Friday, June 28, 2013

Review: Claudia

Claudia: Wife of Pontius Pilate by Diana Wallis Taylor

Publication Date: June 15, 2013
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Imprint: Revell Books
Genre: Biblical Fiction/Inspirational
Pages: 336
ISBN-10: 0800721381
ISBN-13: 978-0800721381

(Received for an honest review from Revell)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, ChristianBook, IndieBound

Diana Wallis Taylor on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LibraryThing

Excerpt from Claudia, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature

Synopsis:

In a time of turmoil, one woman will search for love and peace--and find it where she never expected.
Tugged this way and that by fate's indifferent hand, Claudia's life is adrift--until she meets Lucius Pontius Pilate and becomes his wife. When they move to the troublesome territory of Judea, she does what she has always done: makes the best of it. But unrest is brewing and Claudia will soon find herself and her beloved husband embroiled in controversy and rebellion. Might she find hope in the mysterious Jewish Rabbi everyone seems to be talking about?

Let this epic story whisk you through marbled palaces, dusty marketplaces, and idyllic Italian villas as you follow the unlikely path of a woman who warrants only a passing mention in one of the Gospel accounts, but whose story, as told by Diana Wallis Taylor, is one worthy of legend.

Thoughts:

Diana Wallis Taylor's latest biblical historical novel, Claudia can be summed up in just two words: awe inspiring! Taylor's ability to bring the obscure and little known characters of the Bible to life is unparalleled in the genre. Her in depth characterizations are full of surprises and yet are so realistic that readers will find themselves lost in the history and setting of the New Testament. Though only mentioned briefly in the Bible, Claudia's life comes into focus in this compelling story about a woman thrust into the forefront of one of the world's greatest controversy's.

There is some debate in Christian circles about the validity of what we like to term "biblical fiction". On the one hand some believe that this kind of fiction takes away from the Bible or adds to it, which is strictly forbidden, while others think it only enhances the stories of the Bible. It is not meant to be believed as "gospel" so to speak. 

I tend to go along with the latter group. I don't think this kind of writing is in any way trying to "change" what the Bible says or doesn't say about these people. It is only the authors ideas of what could have happened and what the person could have been feeling or thinking. I believe that these stories are beautiful and meaningful in their own way, but not meant to be an extension of God's Word. 

Diana Wallis Taylor is a master at this type of writing. It is a combination of what the Bible says about the wife of Pontius Pilate, along with historical details and the authors own idea's about this extraordinary woman. Claudia is mentioned in only one paragraph in all of the New Testament, but that one little paragraph shows the depth of her character and the fact that she believed in Jesus and his teaching. Taylor brings this to vivid life in her book.

Taylor not only brings Claudia the wife of Pilate to life, but also Claudia the woman. She allows readers to see her as a real person, with ideas and feelings of her own. She desperately wanted Pilate to understand her need for learning and hearing the teachings of Jesus. She wanted to save his life, but this was not to be. Her courage and determination radiate off the pages. Taylor makes Claudia into a woman, many of us would love to have known.

One of the most dramatic parts of this book was Taylor's description of the crucifixion and what led up to it. It is obvious that Taylor did extensive research on the customs and settings for this novel. Her vision of Christ on the cross was riveting. Readers who have read the accounts of Christ's death from the gospels will appreciate Taylor's attention to detail and the intensity of this scene. 

I thought this was a remarkable portrayal of a little known person from the Bible. I think Taylor did a fantastic job of making Claudia real to her audience. If anything I think this story will want to make readers search through their Bibles to see what God said about Claudia and that is surely one of the best accomplishments a Christian author can have.

Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!




About the Author:


Diana Wallis Taylor is the author of the novels Journey to the WellMartha, and Mary Magdalene and lives in California

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