“Sisters of Lazarus” by Paula K. Parker

An interesting, though fictional, look at the backgrounds of the Sisters of Lazarus, Mary and Martha.  This book’s main theme is beauty.  Martha is plain but hardworking; Mary is beautiful but can’t cook.  How these sisters interact and how they react as they get to know the Teacher makes for insightful and inspirational dialogue and realizations.  The author has an interesting way of connecting several well-known biblical characters into one story; and adds depth of character and thought-provoking backgrounds to them all.  How did Mary and Martha come to know Jesus?  What were the circumstances surrounding their reactions to Him?  And what does the Teacher have to teach these very different sisters?  

At first glance, the book can strike the reader as somewhat unbelievable (or at least highly convenient).  But as the plot and family dramas unfold, we see the growth of these women on their journey of faith as they decide what they are willing to give up to follow the man called “Jesus”.

I was happy to note the careful consideration given to the culture of the day.  From the descriptions of food, clothing and architecture to examples of how the men and women interact, the information provides information to the reader, which really helps put them in the characters’ shoes…er, sandals.  After all, in a culture where unmarried women and men don’t interact outside of family members, how is it that Mary and Martha got to know and believe in Christ at all?  What significance can be given to their actions when their culture’s expectations are accounted for?  

For these reasons this makes for a good, mind-stretching read: and it’s good for the soul too!

My favorite part is when Martha bemoans the lack of food in the house when she learns that her brother has invited 13 near-strangers to dinner…

 

Thanks to Net Galley (https://www.netgalley.com) and Authentic Media Inc. for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review.  I certainly enjoyed it!      

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