Land of Silence
By Tessa Afshar
NORA’S REVIEW: This story grabbed my heart from the beginning, “When I think of the ruin my life has become, the slow wrecking of the dreams, the destruction of every love, I always return to the bee. That one tiny sting, which robbed my place of favor in my father’s heart and changed the course of my destiny.”
Oh, wow, I was hooked. This author pens a compelling thought-provoking novel that encouraged and touched my soul. I like the author notes to readers when she shares that nothing is known about the woman with the issue of blood; but what is known was this woman was called daughter. The author states, “This was, the only time Jesus addresses a woman as daughter.” She explains the situation around this woman’s healing and how Jesus doesn’t just throw around words. The novel builds up to the moment where Jesus stops everything he is doing to ask, “Who touched me?” The people he was traveling with and the disciples thought this was a bizarre question to ask since the crowd was pressing in on every side. But Jesus knew someone was healed physically and he wanted to give them more than they were seeking.
This story is a powerful, gripping and emotional read I couldn’t put down.It reminded me of Redeeming Loveby Francine Rivers. Eilanna is like the female lead in Francine’s book. She is a woman beaten down by life’s blows and is left with nothing. Both of these women were strong, desperate for love and were willing to risk it all to get a touch of Jesus to heal their bodies and their souls.
Elianna (the woman with issue of blood) represents us and our journey in darkness, trying to make it on our own. This author brilliantly shows readers the many ways God reveals himself to us and desires to love us beyond our wildest dreams; it’s ours if we let him in our heart. He desires to heal us from the inside out. I enjoyed how this author brought scripture to life and included other bible characters into the mix to interact with Elianna. It was surprising to read about the “Jewish purity laws” and how they were in forced on daily basis. It could make a person crazy. Grin! I loved how this story naturally flowed and wasn’t preachy!
The author said that her story line revolved around a few questions I hadn’t given much thought to. The first was, “Why would Jesus delay an urgent procession to save the life of a little girl in order to find out who had touched him? The second was, “Why would he take time, they did not have to call a destitute woman daughter?” This writer pulls out all the stops as she delves into the answers to these questions and gives the reader a profound look at the heart of Jesus.
I was fascinated by the role women played in society back then. I grew to deeply care for Eilanna as she searched for answers. This young lady who was forever changed by a chain of events that were out of her control to fix. Heart sick and desperate to be healed of a sickness that plagued her body and shaped her life. What a remarkable journey!
There are twelve discussion questions to enhance your book club experience. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author, it won’t be the last. This is an amazing story that would be great for your book club. I highly recommend this novel to everyone. It’s a must read.
ABOUT AUTHOR: TESSA AFSHAR was voted “New Author of the Year” by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. Her book, Harvest of Rubies was nominated for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in the fiction category and World Magazine chose Harvest of Rubies as one of four notable books of the year. Her novel, Harvest of Gold was nominated for the 2014 Christy Award. Tessa was born in Iran to a nominally Muslim family and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last fifteen years in full-time Christian service in New England.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Club Network and Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”
Nora St. Laurent
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