Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Tomb: A Novel of Martha - Stephanie Landsem

The Tomb: A Novel of Martha
Stephanie Landsem
Howard Books/Simon and Schuster, Mar 17 2015, $14.99
ISBN: 9781451689129

Everyone respects Martha as the paragon of Jewish women who looks over the well-being of her family, and is kind and considerate to neighbors and strangers.  However, Martha conceals the secret of when she sinned.  At her sister Mary’s wedding, she met and fell in love with Isa the musician; they shared an intimacy with his promise to return to her, but he never did.

Seven years has passed since Martha’s transgression that only her brother Lazarus knows how she fell from grace.  The family patriarch Lazarus knows he is dying and wants to insure he meets his death bed vow he made to his dad to take care of Martha.  Thus he arranges a marriage between his sibling and pious Pharisee Simon because he believes the latter will forgive Martha.  She wants to beg the alleged Messiah her cousin Jesus to save her brother, but fears Simon’s holy wrath starting with threatening to reveal her wrongdoing, a stoning sin.  At the same time near the Galilee, Jesus miraculously heals Isa from the demons that have tormented him for years.  Isa heads to see Martha praying that he is not too late.

The third Living Water biblical series (see The Thief and The Well) is a terrific tale that focuses on the trials and tribulations of Lazarus’ sister Martha.  Driven by the nurturing yet haunted lead female who risks her life and soul to save her brother, readers will appreciate this entertaining drama as Stephanie Landsem enables the audience to visit first century Judea through the eyes of pious Martha and to a lesser degree her siblings.

Harriet Klausner

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