A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Published by Whitaker House on October 3rd 2017
Source: Celebrate Lit
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Historical, Religious, Romance
Smart, strong, and a follower of the Jewish God, Lydia has nonetheless always quietly conformed to the expectations of the wealthy Roman society surrounding her. Even though married off at fifteen to a man she dislikes, she is determined to be a faithful wife. But when her husband is killed some years later, Lydia vows never to remarry and returns to her father's house in Thyatira with her twelve-year-old daughter. There, a new life begins to emerge. //
As she is trained in the family dye business, Lydia’s shrewd management quickly creates profit, prestige—and envy. At odds with her jealous brother, who is a staunch Roman and can't understand her obsession with the Jewish religion, Lydia finds herself yet again at the mercy of a patriarchal society. Will fleeing to Philippi be enough to protect herself and those under her care? Will she keep her vow to widowhood when a handsome Greek God-fearer turns out to be more than just an employee? And when she meets a strange man named Paul the apostle by the river one Sabbath day, will Lydia have the courage to once more let her life be dramatically changed—this time forever?
Lydia, Woman of Philippi tells the story of New Testament Lydia, a woman who specialized in purple dyes and was a convert of Christianity.
I loved this cover, it really captured the character. Absolutely gorgeous! I’ll admit that I picked up this book because of the cover and the character but I really had a hard time with this book. Which super bums me out because I wanted to love it.
I had several big issues:
1. This book is dialogue heavy. While dialogue tends to read fast for many, it bogs me down. I want to be pulled into a scene. I want to know what a character if smelling, seeing, touching and feeling. The back and forth dialogue needed more balance with narrative and action.
2. Once converted, Lydia became quite preachy to everyone she encountered. Yes, I think we should spread the good news of God’s love but the plan of salvation need not be outlined three times within a couple of chapters. These elements felt inorganic and forced.
3. The pacing was at breakneck speed. The story moved very quickly from Lydia’s youth to adulthood and then middle age in a rather rapid manner. In this manner, I felt as if Lydia aged as rapidly as a simulated life model. One chapter she was giving birth and then by the next she was nearing the end of her childbearing days. It all just felt so rushed. There needed to be more narrative to catapult Lydia from point A to point B.
This story has promise. It has a good premise and interesting characters. I just feel that there should be a better balance to the story elements.