Author Angela Hunt brings to life the story of the Maccabees, which took place in the silent years between the Old and New Testaments. She focuses on Judah, whose father designated he lead his brothers and others in resisting the attacks of Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes.
You meet Judah Maccabee when he comes to the rescue of Leah, a young girl tormented by a youthful gang while walking to market. They eventually marry, but she has come from a dysfunctional family, which complicates her relationship with her husband.
I liked the short chapters, which alternate the viewpoints of Leah and Judah. The front of the book includes a map and a listing of the main events of the Maccabean revolt. The five parts of the book are introduced with readings from 1 Maccabees, a book included in the Apocrypha but not the Bible, which solidifies the historical accuracy of the underlying story.
If you enjoy historical fiction, you’ll enjoy Judah’s Wife. I cannot imagine the amount of research needed to remain true to the historical battles and their outcomes. An Epilogue wraps up the story, and the book includes an extensive author’s note of explanation along with discussion questions for small groups. A good read. This is Book 2 or a 3-Book series, but it stands alone quite well. I did not read the other two.