Monday, April 25, 2016

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

From the publisher:
Before Christ called her daughter . . .

Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment . . .

Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.

No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body . . . and soul?

I had expected to have more of the story about the twelve years of illness and her encounter with Jesus but instead that was probably the last 1/4th of the book.  At first I was disappointed. While I know this is Biblical fiction I wanted more depth into what we do know.  However, I can appreciate what Tessa Afshar did.  She created a backstory to help you get a glimpse into the words Jesus did speak to this woman.

Elianna has one bad strike after the next in her life.  It's like reading a train wreck that you know if going to be horrible but it just keeps coming.  The best parts to me were the last 1/4th.  That is where I felt Elianna's character was tested and grew the most.  In her isolation she could really turn to God and listen to Him.  And isn't that true for so many of us?  We resist and resist God until we are stripped of everything and then we listen.  It is a hard lesson.

My favorite line was when Elianna was going to touch Jesus' robe and she says, "Many have asked me what gave me the courage to do what I did that day. It was not courage, I say. It was desperation. Simply, I become more desperate than afraid. And in my desperation, I learned to hope. I never stopped being afraid. It was just that hope overshadowed  my fear."  

That was so encouraging to me spiritually and I think that other readers will be encouraged too when they read this.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

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