Every once in a while you run across a book that completely takes you off guard and leaves you breathless. Claudia: Wife of Pontius Pilate is such a book. The author has taken a woman that the bible barely mentions and has fashioned a complete story of her life.
Despite her being the granddaughter of the previous emperor Augustus and her seemingly elegant lifestyle, Claudia has not had a very easy life. When she is summoned back to the palace of current Emperor Tiberius, she is forced to leave her mother and grandmother. After two years of living in the heart of Rome, she is informed that the emperor has found a husband for her and she is pleasantly surprised when she is introduced to Lucius Pontius Pilate and finds that there is a mutual attraction. Dare she hope in love?
Lucius Pontius Pilate is a soldier that has seen his share of war and hardships, but when he sets eyes on the lovely Claudia he can barely believe his good fortune. But the couple have barely completed their wedding vows before Pilate is shipped off to Judea as its new governor. After several months of waiting Claudia finally joins her husband, and when their son is born with a deformed foot, Claudia risks everything to take him to the one person who it is said can heal anyone, the Rabbi Jesus. And from that one encounter she begins her journey into her new faith.
I adored the way the author took the fact that when a person encounters Jesus they come away a changed person and applied this to Claudia. The emotional toll on her when her husband condemns Jesus to death and her final realization that this was part of Gods plan and how she tries to help her husband understand this. Her determination to raise her son in her new faith, despite the fact that her husband has all but forbidden her to speak of it. I also really like the fact that she did her best to honor her husband, even when his ways didn't fit into her way of thinking.
This is an epic love story that takes the reader from the palace of Tiberius to the seaside of Judea to the market places in Jerusalem. It is a story that will tug on your heartstrings while leaving you wanting more. The research and the vivid descriptions of the people and the places was magnificent. Be sure to read the author's notes at the end of the book. I put this book in my top 5 for 2013.
Young and beautiful, naive and sheltered, Claudia is only sixteen when she is delivered to Pontius Pilate as his bride.
Having been held prisoner in her villa with her outcast mother since she was a child, Claudia knows nothing of what (or who) waits for her in Israel.
Once married, a dangerous voyage from Italy with her slave girl Hotep as her companion leaves her in a foreign world. This girl is dropped in the midst of a huge, interconnected web of politics and rulers vying for dominance, and she begins to understand that being the wife of Pilate is no simple thing.
On every front, the powers her husband represents clash with the Jewish people he rules over.
The Jews, including the kind midwife who tends Claudia in her labor, worship One God, who is invisible as far as Claudia understands. Pilate scoffs, but is forced to respect the Jew's devotion to their God. They worship Him like He is real.
The Romans, meanwhile, bow to many idols of wood and stone, giving lavish offerings and prayers to their statues, but in their hearts many do not revere the idols.
Claudia's discussions with the Jews she meets about who God is are worth reading and pondering. How do you explain our transcendent, omnipotent, merciful God to someone caught in a false religion? How was God presented to you when you were saved?
Diana Wallis Taylor has changed our mental conception of Claudia from a sparse outline to a richly colored, thickly layered painting with a greater scope and depth of field, including Claudia's youth and her love of life as well as her wrestling with questions of faith.
If you have ever wondered who the woman behind Pilate might have been, this book will leave you with some ideas, and an imagination ready to wonder more about this woman of Scripture.
Thank you Revell and Diana Wallis Taylor for this book!
**Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.**
Diana Wallis Taylor in her new book, "Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate" published by Revell takes us back to Biblical times to give us a look into the life of a Claudia, the wife of Pontius Pilate, at the time of Jesus.
From the Back Cover: In a time of turmoil, one woman will search for love and peace-and find it where she never expected.
Claudia's life did not start easily. The illegitimate daughter of Julia, reviled and exiled daughter of Caesar Augustus, Claudia spends her childhood in a guarded villa with her mother and grandmother. When Tiberius, who hates Julia, takes the throne, Claudia is wrenched away from her mother to be brought up in the palace in Rome. The young woman is adrift-until she meets Lucius Pontius Pilate and becomes his wife. When Pilate is appointed Prefect of the troublesome territory of Judea, Claudia does what she has always done: she makes the best of it. But unrest is brewing on the outskirts of the Roman Empire, and Claudia will soon find herself and her beloved husband embroiled in controversy and rebellion. Might she find peace and rest in the teaching of the mysterious Jewish Rabbi everyone seems to be talking about?
Readers will be whisked through marbled palaces, dusty marketplaces, and idyllic Italian villas as they follow the unlikely path of a woman who warrants only a passing mention in one of the Gospel accounts. Diana Wallis Taylor combines her impeccable research with her flair for drama and romance to craft a tale worthy of legend.
Rome, the Caesars, Pontius Pilate and Jerusalem. This is a time for turmoil, royal intrigue, plots, murders and double-dealings. And into all of this comes a young girl named, Claudia. Eventually she is married off to Pilate and they travel to Jerusalem where he takes his office. There the both of them learn about Jesus. She tells her husband of the dream she had and he ignores her to send Jesus to the cross. Claudia is only mentioned once in the Gospels so Ms. Taylor had a lot of work to do to give us Claudia as a real person with real desires and plans. And she succeeded admirably. Once again Ms. Taylor researched what life was like in Jesus' time and came up with a full picture of what her life might have been like. Of course, this is a work of fiction but based on Biblical events and is a sweet tale of trials, triumphs, and love. And, of course, there is also Jesus appearing in the story. Want to read a good book with events from the Bible woven into it then I recommend this book highly.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
"Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
What an excellent job Ms Taylor did in bringing this story to life. Although Claudia is mentioned in one paragraph in the Gospels, there is also a mention of a Claudia in 2 Timothy, which could be her.
Claudia was portrayed and is believed to be the only daughter of Caesar Augustus. She lived a secluded life until the age of thirteen, as in she never leaves her home. She is then brought to live with the Emperor Tiberius, she will live with him until the right man is chosen for her to marry.
To her surprise she loves the man that is chosen, Lucious Pontius Pilate, and they begin their lives together. There is a lot of good and evil in this book. Of course we know the part that Pilate plays in the death of Jesus. What we don't know is that Claudia becomes a follower.
This book is a real page turner, a wonderful love story, and a powerful telling of the crucifixion of Jesus.
Such a wonderful story of the plots, and murders, and doing just about anything to achieve power. Also the ways of life during this period. Travel along on this journey with Diana Wallis Taylor, you will not be disappointed!
I received this book through the Revell Publishing Blogger Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.