Book Review: Judah’s Wife

28 Oct

Seeking peace and safety after a hard childhood, Leah marries Judah, a strong and gentle man, and for the first time in her life Leah believes she can rest easily. But the land is ruled by Antiochus IV, descended from one of Alexander the Great’s generals, and when he issues a decree that all Jews are to conform to Syrian laws upon pain of death, devout Jews risk everything to follow the law of Moses.

Judah’s father resists the decree, igniting a war that will cost him his life. But before dying, he commands his son to pick up his sword and continue the fight — or bear responsibility for the obliteration of the land of Judah. Leah, who wants nothing but peace, struggles with her husband’s decision — what kind of God would destroy the peace she has sought for so long? 

The miraculous story of the courageous Maccabees is told through the eyes of Judah’s wife, who learns that love requires courage . . . and sacrifice.

Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over five million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 180 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children are grown, Angie and her youth-pastor husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards–one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City. Afterward, the dog gave out paw-tographs at the airport.

When she’s not home writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course.

Readers may visit her web site at

My Impressions:

Judah’s Wife by Angela Hunt was my book club’s selection this month. We have read a number of Hunt’s books — all genres — before and have always enjoyed great discussions from them. This novel was no exception. Even though it was not a favorite of a couple of our members (they are not big historical fiction fans), the  majority liked the book. For most of us the events depicted were new, and the author did a good job of making us think about the years between the Testaments of the Bible.

Judah’s Wife begins in 168 BC, a time when the Hellenistic influences of the era were undermining the culture and worship of Israel. The novel introduces the reader to Judah Maccabeus and his family. The author drew from the history recorded in the Apocrypha. That and the historical details she included gave an authenticity to the book. The story is told through the first person POV of Judah and his wife, Leah. The two were at odds for most of the book, a fact that my book club felt was more a product of a 21st century understanding than would have been true during their own time period. That and a couple of odd scenes (you’ll know them when you read them) were the only negatives we found. The story was heroic, the characters complex, and the history enlightening and interesting. We did wish for a happier ending, but that would have been untrue to the essence of the story. The main characters learn to trust God with their problems and doubts, even as they struggle to adjust to His will over their own.

Judah’s Wife is the second book in Hunt’s Silent Years series. Each novel is a standalone and can be read independently of each other. They do progress chronologically, so reading them in order may help with historical context. My group is going to read book 1, Egypt’s Sister, next year. I look forward to another great story from Hunt.


Audience: adults.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


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