Book Review: Rebekah’s Treasure

1 Aug

d82f7de0-21ae-4982-a7fe-bbd8d684704aForced to flee war-torn Jerusalem in 70 A.D., Rebekah and her husband, Ethan, each take something of value: Rebekah, the cup of the Last Supper; Ethan, a copper scroll detailing the whereabouts of a vast Temple treasure. Ahead, separation and danger face them as each tries to survive. But it’s not only external forces that could keep them apart forever but internal ones as they struggle to discover where their true treasure lies.


Chapter 1


SylviaBambolaHeadshotSylvia Bambola was born in Romania in 1945 and was adopted from a German orphanage five years later by an American Army Colonel. When she was seven she saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time as well as the shores of her new country. As an army brat, she called eight different states home, an experience that gave birth to a deep passion for her new homeland. The vastness yet friendliness of America, as well as its diversity yet parallelism still continue to amaze her. She met and married her husband, Vincent, when she was attending nursing school in New York.

Raising two children occupied most of her time, but in between she worked in marketing for several companies, was the president of a local chapter of Women’s Aglow, hosted and taught bible studies, spoke at various women’s groups and wrote on the side. Once her children graduated college, she quit her job and began writing full time. Her first novel, A Vessel of Honor, which she wrote under the pen name of Margaret Miller, won a 1998 Small Press Editor’s Choice Award. Her second novel, Refiner’s Fire, won a 2001 Silver Angel Award and was a 2001 Christy Award finalist. Sylvia currently lives in Florida, is enjoying her grandchildren and working on her seventh novel.


My Impressions:

Set amidst the terror and destruction of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, Rebekah’s Treasure by Sylvia Bambola, is a novel of loss and hope, doubts and fear. Bambola explores just what it was like for those followers of Christ in the face of the loss of their homeland, traditions and Holy Temple. Told in the first person voices of Rebekah and her husband, Ethan, Rebekah’s Treasure will appeal to those who like plot-driven historical fiction.

Rebekah is forced to leave Jerusalem and all she loves to save herself and her daughter Esther. Her husband Ethan and four sons remain in the Holy City to continue their fight for freedom. But Rebekah sees the determination to fight as senseless in the face of vicious infighting among Jewish sects and the merciless assaults by the Roman Army. She flees her home with few possessions, but includes a treasure from her past — the cup that Jesus used in the upper room of her family’s home in His last Passover supper. While Rebekah struggles to find safety far from her home, Ethan stands with his sons to the very last. Given a command to retrieve hidden treasure from Qumran, he attempts to keep his family safe and restore the hopes of the defeated Israel. Both Rebekah and Ethan face loss and extreme hardships as they learn just what is true treasure.

Rebekah’s Treasure brings to life the horror and deprivation of the last days of Jerusalem before the complete destruction of the city by Titus and his army. I was not aware of the sectarian disputes that decimated the city prior to the siege by the Romans that Bambola presented. Well-researched, the novel also gives the reader a look into the early church — the struggles of maintaining faith in a time of trial and persecution. It is its historical context that I enjoyed the most. Of the two points of view, I connected with Rebekah more so than Ethan. Rebekah’s character seemed more real and relatable. With the exception of Zecheriah, the secondary characters were not well-developed. The basic conflict in the novel is reliance on treasure, rather than God. The miracles associated with the cup and the hoped for security found in the hidden Temple treasure are fleeting without the true dependence on God and His promises. In the end Rebekah, Ethan and others look to God for what they need.

Be aware that Rebekah’s Treasure is not a quick read. There is a lot of detail to absorb and Rebekah and Ethan’s journeys are slow and filled with obstacles. The plot moves slowly and the characters are not really dynamic. But if you like fiction set in the first century AD with a front and center faith message, then check it out.

(Thanks to BookCrash for my review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Audience: adults

To purchase this book, click on the image below.


2 Responses to “Book Review: Rebekah’s Treasure”

  1. martyomenko August 2, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    It sounds like a great book! The author’s life intrigues me as well! I am going to put this one on my wish list!


    • rbclibrary August 2, 2014 at 10:13 am #

      Thanks for stopping by Martha. Hope you enjoy it.


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