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Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar: A Book Review

Daughter of Rome
Author: Tessa Afshar
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Biblical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Release Date: 2020
Pages: 416
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: A woman with a devastating secret. A man bent on proving his worth. A chance encounter that catapults them into the heart of history.

     When the daughter of a prominent Roman general meets a disinherited Jewish immigrant, neither one can dream of God’s plan to transform them into the most influential couple of the early church. Nor can they anticipate the mountains that will threaten to bury them. Their courtship unwittingly shadowed by murder and betrayal, Priscilla and Aquila slowly work to build a community of believers, while their lives grow increasingly complicated thanks to a shaggy dog, a mysterious runaway, and a ruthless foe desperate for love. But when they’re banished from their home by a capricious emperor, they must join forces with an unusual rabbi named Paul and fight to turn treachery into redemption.

    With impeccable research and vivid detail, Daughter of Rome is both an emotive love story and an immersive journey through first-century Rome and Corinth, reminding readers once again why Debbie Macomber has said that “no one brings the Bible to life like Tessa Afshar.”

     My Review: Priscilla and Aquila were very influential leaders in the early Christian church. Even though they are mentioned in the Bible and helped strengthen Christian churches, we still do not know much about them. Mrs. Afshar has created an origin story for both Priscilla and Aquila. Daughter of Rome tells the story of how Priscilla and Aquila met and fell in love. It also follows their first years of their marriage.

     Even though I have read about Priscilla and Aquila in the New Testament, I never really pondered their backgrounds. However, Mrs. Afshar made me want to learn more about this couple. In this novel, Priscilla is a Roman noblewoman. Her father has passed away, and she lived with  her cruel brother. Priscilla has committed a devastating sin, and this sin leads her to turn to Jesus. I admired Priscilla's goodness. She is very caring. I also loved Priscilla’s forgiveness to those who have done her wrong. Thus, I admired her love and commitment to God.

     Aquila is also a very compelling character. He had a harsh past. He was a wealthy Jew. However, her father disowned him because Aquila decided to be a follower of Jesus. He was also rejected by his first love. Eventually, his love for Priscilla helped him overcome his painful past. There were a few times that I did not like him because he was very judgmental. However, he manages to overcome his prejudices. He is a very steadfast follower of Jesus. I also loved his goodness and compassion for helping others. Thus, he made a good partner for Priscilla. I could see why they were so admired that their influence made many people convert to Christianity.

     Overall, this novel is about healing, compassion, and home. The message of this book is to forgive and love yourself because God loves you. I really like all the characters, especially Marcus, Lollia, Rufus, and Antonia. I also liked how we get to revisit a few characters from the previous novel, The Thief of Corinth like Theo and Galenos. My favorite scene in this novel is when Priscilla and Aquila meet Paul of Tarsus! I also like how Mrs. Afshar has made both Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece come alive. My only complaint about this book was that it moved very slowly at times. Nevertheless, Daughter of Rome is a very thought-provoking retelling of the lives of both Priscilla and Aquila! I recommend this novel for fans of Priscilla and Aquila, Phoebe, and Unseen Love!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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