Blog Tour: The Fisherman's Bride: The Untold Story of the Wife of Simon Peter by Catherine Magia: A Book Review

The Fisherman's Bride by Catherine Magia
Publication Date: November 2, 2016
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC, CreateSpace
Kindle & Paperback; 240 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Biblical Fiction/Christian Literature
Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
READ AN EXCERPT.



Synopsis: She has no name. She is not even a footnote. Her tale is hidden behind the well-told fable of her husband, the man who would become Simon Peter, the first Apostle.

     Cast off by her family after shunning a wealthy suitor to marry a humble fisherman, her life is fraught with hardship. She endures her husband’s growing restlessness, fish shortages from the Sea of Galilee, and the oppression of an all-powerful Roman Empire over her people. Then her life is forever changed when her dying mother is saved by a miracle performed by a young carpenter—a man who speaks with understanding and acts with compassion. A man who can inspire the extraordinary.

     Simon Peter lives on in history as the undaunted martyr of the carpenter. This is the untold story of his young bride. Her journey traverses villages and deserts, love and tradition, and a brewing revolution, to an awakening of faith that challenges everything she has ever known.


     My Review: The Fisherman’s Bride tells the story of Apostle Peter’s wife. The unnamed protagonist is the daughter of Ephraim, a fisherman. One day, her father decides to marry her to a wealthy man. She tells her problem to Simon, an apprentice to her father. On the day of her betrothal, Simon shows up and contests for her hand in marriage. Ephraim’s daughter must make a tough decision. Her father states that if she marries Simon, she will be disowned. She reluctantly decides to marry Simon and is cast out of her house. Simon’s wife soon faces obstacles in the marriage. One day, she meets a man named Jesus. She is fascinated by this man because he is kind. He performs an impossible miracle on her dying mother that makes her grateful to him. As her marriage crumbles before her, she must make a choice to decide if she wants to follow him.


     Simon’s wife is a strong protagonist. I liked that she is unnamed in the story. This is because it not only symbolizes her anonymity, but it also shows how women were viewed at the time. Her name relies on her husband and is overshadowed by him. Yet, she is a woman of strength and resilience. She endures many hardships in her marriage with Peter. It is because of the cruelty of her world and society that she is drawn to Jesus. He is a man who is compassionate towards her and understands her. It is Jesus’s kindness that is her salvation. Thus, Peter’s wife is a character readers empathize with and hopes she finds her happiness.

     
    Overall, this is a story about first love, loss, and redemption. The Fisherman’s Bride was a breathtaking journey about faith. I also thought it was an interesting retelling of Jesus’s early ministry from the perspective of a woman who is not mentioned in the Bible. The story was very well-written and did a great job of portraying the daily life of women in Israel. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that it was too short, and I did not want it to end. Still, I'm excited that there will be a sequel, and I'm eagerly awaiting it! This is a book not to be missed by fans of Biblical and Christian fiction. I recommend this book for fans of Rebecca Kanner, Jill Eileen Smith, and Suzanne M. Wolfe.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Praise


     “Catherine Magia has penned a moving Christian story that transcends religious boundaries–a novel that occupies the rare space between the historical and the Biblical realms. At once speculative and interpretive, Magia’s vigorous first-person narrative of St. Peter’s wife makes a compelling case for the life, motivation and spirituality of a minor, nameless Biblical character. An ambitious and impressive debut.” -Andrew X. Pham, author of Catfish and Mandala and The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars

     “Right from the start, the evocative and compelling tone of The Fishman’s Bride casts its line and draws in readers with a deftness that borders on enchantment. Perhaps this is because Catherine Magia uses an uncommon perspective and outsider’s view of events. And, by ‘outsider,’ this means observations that come from beyond Jesus’ inner circle, yet are closely connected by love and association. Also included in the saga are stories of fortunes made and lost, faith thwarted and regained, fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the impact of social and political change upon entire communities. Catherine Magia’s attention to embracing the extent of daily living in Biblical times, from different methods of preserving fish to different attitudes encountered during their travels, brings the story to life.

     Readers of Christian literature and Biblical retellings will find this story a powerfully written, compelling account of the impact of Jesus on all layers of society, narrated from the eyes of an outsider to his central group of believers who uses the ordinary life experiences of an unnamed wife to chronicle an extraordinary journey of love, faith, and miracles.” -D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review.


About the Author


     Catherine Magia was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to New Jersey as a teenager. Although her formal education was in the hard sciences, Catherine has always maintained a passion for the written word, publishing her poetry in several literary journals including the Michigan Quarterly Review.

     She discovered the voice of Simon Peter’s wife on a soul-searching journey, a trek through the biblical lands of Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. She spent seven years researching and writing her debut novel, traveling as far as Ephesus, Turkey.

     She is working on her second book – the conclusion to The Fisherman’s Bride.

     By day, she works as an associate director of marketing research in the development of new cancer medications. She is currently based in Boston.

    For more information please visit Catherine Magia's website and blog.


Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, April 17 
Kick Off at Passages to the Past 

Tuesday, April 18 
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective 

Wednesday, April 19 
Excerpt at Broken Teepee 

Thursday, April 20 
Review at A Chick Who Reads   

Friday, April 21 
Spotlight at The Paperback Princess 

Saturday, April 22 

Review at Rainy Day Reviews 

Monday, April 24 
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books 

Tuesday, April 25 
Interview at Books, Dreams, Life 

Wednesday, April 26 
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation 

Thursday, April 27 
Review at Pursuing Stacie 

Friday, April 28 
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog 
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog 

Monday, May 1 
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing 

Tuesday, May 2 
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews 

Wednesday, May 3 
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook 

Thursday, May 4 
Review at Just One More Chapter 

Friday, May 5 
Review at Unabridged Chick


Giveaway


To win a copy of The Fisherman’s Bride by Catherine Magia, please enter via the Gleam form below. Two copies are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


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