We all know the story of Martha and Mary and how Martha is scurrying around the house but Mary is sitting at the foot of Jesus and Martha is rebuked for wanting Mary to help. But have you ever considered the background of Martha?
I never had until I read the new Diana Wallis Taylor novel, Martha. This biblical historical novel tells the story of Martha, Mary and Lazarus (yes, the same Lazarus Jesus rose from the dead). Taylor does an excellent job of making Martha less of a bad person to me. It’s widely preached in Christian mommy circles that it is far better to be Mary than Martha. I don’t disagree but knowing what I have learned about neglecting duties to one’s vocation, it just never sat right with me.
Martha is a wonderful work of fiction describing not just Martha’s family life but also exploring how Jesus & his followers may have lived during the year preceding his death, as well as afterward. I liked the story she wove around the people & the known biblical events. I like Martha, too; Taylor made her very real to me. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about Mary marrying St. Andrew, though. I also would have liked a little more foreshadowing of the ending, too, but it doesn’t detract from the richness of the story as a whole.
All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes biblical or historical fiction. I liked how this was almost more of a regular novel than a full-on romance–it gives this book a much wider potential audience. But if you like romances you will like this too :).
Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.