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Well-Researched Fictionalized Account of Biblical Phoebe
In book one, we met Phoebe initially just after her powerful shipping magnate father had passed away. We saw her and her mother struggle with maintaining her father’s legacy and her growing relationship with Apostle Paul. In book two, Phoebe continues to struggle with the business. Paul moves to Ephesus.
In both these books, it is clear that the author has done a lot of historical research. Because Phoebe gets just about 50 words in the Bible itself, the author has created a fictionalized account of what one could imagine her story could be; what sort of woman would have undertaken a 1000-mile journey for the apostle? The is able to make first century Greece come alive. Life was so different back then. Yet the author has given the characters struggles that we can relate to in the modern day. It is interesting to see how life is both in the smaller towns like Phoebe has grown up in and the growing cities of the area. The author also weaves in characters from the various social strata.
That said, from a writing standpoint, I found the book sometimes difficult to read. The way the characters spoke didn’t feel natural. There are lots of characters in both of the books, and even with a cheat sheet at the beginning of the book, it can be hard to keep track of everybody. At times, too, I felt like we were told rather than shown the events of the book.
However, if you enjoy other historical fiction or speculative fiction based on the Bible, you might find this intriguing look at the early days of Christianity an engaging read.