Bloggy Book Review ::: The Centurion's Wife

I love the writing of Janette Oke. Love, love, love. When I was in sixth grade our family moved to Calgary, Alberta, and around that time I was introduced to this Canadian author's writing. My favorite series of her's - I don't know that I can pick one, but I do love her Canadian West series. My family lived an hour away from many of the locations that she mentioned in these books and they make me homesick for the Canadian Rockies whenever I read them.

However, this review is about her newest book co-written with Davis Bunn. The Centurion's Wife is historical fiction, set in the days immediately after the death and resurrection of Christ. The main character, Leah, is the principal maid to Pontius Pilate's wife. She is betrothed to a soldier, Alban, and both are ordered to dig into the death and supposed theft of the body of the man Jesus. Is there a greater threat to Pilate underneath the mystery of the missing teacher? Pilate has a tenuous grip on his position of leadership and is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, using any means and anyone necessary.

An extremely well-written book for those that are a fan of historical fiction. The gospel is brought to life and beautifully woven throughout this story as Leah and Alban uncover the truth about the Messiah.

From the book:

Mary and I have spent quite a bit of time with the Master. I saw him teach, I saw him heal, I saw him dine with his disciples, I saw him leave, and I saw him return. And this is what I think: I believe every moment of his entire life has been spent setting an example. Every breath, every act, every word, carries message upon message upon message. His every instant was meant to bring eternity into the moment and hope to this fallen world. The death of my brother, our time of broken mourning, our loss of hope...

It was Martha's turn to stop and struggle with her emotions. Then she said, "He did this not only for us, but for everyone who witnessed that day. And for those like you who hear of it. He did this to show that even in the darkest hour, when there is no reason to go forward, no possibility of a better tomorrow, he is there to comfort, to guide, to heal. He brings with him the gift of hope. Impossible, glorious, joyful hope.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Centurion's Wife

Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2009)


Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

Davis Bunn is an internationally acclaimed author who has sold more than six million books in fifteen languages. His audiences span reading genres from high drama and action thrillers to heartwarming relationship stories, in both contemporary and historical settings.

Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include My Soul To Keep, and Full Circle. A sought-after lecturer in the art of writing, Bunn was named Novelist in Residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University.

He and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write.

Her first novel, a prairie love story titled Love Comes Softly, was published by Bethany House in 1979. This book was followed by more than 75 others.

After Love Comes Softly was published, Oke found her readers asking for more. That book led to a series of eight others in her Love Comes Softly series. She has written multiple fiction series, including The Canadian West, Seasons of the Heart and Women of the West. Her most recent releases include a beautiful children's picture book, I Wonder...Did Jesus Have a Pet Lamb and The Song of Acadia series, co-written with T. Davis Bunn.

Janette Oke's warm writing style has won the hearts of millions of readers. She has received numerous awards, including the Gold Medallion Award, The Christy Award of Excellence, the 1992 President's Award for her significant contribution to the category of Christian fiction from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and in 1999 the Life Impact Award from the Christian Booksellers Association International. Beloved worldwide, her books have been translated into fourteen languages.

She and her husband live nearby in Alberta, Canada.


Janette Oke has dreamed for years of retelling a story in a biblical time frame from a female protagonist's perspective, and Davis Bunn is elated to be working with her again on this sweeping saga of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Christianity...and the very personal story of Leah, a young Jewess of mixed heritage trapped in a vortex of competing political agendas and private trauma.

Caught up in the maelstrom following the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine, Leah finds herself also engulfed in her own turmoil--facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Roman soldier, Alban, who seems to care for nothing but his own ambitions.

Head of the garrison near Galilee, he has been assigned by Palestine's governor to ferret out the truth behind rumors of a political execution gone awry. Leah's mistress, the governor's wife, secretly commissions Leah also to discover what really has become of this man whose death--and missing body--is causing such furor.

This epic drama is threaded with the tale of an unlikely romance and framed with dangers and betrayals from unexpected sources. At its core, the story unfolds the testing of loyalties--between two young people whose inner searchings they cannot express, between their irreconcilable heritages, and ultimately between their humanity and the Divine they yearn to encounter.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Centurion's Wife, go HERE


  1. Anonymous1:32 PM

    I enjoyed this book too. I appreciate books like this because they give me an even greater understanding of Biblical events!

  2. Anonymous2:51 PM

    Okay, I tried to leave a comment yesterday and it didn't work, so I'm trying again. . .

    This sounds like a great book! I love the AD Chronicles by Brock and Bodie Thoene, and this sounds very similar to some of those. (You can read my reviews of some of the Thoene's works here---> if you're so inclined.)
    I'll have to try to pick this one up. I used to be completely up-to-date on Janette Oke, but I'm afraid I've let her books fall by the wayside lately. She even replied to a letter I write her once when I was a teenager!


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