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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Revell blog tour stop for Martha by Diana Wallis Taylor (with bonus review!)

Martha Loses Hope As She Looks For The Messiah… and A Miracle.

“Oh God Who Sees, take me also. If not together in life, let me join him in death. I don’t want to live without him.” She looked up at the night sky. Had the God Who Sees kept her from making a mistake? Would it have worked out the way she dreamed?

Martha: A NovelAuthor Diana Wallis Taylor creates a beautiful story set in the New Testament following the life of Martha of Bethany, sister of Mary and Lazarus in Martha (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3465-7, $14.99, 256 pages, June). The busyness of Martha is well-known, identified with, studied, and often misunderstood by people today. Often painted in the colors of reproach, Martha seems to be the poster child for how not to be a follower of Jesus. Taylor provides a well-researched touching portrayal of Martha.

When her mother dies leaving young Martha in charge of the household, her family is dependant upon her to oversee the home. Yet like other girls in her village, Martha longs to be married and begin her own family. Considered a fine cook and weaver, Martha is quick to help others within her community. She experiences the hope of love and love lost, trials, friendship, the death of her father, the overwhelming duty to her family, the discovery of the Messiah, the miracles witnessed at the Temple, and the hospitality she shows to her Lord with dignity and grace. However, when Lazarus becomes ill and Jesus is too late – Martha questions both her faith and the Lord. How could she know that one of the Lord’s greatest miracles was only moments away? Through the life of Martha, Taylor shows readers a new perspective and appreciation for this special woman of the New Testament.  

My review:

There is just something about Biblical fiction that always warms my heart. The story about Martha is another fabulous title from Ms. Taylor! Now I am even more hooked on her writing. I found myself reading several portions of this story out loud to my husband. For me, there is something special about a book where the Scripture is actually part of the story. I found the writing to be smooth flowing as well, and very insightful. 

While staying true to the Biblical account of the story of Martha, so much more was added to bring this story to life. And the part where Lazarus is raised from the dead was even more incredible when seen through Martha's eyes. Technically we don't know what Martha was really thinking, however, the author did a great job of showing what she may have thought at the time. It was very believable and showed her motivations and reasons for her struggles and frustrations very well. 

What I loved most about this story as well as Ms. Taylor's other story about the woman at the well was the way that she took a lot of the assumptions people have made over the years about both of these women and made their stories come to life in a way that made sense regarding those accounts. The author put flesh on the characters, showed their motivations, and made them so human that they are easy to identify with. No one is all evil just as no one is all good. This story will change the way you may have always thought about Martha. I  love stories that challenge my assumptions. I found that very refreshing.  

NOTE: A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review of the novel. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own.

Diana Wallis Taylor enjoys speaking to women’s groups and teaching writing and poetry workshops.  She is the author of Journey to the Well, has published many articles, and contributed stories to several books. Taylor lives in California. Find out more at

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

“Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

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