Friday, June 3, 2016

Fiction Review: Land of Silence

It took me a great deal of time to become invested in "Land of Silence," but about a third of the way through I found myself drawn to the characters, even though I found their stories somewhat dull and episodic.

Elianna - the woman whose bleeding Jesus healed - tells her story in first person, and author Tessa Afshar does a beautiful job of creating Elianna's more reflective moments. These were the moments that kept me reading as Elianna dealt with bitterness, illness, guilt, her need for a loving father, and her hope for a family of her own. I could not put it down once I got into it. However, I have to say that I did not particularly care for Afshar's "this happened, then this happened" writing style. Conversations seemed scripted, and even with her simple style, Afshar often uses larger, jargon wording.

The story is well developed once it begins to really unfold - Elianna works for her family's fabric business and deals with unwanted attention from a Roman soldier - but the conclusion feels rushed. The ending brings together all the heart-felt themes Afshar builds up, but does not go through to the crucifixion and resurrection. But I did enjoy the realistic characters and the way Afshar brought different people from the Bible together so well. I would be interested in reading another book from Afshar, as this was my first of hers.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

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