Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Grow in Grace by Susan M.B. Preston ~ A Book Review

I find historical fiction to be very valuable. It has a way of bringing history to life in a way that reading a nonfiction work just doesn't. A gifted storyteller can breathe into history just the right amount of oxygen to make enliven it in our imaginations.

by Susan M.B. Preston is a book that immerses the reader in first century Christian culture. I imagined  just what it must have been like for early Christians as I read this book. Things were just so unsettled and dangerous. Susan takes her readers on a journey not only to another place and time, but another culture—one with similarities to our Christian culture, but with aspects of Judaism mixed in since the original believers were Jewish.

The threat from the Romans increased in this book. It was tense in spots. The growth of the characters was evident in contrast to the first book of The Apostle John Series, Hold the Faith. 

A little about GROW IN GRACE:
  • good insight into challenges of the early church
  • Feast of Tabernacles explained
  • gave me a better understanding of the conditions and struggles of the Roman soldiers 
  • taught a bit of church history in an interesting, natural way
  • revealed the fears that plagued early Christians
  • expressed the animosity toward the Christ followers by the Jews
  • revealed how the early church followed the Holy Days, feasts, and the Sabbaths
  • showed the conflict involved in choosing Christ over family
  • explained how many things were done at the time
  • built up a desire to read the next book in the series
  • shared wisdom for this mother of older children
  • lots of details make story seem realistic although it is fictional
Well done Susan Preston! 

I encourage you to read Hold the Faith first before you read Grow in Grace.
Read my review of Hold the Faith

From the Author: 
When Benjamin’s time at the vineyard is over, he returns to Ephesus......
Although he has matured, and developed skills he would never have dreamed of in his 'former life' as scribe to his great-grandfather, the Apostle John, Benjamin is unsure of his reception at home.
  • His mother had been overwrought at his departure.
  • Benjamin still feels guilty about having left his great-grandfather just as he was starting to record his gospel.
  • He hoped he was now able to accept Deborah’s betrothal to the false teacher​
But a lot has happened in the twelve weeks he was away.
  • Publius, the second-in-command of the Roman garrison is caught passing on information to one of the brethren. The penalty is swift and merciless.
  • John is arrested again. This time a concerted effort is made to force him to perform the act of worship’ to the Roman emperor, Domitian. Confined without food or water, John is daily marched to the temple of Domitian and ordered to make the sacrifice and refuses.
  • The Romans give up, for now, and John is returned home, surprisingly well. But plans are afoot for his next captivity.
The epilogue gives a small peak into Domitian’s palace, where he is plotting.

Thank you Susan Preston for this review copy. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

No I am not an Amazon affiliate.

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  1. amazing and insightful review !
    this story sounds GREAT and hope not controversial.
    Hold faith sounds must read writing too

    1. Hi Baili,
      I really don't think that you'd find anything controversial in this book.
      Start with Hold the Faith and see what you think. ~smile~
      Be blessed,


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