son, and Pheodora, married to a simple shepherd from Bethlehem. When Pheodora's husband suffers an unexpected reversal of fortune and is thrown into debtor's prison, she returns to Nazareth, where she pins her hopes on two she-goats who should give birth to spotless white kids that would be perfect for the upcoming Yom Kippur sacrifice.
In the eighteen months between the kids' birth and the opportunity to sell them and redeem her husband from prison, Pheodora must call on her wits, her family, and her God in order to provide for her daughters and survive. But when every prayer and ritual she knows is about God's care for Israel, how can she trust that God will hear and help a lowly shepherd's wife?
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
The Shepherd's Wife by Angela Hunt is the second book in the Jerusalem Road series. I feel like I got a peek behind the curtain into Jesus' family.
The main character in this book is Jesus' sister Pheodora. Married to a shepherd named Chiram and living in Bethlehem, her world is upended when Chiram is thrown into prison for being unable to pay a toll tax. Her only hope to get him out of prison is to ask her rich sister Damaris and her husband Shimon for money. But Shimon is about to be elevated in status as a member of the Pharisees. Helping his brother-in-law is not as simple as it may appear.
So Pheodora pins her hopes on a pair of white goats that Chiram bred and would sell for Yom Kippur. But she needs the help of her brothers, so she travels home to Nazareth, and while there, she learns about Jesus and his followers. She doesn't know what to think about her older brother, but she fears for his life as he becomes bolder in denouncing the Pharisees.
I learned a great many things in this book. From how to care for goats to the ridiculous rules of the Pharisees, which they believed made them holy. Hunt has done her research, and I feel I have a better understanding now of why Jesus called out the Pharisees so much.
While I do enjoy good research, all the details about the goats made the story drag somewhat. At times, I had to force myself to continue reading. I am glad I did because the ending made me cry and helped me to imagine what it was like for Jesus' family when they finally realized his identity.
This is a story that will move you to tears and have you asking the question - what debt do I owe to Christ? I highly recommend it.
I received this book courtesy of Bethany House Publishers through NetGalley, for my honest opinion.
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