Title: The Tomb (The Living Water Series, Book 3)
Author: Stephanie Landsem
Publisher: Howard Books
This is an imagined tale of Martha, the sister of Lazarus, from her perspective as she lives the life of a virtuous, Jewish woman in the eyes of the village of Bethany. However, Martha is keeping a secret so terrible it could mean her death if it were ever discovered. Even though Martha loves her sister Mary, she grumbles under her breath about her sister Mary always being late, never being much help and straying from proper Jewish ritual. Martha is also envious of Mary’s marriage and children. Martha is the older of the two sisters, but her father wants Martha to stay at home and take care of him. Even though he won’t voice this and instead claims that none of the suitors who ask for Martha’s hand are good enough for her. Then, Martha makes a mistake and pays dearly for it. She tries her best to make things right with her father by working from sun rise until sunset, trying to be the perfect daughter. The story progresses, bringing in the story if Isa and his meeting Jesus as well as Lazarus and his hopes for the future. There is also a feisty grandmother and gossipy village women thrown in the mix too!
In my opinion, one sign of a talented author is the ability to engage the reader in the lives of the characters in the story, to get the readers to care what happens to the characters. Stephanie Landsem definitely has that talent. I have read all three of the novels in The Living Water Series and found them all to be excellent. In each book, I was drawn quickly into the story from page one until the end. This third novel is no exception. There are moments of sheer joy as well as deep sorrow as readers journey with Martha, the sister of Lazarus, as she doubts herself and struggles to reconcile the Jesus she grew up with to the Jesus she now encounters. She faces trial after trial, depending on her own strength to see her through, but then something happens she isn’t sure she can withstand. Please read all three books in this series as they are treasures. They don’t have to be read in any certain order. I can’t wait to see what this gifted author will pen next!
My rating is 5 stars.
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