BREAD OF ANGELS
by Tessa Afshar
Tyndale House Publishers
PB, 384 pages
Anyone who enjoys a strong, independent heroine and a dash of biblical romance will enjoy this book. Bread of Angels reveals the story told in Acts about Paul’s first convert in Europe. Although a standalone novel, readers of Tessa Afshar’s Land of Silence would enjoy this book and its references to that novel.
Grief. Betrayal. Shame.
In this new novel, an endless cycle of fear has held Lydia in its relentless grip for as long as she can remember. When lies and heart wrenching betrayal result in her father’s death and force Lydia to leave her home, she must forge a way for herself in a society where men rule. Braving the tragedy of her past and the fear of possible failure, Lydia steps into her father’s shoes and continues to create the deepest, richest purple dyes and cloths. Although she grew up in the trade, Lydia struggles to earn her place in the textile industry as a single woman. Through her fierce determination and with some help from a few friends, Lydia slowly carves out her place in the business world of Philippi.
Years pass, and she becomes a profitable, well-known businesswoman. Although it seems she has succeeded, Lydia cannot shake the bite of fear in her soul. When ruinous secrets from her childhood threaten her future, Lydia fears the life she’s made will fall apart, but then a riverside prayer meeting changes her life forever. Paul tells her of the gospel. The story of God’s love softens her heart and drives away her imbedded fear. But when her enemies close in, they threaten Paul’s safety as well. As Lydia’s new beliefs are tested, she must find the courage to face her fears and face down her enemies or lose everything she has fought for and now believes in.
The paralyzing grip of fear is familiar to us all. This book shows how God’s love conquers all fears. Our modern world is trained to ignore the looming shadow of fear, yet fear runs rampant. From childhood monsters to the fear of losing a loved one, fear festers in the souls of most people. As Christians, we have a vague idea that we should cast our worries on God, but it is hard to put into practice. Lydia’s relatable story gives us hope by watching her rely on God’s perfect love to face her fears and defeat them.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Hartmann, a professional writing major at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.