Diana Wallis Taylor's gentle retelling of the story of Martha is an engaging and thought provoking tale which I enjoyed from beginning to end. Extremely readable and faithful to the Biblical story where extrapolation was not required, Martha's story gives a possible glimpse of this woman's feelings as she and her family befriend Jesus and his disciples and welcome him into their home. Diana's Martha is a deeply responsible woman, wanting to ensure her family is cared for and respected in their community, which leads to Jesus' gentle rebuke of her choices. I loved that Diana kept the story fresh and transparent, avoiding unnecessary complexities, resulting in a moving and absorbing tale of Martha's journey to belief, acceptance and love.
Being a fan of Biblical fiction, I truly enjoyed this book. It is a great story. Diana Wallis Taylor did a wonderful job of bringing Martha to life. I think Martha is always used as a "what-not-to-do" example, and I'm so thrilled with the way the author told her story. She created a reason why Martha was so worried about getting things done. It's so easy for us to excuse behavior today because we understand the "why" behind that behavior. Sadly... Martha doesn't get that same understanding. Until now.
It's nice to think of Bible characters as what they are. Human. This book will bring to life some of the most talked about people in the Bible... Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. To get an idea of what they were thinking and feeling as they walked with Jesus, and as Lazarus was raised from the dead made me see their story in a whole new light. It is very much in keeping with scripture, yet adds enough fiction to make a wonderful book that you'll be sure to enjoy.
*Revell Books and Baker Publishing Group have provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. ~ Thank you!
Set in the times of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, Martha finds herself fulfilling the role of her mother after her mother passed away. She has so much to do and sometimes has to rely on Mary, which isn't necessarily a help since Mary liked to daydream in the middle of tasks.
Martha has high hopes of getting married, but no man seems to want her for some reason. Phineas chose another girl and Martha realizes that if she were to get married and leave then her family would have no one to take care of them.
Martha also likes to think of the Messiah being born to one of them and walking around with them. Many in her village are looking for the Messiah to come like He promised He would.
To see Lazarus being raised from the dead from Martha's point of view was interesting, as well as all of her encounters with Jesus.
If you like historical Biblical fiction, I definitely recommend this book. It's not a long book, but it is a well-written book. Do keep in mind that it is fiction and not a replacement to the true account in the Bible, though, although she did do a good job recounting the events in the Bible and staying true to those. ______________ I received this book from Revell Publishing Group, which is a division of Baker Publishing Group. In exchange for receiving the book for free, I was asked to write my review of this book, whether good or bad.
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 a smooth flowing as well and 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 makes 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.
I'd like to say I know my stories from the Bible, but I didn't recall Martha at all. However, I did want to learn more and see how an author fleshed out her life and made her into a whole person, so I was happy to be able to review Martha by Diana Wallis Taylor.
I'll admit it, the only person I really recognized by name was Lazarus. But as I read along, I became deeply interested in reading about Martha, her quest to become married, her love affair and her dedication to her family.
Jesus does not play a part until later in the novel. The author does a fantastic job as painting him as more human - I believe that that fact gets lost in the face of who he eventually turned out to be. We see that he worries and has other very human emotions.
I also appreciate that the author painted Jesus as understanding that others may doubt that he had risen. Both Martha and the disciple Thomas had to touch Jesus' wounds to be sure that he was actually in front of them. The godly aspect of Jesus understood that most would need to touch to believe, and that's the part of Christianity and forgiveness that I appreciate - we are human, we may err, but ultimately we believe.
I also did learn more about the Jewish faith. While I did know a decent amount, and I'm sure much has changed in the past 2000 years, I did learn how much such occasions like the Sabbath are still observed the same way in modern America.
I would recommend Martha to anybody who is interested in learning about the history of Christianity. I also look at this as a historical piece, describing what life was like generally at the time that Jesus walked the Earth. I would like to read more about other female figures from the Bible, especially the ones we don't know much about, so I will be looking up Diana Wallis Taylor's other books.
From the first page the reader is immediately immersed in the New Testament time and customs of a well known character of theological and moral teachings - Martha the sister of Mary. The story of Mary choosing the better path is so well taught that we often forget to glean the goodness of sacrificial service for others.
Within these pages the often looked down upon Martha has a chance at her story being told. I do not know of any older sibling who could not relate to the struggles that Martha faced as she the responsibility that fell upon the eldest of the household.
The book is well written and the story long over due. The encounters with Jesus presented in this book offer the reader a different feel of an old story. For once they are able to see the heart of Martha who lived to complete the service of her family. She must learn that the important things in life aren't always completing the task - but knowing the task master. In this book walk with Martha and learn to lay down your own self-imposed responsibilities of perfection and order to better understand the Master and His work. Work through the bitterness that often accompanies being the eldest and feeling held to a different standard. Cry with Martha and rejoice with her - and as an eldest see life in a new light - that of the Savior.
Martha: a novel is a reflective piece of biblical fiction fleshing out the lives of Jesus's good friends Mary, Lazarus, and of course Martha. I have always been fond of the story in the bible about Martha and Mary because of my grandmother. Her name is Martha and she was born with an identical twin sister her parents named Mary ... My grandmother often wish she had been named Mary because Martha was the worry wort of the story who didn't sit at the feet of Jesus and soak in his very presence.
This story delves into the background of that very scene. Why did Martha feel compelled to take charge and to scold her sister? What was their family dynamic like and why. What were their lives like between visits from Jesus and how did they befriend him? What was life like during and after Lazurus's death and resurrection?
This story felt very short, but it still added a richness to the lives of this biblical family that I feel I will remember every time I read the bible passages related to them.
I couldn't put book down once I started to read it. I felt like I was right there is story. I have recommend it to my friends. It will be going into our library where I live for others to enjoy. God Bless Diana Wallis Taylor. She is a talented author. The book cover is beatiful and Martha is so gracious, caring, and loving person. It was a joy to read.
The reader is instantly transported to New Testament times and quickly immersed in period context. Vivid descriptions of places, dress, and behavior fill your mind. You have the opportunity to understand the type of life Martha would have lived and the challenges she faced. You can feel her struggles as she chooses the needs of others over her own and devotes her life to serving. Her encounters with Jesus are well presented and the scriptural content appears accurate.
A wonderful look into the life of women in the New Testament.
Diana Wallis has written a lovely book about, Martha. Oh, how we can all relate to Martha. Atleast I can very well. Throughout this story we are reminded, that being Martha isn't bad, but we too need to find more time to be, Mary. This is the lesson I carried away from this story.
I simply love the story of, Martha and Mary. Diana, brings their story to life through these pages. She takes us back to their heritage, their loves and losses. With her attention to detail, she makes us feel as though we are walking with Martha through her daily life. In reading, "Martha", it only brings me to uncover more of her story through reading God's Word.
This story is an easy read. The words throughout this book are some how soothing. Maybe because, Martha, is so well related to and too, because of Diana's writing style. This is one you will enjoy if you love history and want a better glimpse at the life of Martha.
I really enjoyed reading the book "Matha" by Diana Wells Taylor. I felt like I was there with the characters in Jesus' time. I felt the story was realistic. I also thought the book cover was very appealing.
Just as this author did with her previous novel, Journey to the Well, she has wonderfully managed to change our perception of someone we thought we knew well from Scripture--in this case, Martha--as a person who cared mostly about being busy with household taska, even to the extent of criticizing her sister for listening to Jesus as He shared His truth in the setting of their home. The author has been nicely creative while pretty much following the Biblical account of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus' encounter with the Lord Jesus. I found the details of this book satisfying--not at all fodder for criticism. Of course, much of the detail of this book is pure fiction, but it is all a delight. And I loved the way well-known Bible characters were brought into the story. A very edifying book--for both men and women.