A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith

Title: A Passionate Hope: Hannah’s Story

Author: Jill Eileen Smith

Series: Daughters of the Promised Land, #4

Genre: Biblical Fiction

Era: Biblical (Hannah, mother of Samuel)

Publisher: Revell Books

Source: from Netgalley (in exchange for honest review)

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith

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Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah’s cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

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The Centurion’s Wife by Janette Oke and Davis Bunn

Title: The Centurion’s Wife

Author: Janette Oke and Davis Bunn

Series: Acts of Faith, #1

Genre: Christian Historical (Biblical) Romance/Adventure

Age-Range: 12+ (upper middle grade/young adult/adult)

Era: first century AD (Jesus Christ’s time)

Setting: around the area of Judea

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Source: downloaded a free ebook copy

Rating: 5/5 stars

Content: 2/5. Some violence – mentions of crucifixion, swordfights, etc. Never anything too violent. No language or sexual content (although there are mentions of men looking at Leah).

The Centurion’s Wife by Janette Oke and Davis Bunn

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Caught up in the maelstrom following the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine, Leah finds herself also engulfed in her own turmoil–facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Roman soldier, Alban, who seems to care for nothing but his own ambitions.

Head of the garrison near Galilee, Alban has been assigned by Palestine’s governor to ferret out the truth behind rumors of a political execution gone awry. Leah’s mistress, the governor’s wife, secretly commissions Leah also to discover what really has become of this man whose death–and missing body–is causing such furor.

This epic drama is threaded with the tale of an unlikely romance and framed with dangers and betrayals from unexpected sources. At its core, The Centurion’s Wife unfolds the testing of loyalties–between two young people whose inner searchings they cannot express, between their irreconcilable heritages, and ultimately between their humanity and the Divine they yearn to encounter.

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I loved this book so much. I read it during the summer and absolutely adored it. I’m thinking I’m going to reread it around Easter if I can wait that long.

I admit it started a little slow, but I didn’t mind (summer lets me read slow books!). After the story got going, I couldn’t put it down. It was beautiful, and when I read it, I felt like, “How could anyone ever not believe in Jesus?!” Reading this book and experiencing what so many people must have been experiencing in Jerusalem and the surrounding area at that time was incredible. I loved it so much.

Every time a Bible character popped up, I grinned big. That’s one of my favorite things about historical fiction where you get to meet actual historical people who you know of. It’s awesome, especially when they sound so … so human! Like you could’ve been them if you lived during that time; like God didn’t choose them because they had superpowers or anything. They were just people.

Sometimes it’s hard to look past the Bible’s text and see the people behind the stories of God’s almighty power. So reading about Lazarus and Martha and Mary (and a bunch of other people) was so cool.

I will say that the romance wasn’t as good as it could have been. I suppose there wasn’t a lot of romance to be had, though, so yep. XD

I’m not going to go much more into this story. I’ll just say it was extremely good and you should get a copy. 🙂

~Kellyn Roth