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Daniel L Carter
4 Stars Out Of 5
September 25, 2010
Daniel L Carter
The Journey Begun is book 1 of A Prophet's Tale by Bruce Judisch. I don't normally read historical fiction but because this story was about Jonah from the Bible I threw caution to the wind and read it. The story is about a prophet of God named Jonah (yes Jonah and the whale) and his life right after God has called him to preach repentance to Nineveh.... Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you."Now for my review of this story. Like I said earlier I am not a historical fiction buff and rarely read these types of stories but... I was most pleased with this read. Mr. Judisch takes us into this man's head and heart as we follow his inevitable experience of being swallowed by a whale and his repentant heart. There are a few side stories with the boat crew members and such but mainly we follow Jonah throughout the book. I will say that the story was a bit slow for me initially but about halfway through Mr. Judisch opens up the story to a whole other level by introducing us to the demonic powers over the region and a unique subplot to keep Jonah away from his calling. I truly wish that Mr. Judisch had included much more of this subplot throughout the book because it ultimately defines the struggle that Jonah is going through between his personal prejudices and his willingness to surrender to God's will for his life. As a rating I give The Journey Begun an ENJOYED for anyone who loves historical fiction or biblical stories. Good job Mr. Judisch. I look forward to finishing book 2.Blessings,Daniel L CarterAuthor of The Unwanted Trilogy(Ratings are MUST READ, ENJOYED, ALRIGHT & WASTE OF TIME.)
I finished THE JOURNEY BEGUN and its prequel, BEN AMITTAI, shortly before Christmas 2009. I HAD to read them then even though I didn't really have the time because they were/are so compelling and rewarding! If you've read LLoyd C. Douglas's Biblical novels, you'll better understand what I mean when I say I like author Judisch's novels for the same reasons I like Douglas's Biblical ones. Judisch's writing style is so rich and lush -- I don't know how else to describe it. Sometimes I reread passages just to feel and hear again the beauty and power of his word selections and combinations. Plus I was fascinated with how he developed one of my favorite Bible characters, Jonah (whom I've researched extensively), and his environment. There were other characters who caught me too, like Moshe, a rugged, loyal, inspiring warrior of Israel. Nor did Judisch's female characters disappoint me! For example, I lived Abigail's life with her because of the way she was portrayed. I'm already recommending Judisch's novels to my friends and book clubs (I belong to four)! Nor could I resist plugging his novels here. For the record, I've never met author Judisch (although we have exchanged several emails because of his books). And I purchased his books.
A brother lost to the sword of a scarlet-clad Assyrian and now Yahweh wants Jonah to go preach repentance to them? Unthinkable! Jonah knows his God too well not to understand that if they DO repent He will forgive them. A story of the struggle with forgiveness. And a reminder of the ripples that flow out from each of our lives. Each action, good or bad, carries a consequence. What I loved about this book were the characters the author surrounds Jonah with. There is Omar the ship's owner just trying to make one last voyage on his seemingly cursed ship, Shem the ship's captain who's seen a lot of storms but none like the squall that blows in on his last voyage, Simon a sailor who hasn't been home in 12 years, Moshe an old soldier too frail for war but not too frail to do one last battle for a little girl. And then there is Jonah himself. You will see a lot of yourself in the prophet as he tries to escape an inescapable God. Well worth the read. I suggest you pick this book up.
Jonah revealed as the world has never seenJonah learned a lot while studying the insides of a great fish. Mr. Judisch gives us the gift of a novel that ensures that message is not lost on us. This Jonah is real flesh and blooda reluctant prophet, whose family and friends cant understand him, and who in his rush to escape God, cuts a swathe of pain and suffering from Gath-hepher to Joppa. We know the narrative of Jonah, but The Journey Begun gives us a real life Jonah. We know about the great fish, but we didnt understand the sailors, the captain, the owner, or the ship on which Jonah sailed. Now we know. The Journey Begun brims with the times of ancient Israel circa 700 BCE. It resonates with wonderful characters who orbit the simple life of the prophetthe simple life of a man who speaks for God, and who has advised Kings. Jonah didnt want to bring a message of redemption to the Assyrians. He ran from his calling, and The Journey Begun gives us in wonderful clarity the details of his escapeand the beginning of his return. Unfortunately, The Journey Begun ends with Jonah on his way, finally, to Nineveh. You like me will want to read the next book as soon as it is available from OakTara: The Word Fulfilled.