Monday, June 24, 2013

Claudia, wife of Pontius Pilate

Title:  Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate
Author:  Diana Wallis Taylor
Pages:  322
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Revell
                In this story, readers have a fictional account of the wife of Pontius Pilate, Claudia.  There is not a lot known about her historically or factually, so the author puts her imagination to good use, creating a possible scenario of who Claudia might have been and the life she might have led.
                The account begins with Claudia as a young girl, living with her mother and grandmother in exile in Reggio, Italy, far from Rome.  Claudia’s mother is a daughter of Caesar, but due to her indiscrete lifestyle and many affairs has been banished to this remote villa.  Claudia asks many times who her father is, but her mother will not say.  Soon the time will come when Claudia will be old enough to marry at the age of 15.  Her grandmother hopes the current ruler, Tiberius, who was married to and divorced Claudia’s mother, will find Claudia a good husband.  Change comes sooner than anyone expects with soldiers arriving before Claudia’s 13th birthday to take her away from her mother and to Rome.
                Claudia lives in the palace until shortly after her 16th birthday when she is married to Lucius Pontius Pilate, an apparent love match.  Pilate is sent to Caesarea as provincial governor and Claudia follows a couple of months later to be with him.  She is happily married; now, if she could only stop dreaming about the man with the sad eyes and blood on his face.  The unrest and tension between the Jews and Romans is very evident as soon as Claudia arrives.  Pilate has doubts about his ability to rule as he is still young for such responsibility and has no mentor present.  Did his old mentor, Sejanus, set him up to fail?  Sejanus is an evil man who has aspirations to be ruler of Rome.  He has Tiberius in his back pocket and is constantly breeding tension and schemes to keep Tiberius anxious and nervous.
                The story is very interesting as it delves into the political arena with all the intrigue, scheming, planning and lifestyle of Roman aristocracy.  It was fun to read about a possible background and life of the practically unknown person of Claudia.  She is curious, compassionate, strong and sometimes outspoken.  I liked the character depictions; Sejanus is one readers love to hate; Claudia is one readers can admire and Pilate is one readers perhaps can better understand.  The story is full of rebellion, betrayal, political maneuvering, love, newfound faith, grief and many other emotions to experience. 
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

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