Friday, April 15, 2016

Land of Silence (By: Tessa Afshar)

Land of Silence

By: Tessa Afshar

Tessa Afshar is one of the best at Biblical, historical fiction! She's at it again, this time telling the story of the woman who bled for 12 years. Little is known about her, except she was considered "unclean," and therefore an outcast, from this bleeding disease. Her faith is rewarded by Jesus and she is healed simply by touching the hem of his garment, as told in three of the four gospels in the Bible. Jesus actually thought it significant enough to stop what he was doing to pay attention to her extraordinary faith.

Tessa Afshar tells this woman's (fictional) story in Land of Silence, and as usual, does an amazing job weaving real people, fiction and history together. Her writing flows and engages the reader right from the beginning, with well-developed characters and deep, realistic storylines. 

The woman's name is Elianna: a young Jewish maiden in a happy family and betrothed to a man she has loved all her life. But in an instant, her family's lives are devastated, and thus begins a season of (seemingly) never ending loss and heartache. When her life is finally stripped down to almost nothing, it is only then that she begins to experience who God really is. Can she trust God to be all he says he is? And what about this new prophet, Jesus, everyone is talking about? Rumors are he heals the sick and the lame. Could he actually be the long awaited Messiah? What's more... could he really be the answer she has needed all along?

As in all Tessa's books, she never shies away from exploring the deep, soul wrenching realities of life. Issues of guilt, bitterness, grief, sorrow and betrayal are all shaken to the core. This story dives pretty low into despair and heartache, but surfaces with satisfaction into redemption, forgiveness and hope.

It's a rare thing for these two chicks to give a five star rating for the faith category! In this book, God is most definitely a main character. The Jews follow the old law to the best of their abilities, and Tessa takes great care to respect it and show the need for a Savior all at the same time. A wise Pharisee (who in real life secretly became a follower of Jesus) says that we do not understand who God really is in our times of happiness, but rather in our times of suffering and sickness. He prays for Elianna, but advises her that even if she is not healed physically, her heart can begin mending and her soul can begin preparing for the plans God has yet to unfold in her life. 

Tessa's vast knowledge and understanding of Jewish and Christian history blows us away with each of her books we open!

Squeal Factor
Elianna has loved Ethan her whole life and assumes she probably always will. They share a few tender scenes, but mostly we are just witness to their traditional - albeit, unpredictable - betrothal.


If you are looking for a deep, faith-filled read, this book is for you! Tessa's excellence as a historical fiction writer, based on true accounts, is supreme. We would have loved to give this read a five star, but we felt the first half of the book was a little too drawn out. However, like usual, Tessa ties everything together beautifully at the end and makes this a solid, wonderful read.

Find it on Amazon: Land of Silence

Note: We were given this book in exchange for our honest review 

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