Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Day of Atonement {a Kregel Book Tour review}

I'm always interested in biblical novels.  There is something about putting normal, everyday people into the context of some of the great events of the Bible that help to make it all seem more real.

Day of Atonement by David A deSilva, is the story of the Maccabean Revolt.  That isn't a time period I know much about.  At all.

This book starts in 175 BC, and you quickly find yourself jumping between the stories of a few key players, with lots of characters to try to keep straight.  I didn't succeed, really, with keeping track of everyone, and wished I had started a cheat sheet to have any sort of a clue as to the significance of what was happening.

There is a list of characters in the back of the book, with the ones in bold those who were real historical people.  With the descriptions of who those people (real and fictional) are, you wouldn't want to see that list before reading the story, so I certainly can understand why it is at the end.

So what is the book about?  Here is what the publisher has to say:
The Greeks have taken over the world, but Jerusalem is still the same backwater city Jason has always known. He wants to help his hometown rise to a new age of prosperity and influence. If that means stretching the terms of the city's divine covenant, so be it. But how far is he willing to go to achieve Greek greatness for this Jewish city? It will take the willingness of a handful of Jews to die rather than violate the covenant in order to turn the tide back to God.

Written by an internationally recognized expert in the period between the Testaments, Day of Atonement invites readers into Judea during the tumultuous years leading up to the Maccabean Revolt. It was this pivotal decade that reminded Jews of the centrality of the covenant to their national security and taught them that the covenant was worth dying for. The story is so foundational, it is still told every year at Hanukkah. The lessons learned during this turbulent time also shed light on just what was at stake in the ministry of Jesus, whose radical message seemed to threaten the covenant once again.

Day of Atonement joins the perennially successful novels Pontius Pilate and The Flames of Rome by renowned historian Paul Maier on Kregel's premier list of captivating and historically accurate biblical novels.
This book totally has me wanting to learn more about the Maccabean Revolt. 

Disclaimer:  I received this book through Kregel Blog Tours.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.   


Unknown said...

It sounds like an interesting read, but I think I would probably have to do what you were stating about a cheat sheet on whose who. Thanks for the review.

David deSilva said...

Sorry about the abundance of characters. In the second-to-last edit I worked hard to pare it down to just those essential to the action of each scene, and I agree it still is a crowd. Perhaps I should have suggested that the list of characters be printed as a tear sheet.

On the other hand, it's OK to forget most of the characters after they've served their purpose -- and those that are important you'll meet often enough to get to know.

Kind regards,