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My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Nissa is a Jewish woman with a sharp tongue and no hope of marriage. Abandoned by the God she once loved, her only recourse is to depend upon Mouse, the best thief in Jerusalem, to keep her blind brother, Cedron, fed and the landlord satisfied. Longinus is a Roman centurion haunted by death and failure and is desperate to escape the accursed Judean province. Accepting a wager that will get him away from the aggravating Jews and their threats of revolt, he sets out to catch the thieves harassing the marketplace. When a controversial teacher miraculously heals Cedron, Nissa hopes for freedom from her life of lies. But the supposed miracle brings only more misfortune, and Longinus, seeking to learn more about the mysterious healer, finds himself drawn instead to Nissa, whose secret will determine the course of both their futures. Cedron, Longinus, and Nissa are unexpectedly caught up in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. As danger closes in on them from every side, they must decide if the love and redemption Jesus offers is true or just another false promise. How can the so-called Messiah save them from their shackles, when he cannot even save himself?
In this captivating retelling of a classic biblical story, Jesus shocks the town of Bethany with Lazarus's resurrection from the dead, leading Martha--a seemingly perfect woman trapped by the secrets of her past--to hope and a new life.Everyone in Bethany admires Martha--the perfect Jewish woman. She feeds and clothes her loved ones, looks after the family farm, and meticulously follows every precept of the Pharisees' strict laws. But Martha is hiding a secret. At her sister's marriage feast, she gave her heart and her innocence to a young musician who promised to return and marry her, but instead betrayed her love and abandoned her. Seven years later, only two people in Bethany know of Martha's secret sin: her brother, Lazarus, and Simon, the righteous Pharisee to whom Martha is betrothed. When Lazarus falls ill, Martha is faced with a choice: send for Jesus to save her dying brother--risking the wrath of Simon who threatens to betray her--or deny Jesus' healing power and remain trapped in her tomb of secrecy and lies. Meanwhile, on the shores of Galilee, Isa roams the wilderness, tortured by demons and knowing only that someone is waiting for him. When he is healed by Jesus, he finds that seven years have passed since his descent into madness. Isa journeys home to Bethany only to find he is too late to win back Martha's love. When Martha risks all to heal Lazarus, will Jesus arrive in time, or will he--like Isa--come too late?
In the rich tradition of Francine Rivers's Lineage of Grace series, comes a beautiful retelling of the biblical story of the woman at the well--bringing to life this poignant young woman struggling to survive love and heartbreak.For the women of the Samaritan village of Sychar, the well is a place of blessing--the place where they gather to draw their water and share their lives--but not for Mara and her family. Shunned for the many sins of her mother, Mara struggles against the constant threats of starvation or exile. But Mara and her mother, Nava's lives are forever changed with the arrival of two men: Shem, a mysterious and wealthy young man from Caesarea, and Jesus, a Jewish teacher. Nava is transformed by Jesus, with his talk of forgiveness, but his teachings come too late and she is stoned by the villagers for her past sins. Desperate to save her mother, Mara and Shem embark on a journey to seek Jesus' help--a journey that brings unexpected love and hope, despite great difficulties. In The Well, debut novelist Stephanie Landsem brings to life the culture and people of Jesus' day, skillfully demonstrating how redemption can bring about the life-changing effects of forgiveness and love.