cover image The Shepherd’s Wife

The Shepherd’s Wife

Angela Hunt. Bethany, $15.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-7642-3385-2

Hunt turns to the family of Jesus for this excellent second in her Jerusalem Road series (after Daughter of Cana), based on real women who met Jesus. Pheodora, the youngest of Yeshua’s sisters, has always struggled with feeling inadequate next to her beautiful, wealthier sister, Damaris, who is married to a rich merchant’s son. But Pheodora loves her husband, Chiram, a shepherd often gone to care for the flocks near their Bethlehem home. When Chiram is thrown into debtor’s prison unexpectedly, Pheodora returns to her childhood home in Nazareth to live with her four brothers and care for two goats Chiram had purchased and bred to increase their fortunes. Damaris and her husband, a soon-to-be-Pharisee, refuse to repay Chiram’s debt to get him out of prison, making Pheodora wonder if Chiram’s imprisonment had something to do with them. Pheodora’s story is set against the backdrop of the spiritual emergence of her oldest brother, Yeshua, who travels Israel preaching, gathering followers, and angering the Jewish leadership; his eventual death, Chiram’s imprisonment, and Pheodora’s fortunes are all determined by the whims of the powerful Pharisees. But Yeshua’s resurrection could change everyone’s lives. Hunt’s marvelous tale will appeal to any theologically minded fan of Christian historicals. (Oct.)