Book Review: Lydia: Woman of Philippi

5 Oct

About the Book:

Name of book: Lydia

Author: Diana Wallis Taylor

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Release Date: October 3, 2017

Smart, strong, and a follower of the Jewish God, Lydia has nonetheless quietly conformed to the expectations of the wealthy Roman society into which she was born. Her father marries her off at age fifteen to a much older man whom she dislikes. Despite an unpleasant wedding and a marriage that doesn’t improve with age, Lydia remains a dutiful and faithful wife. When her husband is killed, years later, Lydia vows to remain single and returns to her father’s house in Thyatira with her twelve-year-old daughter.

There, a new life begins to emerge as she is trained in the family dye business. Lydia displays an aptitude for trade in the male-dominated world of first century commerce. Her brother, who had chosen service in the Roman army rather than work in his father’s business, is at odds with his sister. Jealous of her quiet success as she learns the dye business, he’s especially befuddled by what he considers to be Lydia’s obsession with the Jewish religion. When their father dies, Cassius inherits the family’s home; Lydia inherits the business, and unbeknownst to her brother, a small villa in the city of Philippi.

Lydia flees with her mother and daughter to Philippi where she sets up shop. At the mercy of a patriarchal society, Lydia needs a man to serve as the public face for her business. She discovers the right person in the handsome face of Greek man she’d hired — an employee with whom she develops a close friendship. The plot thickens as Lydia meets a strange man named Paul the apostle who is stirring up crowds in town. When Lydia’s brother shows up in Philippi, determined to force her to sell the business, he discovers plenty of fuel to accomplish his goals.

Click to purchase your copy.

About the Author:

Diana Wallis Taylor is best known for her creative stories based on women in the Bible. Thousands have read and enjoyed her books including Mary Chosen of God, Ruth, Mother of Kings, Martha, Journey to the Well, Mary Magdalene, and Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors with the San Diego Library naming her one of 12 “Writers to Watch” in 2017 for Mary, Chosen of God. Her books have received Gold and Silver Medallion Awards for Christian Fiction and she is a San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild “Writer of the Year.” Mary, Chosen of God is a 2017 Christy Award nominee. An inspirational speaker, Diana also leads creative writing and poetry workshops. She lives in San Diego with her husband, Frank. They have six grown children and ten grandchildren

 

My Impressions:

For me, a Biblical novel should create a sense of the cultural and political atmosphere relevant for the time and place, include characters who are faithful to their time, but are relatable to a modern reader, and have a strong foundation in scripture. Lydia:Woman of Philippi by Diana Wallis Taylor achieves all three. From the opening pages I became immersed in the world in which Lydia lived. The patriarchal society was a strong influence in Lydia’s life, yet she endeavored to be an independent woman, both in her finances and thought. Taylor created a very credible backstory for Lydia in which her upbringing, unhappy marriage, and business struggles shaped her into a woman ready to meet her Savior. There are, of course, many historical figures within the novel — Paul, Silas, Timothy, yet the fictional characters that surround Lydia are wonderful additions to the narrative. I especially liked the romance that Taylor adds to the story. Lydia’s encounter with Paul and the subsequent change in her and her household’s life was depicted in a beautiful way. Throughout the novel, Taylor endeavored to be faithful to scripture, and I feel on the most part she was successful. There was only one scene in which I felt she strayed a bit from what the Bible teaches. It did not keep me from enjoying the novel and in turn recommending it to those who enjoy Biblical fiction.

All in all, this book is a great addition to my library.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Blog Stops

A Bakers Perspective, October 3

Carpe Diem, October 3

Moments Dipped in Ink, October 4

Books, Books, and More Books., October 4

By The Book, October 5

A Simply Enchanted Life, October 5

Red Headed Book Lady, October 6

Blogging With Carol, October 6

A Reader’s Brain, October 7

A Greater Yes, October 7

Just the Write Escape, October 8

Simple Harvest Reads, October 8 (Spotlight)

Aryn the Libraryan, October 9

Cordially Barbara, October 9

Pursuing Stacie, October 9

The Fizzy Pop Collection, October 10

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 10

Zerina Blossom’s Books, October 11

Mary Hake, October 11

Radiant Light, October 12

Singing Librarian Books, October 12

Lights in a Dark World, October 12

margaretkazmierczak, October 13

Pause for Tales, October 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 14

Cafinated Reads, October 14

To Everything A Season, October 14

Bigreadersite, October 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15

Henry Happens, October 16

For The Love of Books, October 16

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 16

Giveaway

In honor of her tour, Diana is giving away:

Grand Prize Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, “Give Thanks” painting on plate by Donna White for The Hearthside Collection, Inc., commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).

1st Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem pillar candle, cassia scented, commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).

2nd Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem Spikenard candle tin with lid!

Click the link to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c173

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4 Responses to “Book Review: Lydia: Woman of Philippi”

  1. Suzanne Sellner October 5, 2017 at 7:35 am #

    I love reading Bible-based novels, but I do worry that I’ll remember the fiction and perhaps distort the Biblical account.

    Like

    • rbclibrary October 5, 2017 at 7:38 am #

      That certainly is a danger to reading the novels only. I generally am driven to check things out in the Bible while I am reading Biblical fiction. I consider that an added bonus to reading the genre. 🙂 It’s always important to make sure what you are reading (or hearing for that matter) lines up with God’s word. Thanks for the reminder, Suzanne.

      Like

  2. carylkane October 5, 2017 at 9:38 pm #

    Great review!

    Like

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