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Review-"The Hidden Flame"

Review--"The Hidden Flame,  Book 2-- Acts of Faith"by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke
Bethany House Published 2010, 394 pages

Link to book:
http://www.bethanyhouse.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=0477683E4046471488BD7BAC8DCFB004&nm=&type=PubCom&mod=PubComProductCatalog&mid=BF1316AF9E334B7BA1C33CB61CF48A4E&tier=3&id=A9373872FF1948C98D2DFCE7C0790462

This book was provided for free to me by Bethany House for the purpose of reading/reviewing. 





"The Hidden Flame" is the story of the early Church and specifically of a young woman named Abigail. The time period is shortly after Jesus' ascension into Heaven. Abigail is the main character and she has a  teenage brother named Jacob that she is guardian of. Abigail is a beautiful and gracious woman, she is meek and compassionate, kindhearted and gentle, she has a servant' heart. She works along side Martha of Bethany in preparing meals and housekeeping duties for the disciples. Abigail feels a growing angst for her brother that is growing in to a young man. He has ambitions that may put him in conflict with the beliefs of The Way. Abigail's leg was injured in an accident, yet she does not complain, and she fulfills her responsibilities. There are two men that wish to marry Abigail; Linux a Roman soldier and Ezra a widower that is tightly associated with the Sanhedrin. Abigail is in a dilemma, neither man is of The Way.

I loved book 1 in this series "The Centurion's Wife", and I was anticipating book 2. I missed reading more about the main characters that were in book 1, Alban and Leah--their story played a minor part in book 2.
I did enjoy the story of Abigail; I was sympathetic to her life and her problems. She seemed on the exterior to be a meek and docile woman; yet the pain and physical handicap in her life gave grit to her character. Abigail at times seemed as if she would have liked to fade in to the background of her environment, she is uneasy with her physical beauty and her handicap. Instead, the other characters notice her servants heart and her graciousness.
I felt the character Ezra was depicted accurately, but the character Linux being a Roman soldier I expected him to be more course, crude, aggressive, and dominating. A Roman soldier was trained since an early age to be a soldier--to kill with indifference and without emotion.
Other well known characters known to us from the New Testament are introduced, as well as stories from the book of Acts such as Ananias and Sapphira.
It is must be arduous to write a historical fiction story about the early Church, the disciples, apostles, and be in agreement with the Bible. I felt that both the fictional characters and the story was in alignment with the Bible.
My favorite character in the book was Martha of Bethany, she was so accurately portrayed in "The Hidden Flame" that I expected her to walk out of the book and start cooking in my kitchen!
The book gave a memorable and moving story of the early Churches faith, obedience to the Lord, fear of  unknown terrors and persecutions, and living each day in His will.

Book 1 in "Acts of Faith, The Centurion's Wife" was a 2008 Top Pick Winner. The book is available at the following link.
http://www.bethanyhouse.com/ME2/Audiences/dirmod.asp?sid=0477683E4046471488BD7BAC8DCFB004&nm=&type=PubCom&mod=PubComProductCatalog&mid=BF1316AF9E334B7BA1C33CB61CF48A4E&tier=3&id=752FA8200766458180F9260EA3349C4A




Blissful Reading!
Annette

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