I assume you read the blurb, so I won't repeat what was said there, but let me say this. People of the Book is not a book for those who are searching for a cotton candy read. This is a book about faith, choices, jealousy, belonging, and longing. Each of the main characters must make a choice which will impact their lives and well being, forever. Will they make the right choice? What will the consequences be?
While this book is fiction, once again, Kathi Macias has woven a story based upon real life which grabs our attention and compels us to question our own dedication to our Lord Jesus Christ. I heartily recommend this book.
What do you do when what you've most believed in changes?
Farah Mohammed Al Otaibi wants nothing more than to develop a deeper devotion to her Muslim faith. During the month of Ramadan, she hopes she will get her chance to draw nearer to Allah. Then the prophet Isa (Jesus) appears to her in a dream and calls her to Himself. A favorite of her father, he has allowed Farah many liberties, much to the anger of her brother, Kareem. He feels his father is too weak with the women. But Farah is certain even her loving father would not tolerate her accepting Isa as more than a prophet.
Farah's cousin Nura has already begun to consider that Isa may be more than her Muslim faith indicates. Nura explores the possibilities in an online chat room where she corresponds with Sara, a girl of Muslim ancestry who lives in the United States. Sara's family has converted to Christianity, and she shares the message of Jesus's salvation with Nura. When Farah approaches Nura to talk about her dream, the two girls are happily connected by their new discoveries; though they know if their infant faith were discovered, it would be disastrous for both of them.
As Farah's, Nura's, and Sara's worlds collide, a jealous brother seeks to uncover Farah and Nura's secret, while Sara experiences a crisis of faith.
Kathi Macias continues to amaze me. I've read her fiction and her nonfiction, but I have to say that with her Extreme Devotion series, and People of the Book especially, she has outdone herself. Not only did she tackle the timely issue of honor killings, she created a powerfully told story, written by her masterful hand, that captivates the reader from the very first page.
The characters truly make this story all that it is. You have Farah who is called by Isa (Jesus) in a dream, throwing everything she has ever believed about her Muslim faith into an uproar. Nura has secretly been participating in a chat room to learn more about Isa. Both girls, know, however, that if they are discovered, it will mean death. Nura's friend, Sara, is on the other side of the world. When her once easy life is turned upside down, she's no longer sure of the faith she has been sharing with Nura.
Not only these characters, though. You have Kareem, who has always been jealous of Farah. He's willing to do whatever it takes to discredit her to their father. You also have Sara's brother, Emir, who makes some unwise choices that come with a very high price tag.
Macias connects all these lives so well. I couldn't put the book down. I went to bed late many nights reading this one.
This book follows three teens on opposite sides of the world: cousins Farrah and Nura in arid, Muslim Saudi Arabia, and Sarah in rainy, "Christian" Washington State. All of the action occurs during the latter part of the sacred, Islamic month of Ramadan.
The three girls share a connection that older generations never had: the internet. In chat rooms, they converse about life, family and God, though separated by thousands of miles.
The girls grow in their faith and encourage each other in the midst of family tragedies. They may never meet face to face on earth, but they will be together forever in God's house.
This is a strongly missional book. It is a timely reminder that every follower of God is on mission for Him in this world.
The devotional life of an elderly widow plays a growing role in the story until it becomes essential to the climax. This precious, "senior saint" exhibits an inspirational and intimate walk with her Savior that invites imitation.
The author's portrayal of Saudi Arabia during Ramadan feels authentic. She includes details about rituals, customs, and clothing that bring the story to life, although the sights and sounds are slightly muted and could use more local color.
Theologically, the author strongly believes that Jesus speaks to people today through dreams and visions. Central to the story is a visitation by Isa (Arabic for Jesus) to one of the girls, resulting in her eventual conversion.
This story is about two Muslim teen-agers living in Saudia Arabia and one teen-ager living in the United States. Nura and Farah (from Saudia Arabia) are cousins. Nura and (Sara, from the United States) have been corresponding via a chat room. Sara has been chatting with Nura about Jesus. Nura has been taught to belief that Isa (Jesus) was a mere prophet of Allah, nothing more. So Nura is very intrigued with Sara's Jesus as being the Son of God. Sara is hoping that Nura will come to know Jesus. Farrah on the other hand is a very devout Muslim and is hoping for a touch from Allah during Ramadan. Farah at one point has a vivid dream about Isa (Jesus) and now she is confused and has many questions but no one to talk to about her dream. Nura and Farrah will eventually pay a price for standing up for their convictions. I can not remember when a story has touched me in an almost disturbing way. I had never heard of "honor killings" before, and to be truthful I am appalled that they exist in the world today. I feel this story challenges and inspires us to be the faithful Christians that we ought to be. We need not fear for standing up for what we believe in. This story will shake you to the very core. It needed to be written and I thank Kathi Macias for doing such a great job. I can't wait to read more of Kathi's books!
Matthew 5:10 states: "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." This is exemplified in Kathi Macias's book, People of the Book. Kathi vividly shows the price two young women, Farah and Nura, pay for seeking the truth and ultimately worshiping Isa Masih, Jesus Christ. They live in Saudi Arabia, where Christian faith marks them as traitors to Islam. However, Jesus encourages them through an online chat friend, Sara and quiets their spirits through His still small voice. The constant tension of these young women struggling with their faith and the realization they could be killed if anyone finds out makes this a page-turner. I highly recommend this book!