The Maccabees lived in the silent years between the Old and New Testaments. Not much is known about them except for commentary in the Apocrapha, which is not part of the canon of Scripture. They were faithful Jews who tried to protect the tenets of their faith in the years leading up to the birth of Christ.
Angela Hunt has done a masterful job of making this time in history come alive. She bases her story on real people—the family of the Maccabees. But she adds supporting figures to develop the struggles these people surely faced. I loved learning more about this important time in history and its impact on a dedicated community of faith.
The back of the book, published by Bethany House in 2018, includes an Epilogue, which explains the true ending of the story. In her Author’s Notes, Angela Hunt explains her approach to writing the novel. There is also a set of Discussion Questions for those leading book clubs.
I appreciated this novel because I knew about the Maccabees but knew little about their day-to-day activities and the thoughts behind their actions. Hunt also does a good job of subtly bringing in the issue of abuse and its surprising long-term impact on families. A good read. And more good news is, this is part of a series.