Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

One tragic afternoon, Elianna's brother dies while in her care, His death is only the beginning of her sorrows. Seeking redemption from her guilt, Elianna applies her talent in her father's linen manufacturing business which brings momentary success that eventually dissipates. Knowing her failures, she breaks off her betrothal to Ethan Ben Ezer, a good man and the love of her life. A bleeding illness soon strikes that depletes her body and financial resources. With no other hope, Elianna travels to see a new Jewish prophet, expecting tricks and cunning, but finds a teacher who speaks deep words to her heart. After years of suffering and illness, will she find healing for her body and soul? Read more in Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar.

Land of Silence is my favorite novel by Tessa Afshar to date. Like Elianna, Tessa Afshar weaves her craft adeptly. Blending together Biblical events, tragedy, healing, romance and spiritual truths, Land of Silence, enlivens the story of the unclean, nameless woman with a bleeding disease who is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

There was nothing I disliked about the novel and much that I enjoyed. Having a less popular Biblical figure (compared to Mary or Esther) as the protagonist certainly elevated this book's appeal to me. Tragedy and healing gave Elianna's record depth and authenticity while humor kept it from feeling depressing. By not glossing over the hardships that Elianna endured, a deeply moving story flowed with strength and spiritual truths I found applicable to my life. Example: “Despair is an invitation to prayer. You can either sink or pray when it lodges at your door.” (Page 329)

I know Land of Silence is a fictional retelling. However, after reading this book, I will never look at the Biblical account of the woman with the issue of blood the same way. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction. Land of Silence is a stand-alone novel, but in several ways it reminded me of Tessa Afshar's Harvest of Rubies. If you liked one, you'll probably like the other.

Read an excerpt from Land of Silence on the publisher's website.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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."


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