Sunday Book Club: It’s in the Bible

March 12, 2017 Christian, Sunday Book Club 31

Today (March 12) is part of the Jewish holiday of Purim, which commemorates the events in the Biblical book of Esther. If you’ve never read the story, I highly encourage it. Especially if you think the Bible is boring.  In the book of Esther, you have the pre-TV forerunner of the Bachelor, an evil dude intent on wiping out an entire race of people (Hitler’s idea was not original to him, sadly), a surprise or two along the way, the best example of irony I’ve ever read, and some pretty nail-biting suspense. It also includes lines like this:

The couriers, riding the royal horses, went out, spurred on by the king’s command…

Can’t you just hear the dramatic music playing??

Anyway, if you haven’t read it, you should. It’s a particularly intriguing book of the Bible because God’s name is never mentioned yet His hand is very much evident. In case you can’t tell, it’s one of my faves. If you don’t own a Bible, just click here – it’s online for you!

So today on the Book Club, I want to talk about your favorite Biblical retellings.

My very favorite Esther retelling is Kate Breslin’s For Such A Time. I also love anything from Tessa Afshar, particularly last year’s novel Land of Silence.

What about you? What are your favorite Biblical fiction novels/authors?

And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
ESTHER 4:14

Carrie

31 Responses to “Sunday Book Club: It’s in the Bible”

  1. Anne

    Thank you for this wonderful post today. It is important to remember the courage of Esther. This is very meaningful for me since I am Jewish and this morning I went to the Temple and bought hamentaschen.

    • Carrie

      I’m so glad it was meaningful to you, Anne! The story of Esther is so timeless.

  2. Beth Erin

    Mesu Andrews, Lynn Austin, and Connilyn Cossette have made a profound impact on my faith by bringing stories from the Bible to life within their original cultural and historical context with a healthy dose of creativity.
    Little details that escaped my notice like the ages of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam during the Exodus take the familiar accounts to a whole new level.

    • Carrie

      that’s the kind of biblical fiction i love – when they help me see the familiar accounts in fresh ways

  3. Amy

    Bodie and Brock Thoene’s AD Chronicles made me fall in love with Jesus even more! Plus the details of following the Law and how hard that was made me appreciate even more grace we’ve been given. This made each reading time a time of worship!

  4. Tracey Hagwood

    Tessa Afshar is my go-to favorite biblical author. Can not wait for her 2017 release of Bread of Angels, Lydia’s story. I’ll clear my schedule the minute I get ahold of a copy. I highly recommend all her other books, just as you do.

    -Land of Silence, the story of the women with the issue of blood
    -In the Field of Grace, Ruth’s story
    -Pearl in the Sand, Rahab’s story
    -Harvest of Rubies and Harvest of Gold, in the time of Nehemiah, a cousin and scribe named Sarah and Darius, an aristocrat

  5. Tracey Hagwood

    AND of course the classic, Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers, the retelling of Hosea and Gomer. I just reread this after reading it the first time over 20 years ago. That ending gets to me every time!(I’ve read the ending quite a few times)

  6. Megan Hamsher

    favorites:
    Janette Oke & Davis Bunn’s Acts of Faith series
    Tessa Afshar (DO NOT READ OUT OF ORDER: Harvest of Rubies [1]/Harvest of Gold[2]!)
    Mesu Andrews (I read Pharoah’s Daughter so far)
    Pontius Pilate by Paul L. Maier

    Enjoyed reading Christ the Lord by Ann Rice
    (I guess her “normal genre” is horror, but she has a couple other Biblical fiction books)

    On my wishlist but haven’t read include:
    Angela Hunt (Dangerous Beauty series)
    Rachel S. Neal (Generations of Noah)
    Grace Givens (Sweet Amish Biblical Romance series)
    Connilyn Cossette (Out of Egypt series)
    Jill Eileen Smith
    Joan Wolf

    Other authors that write Biblical fiction I have heard about include:
    Caryl McAdoo
    Lynn Austin
    Francine Rivers
    Bodie & Brock Thoene
    Gilbert Morris

  7. MH

    I have enjoyed Angela Hunt’s Biblical fiction – I’ve read all the Dangerous Beauty books, Shadow Women (about Moses), Magdelene, Nativity Story, Dreamers (Joseph). Her books are so wonderful. Incidentally, her book Esther was the very first book of Christian fiction that I read.

    I also love Jill Eileen Smith and her biblical fiction books.

  8. Paula S.

    Brock and Bodie Thorne come to mind as well as T. Davis Bunn and Paul Meier.

  9. Jeanne

    Lynn Austin’s series “The Chronicles of the Kings”. All 5 books bring Biblical books to life.

  10. Carolyn Astfalk

    I’ve not read a lot of biblical fiction, but I love, love, love Stephanie Landsem’s Living Water series: The Well, The Thief, and The Tomb. Great reading for Lent!

  11. Karen Sargent

    Some books you read and love, and some of those you love never leave you. That’s Francine Rivers’s Mark of the Lion trilogy but specifically the first book, A Voice in the Wind. The main character Hadassah’s example of obedience struck me in such a profound way. Her backstory is she is the daughter of a blind man healed by Jesus. (I hope I’m remembering the details correctly!)

  12. Marilyn Allison

    All the authors mentioned above, but my favorite is Liz Curtis Higgs (Jacob, Leah, Rachel, Dinah and Ruth), perhaps because she set these Characters’ stories in 1700’s Scotland. Stories set in the British Isles during this time period are my longtime favorite locales. The story of Esther is one of my all time favorite Bible stories. The LORD gave me the idea for the story I’m writing that climaxes with the events in Esther’s story. When I started writing it I realized I was immediately into a flashback with the main character’s grandfather. Now I’ve started over beginning with him as an eight year old at the time of Daniel. God is surprising me with the plot development and I’m enjoying the journey.

  13. Connie Saunders

    Carrie, I’ve always loved Esther’s story and I love this post. I’m always glad when authors choose to write Biblical historical fiction because they never fail to offer me new insights on the Bible story/ character. I was given the opportunity to read and review Slender Reeds: Jochebed’s Hope by Texie Susan Gregory and I loved it. It gave me a whole new perspective and understanding of the Hebrew people and the abuse they suffered for over 400 years. As they prayed and begged for God’d, one young girl named Jochebed had no idea that she would be the mother of the three leaders chiefly responsible for that deliverance: Miriam, Aaron, and Moses.

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