A story of the courageous Maccabees told through the eyes of Judah’s wife Leah.
Having grown up with a cruel father, Leah yearns for a future of peace, safety, and protection. When she marries Judah Maccabee a strong and gentle man, she feels she can rest. The king issues a decree requiring all Jews to conform to Greek laws, customs, and religion. Devout Jews surrender their lives under torture than disobey the Law of Moses to worship Greek gods. Judah’s father dies because he won’t surrender to the king’s laws. Before he dies, he commands Judah to continue the fight. Leah struggles with her husband’s decision.
Quite honestly, I have procrastinated in writing this review for a while now. I thought it would be an interesting book about a time in history that I don’t know much about — which it was, in parts. But the rest of the story line just wasn’t all that great.
The story starts with Leah in her fathers house. Obviously form the back cover I knew that there was abuse issues. They were handled tactfully, and I appreciated that. The history aspect was told amazingly — the battles were described well and I did learn a lot about the history of the Jews through reading it. The faith Judah Maccabeus exhibited was encouraging to read about, and the way he rose up to be a leader was inspiring.
I didn’t much appreciate the other aspects of this book, though. There was one part right after Leah and Judah’s marriage that I skipped — I am not for sure how far the author was taking the reader, ’cause I stopped at the beginning of the description. The way Leah doesn’t trust her husband, based on her father’s abuse, was slightly annoying at times. Yes, her father wasn’t kind — but she knew Judah, and he wasn’t a thing like her father. Yes there would maybe be trust issues…..but I felt as if it was a bit over done. This could just be me, though. In one part of the book she goes from basically hating Judah being at war in one book to asking to go with him in the next chapter, with not much detail given as to why there was a change of heart…again, this could just be me.
The redeeming quality of the book was the last third of it, when Leah trusted her husband and was encouraging the other women — it was nice to read. And the battle scenes were really well done, as I mentioned before.
I have read a couple other books by Angela Smith, and have enjoyed them — this one just wasn’t for me.
*I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*