cover image Land of Silence

Land of Silence

Tessa Afshar. Tyndale, $22.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4964-1400-7

The newest biblical fiction from Christy Award–winning novelist Afshar imaginatively elaborates on the short gospel story of the woman who stealthily touches Jesus and is healed. Afshar presents Elianna, whose life is blighted by the death of her young brother while in her care. The wound of estrangement from her father over this incident never heals, even as Elianna grows to prove herself a capable business partner in her father’s textile trade. When Elianna later falls ill, she becomes isolated from everyone close to her. The denouement will be familiar to Christian readers, who will be fascinated by the ways Afshar breathes life into the ancient time and place of Jesus’s life. Her portrait of the commerce and business of the time is fresh, making the family business a central aspect of the story. Some edges need polishing: the writer’s evangelical theology occasionally breaks through explicitly (“my guilt is gone, replaced by grace”) and the dialogue occasionally rings too modern. But fans of biblical fiction will enjoy an absorbing and well-researched chariot ride. Agent: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Management. (May)