Sprawling, stirring… A fine and noble book.
Hallstrom takes readers to ancient Rome for this compelling tale of a noblewomen whose conversion to Christianity shook the Roman empire. The birth of a son with a deformed leg creates a wedge in the patrician family of Tribune Leo, sending him and his wife Amora on separate paths. Another tragedy strikes, and Leo leaves for Egypt, distancing himself further from his family. Struggling to find comfort, Amora takes on to serve the downtrodden and convert to Christianity, putting herself face to face with Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his nobles. Hallstrom handles the tragic misfortunes of the couple’s life with perception, and a plotline involving Amora’s work for orphans and unwed mothers heightens the tension as she stands against patricians from her own class. Hallstrom writing is impressive, and he brings emotional tangibility and pathos to both his characters and their predicaments, capturing the complexities of the human condition. His portrayal of Amora and Leo is particularly effective, and the interpersonal dynamic between various characters is rooted in reality. Hallstrom skillfully brings the second century Rome to life while delivering a sharp, multifaceted portrait of the rise of Christianity during the later days of Roman empire and how the imperials felt threatened by it. This gripping novel, based on the real-life story of the noblewoman who inspired Justin Martyr’s petition to the Roman Senate makes for a wholly engrossing, page-turning read. The lovers of Christian historical fiction won’t want to miss this immersive and engaging work.
Note: This title is availble free on Kindle Unlimited.
By Grant J. Hallstrom
Pub date September 10, 2020
Price $13.99 (USD) Paperback, $5.03 Kindle edition