Title: The Apostle’s Sister
Author: Angela Hunt
Series: Jerusalem Road, book 4
Major Themes: Jerusalem, Paul, Early Church
Synopsis: Throughout her life, Aya finds herself overshadowed by her gifted and famous older brother Sha’ul, but when he makes a controversial, life-changing decision, how can she cope?
I have really been enjoying the Jerusalem Road series. All the books have been very good. I thought the series was finished after A Woman of Words, and was surprised when I saw The Apostle’s Sister. Of course, I wanted to read this one, too! I was not disappointed.
Aya grew up in Tarsus, a Jewish girl in a Gentile city. Her older brother Sha’ul had been sent to Jerusalem at age 10 to study Torah, but now he was coming home to get married—and she was to be married at the same time. She didn’t want to get married; she wanted to use the gifts HaShem had given her! However, as an obedient Jewish girl, she would do as her parents had arranged. Neither did Sha’ul want to get married, but because it was a requirement to sit on the Sanhedrin, he would, as well.
Soon, both Sha’ul and Aya, and their spouses, were living in Jerusalem, where the men studied and the women kept house. After a few years, however, Sha’ul made a decision that changed his life, as well as Aya’s and her husband’s. Could they talk him out of it? After tragedy struck, Aya struggled to make sense of everything that happened. Would she ever be able to understand what Sha’ul had done? What did Yeshua have to do with his life, or hers, for that matter?
The apostle of the title, of course, is Paul. We know from one verse in Acts that he had a sister, and that’s all we know about her. Angela Hunt has written a story that makes her a very real person, though. I can easily imagine almost everything in The Apostle’s Sister happening—there is just one scene near the end that is slightly far-fetched. Even so, there is Scriptural backing for that scene! This is a good way to bring the Apostle Paul to life, and I enjoyed it nearly as much as my favorite book in this series (I think I liked The Shepherd’s Wife best). If you enjoy Biblical fiction, you will enjoy this book.
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: In chapter 9, Sha’ul’s wedding night is described—not graphically, but one sentence does talk about his bride’s physical appearance. In chapter 16, Aya talks about her husband “loving” her. In chapter 39, a man desires Aya.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults