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The Centurion's Wife (Acts of Faith, Book 1) [Hardcover]

By Davis Bunn (Author) & Janette Oke (Author)
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Item Number 172527  
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Item description for The Centurion's Wife (Acts of Faith, Book 1) by Davis Bunn & Janette Oke...

Leah, a young Jewess of mixed heritage, is secretly commissioned to discover the truth behind the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine while also being engulfed in her own turmoil--facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Roman soldier, Alban, who seems to care for nothing but his own ambitions as leader of the Roman garrison near Galilee.

Publishers Description
Janette Oke has dreamed for years of retelling a story in a biblical time frame from a female protagonist's perspective, and Davis Bunn is elated to be working with her again on this sweeping saga of the dramatic events surrounding the birth of Christianity...and the very personal story of Leah, a young Jewess of mixed heritage trapped in a vortex of competing political agendas and private trauma.Caught up in the maelstrom following the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine, Leah finds herself also engulfed in her own turmoil--facing the prospect of an arranged marriage to a Roman soldier, Alban, who seems to care for nothing but his own ambitions. Head of the garrison near Galilee, he has been assigned by Palestine's governor to ferret out the truth behind rumors of a political execution gone awry. Leah's mistress, the governor's wife, secretly commissions Leah also to discover what really has become of this man whose death--and missing body--is causing such furor. This epic drama is threaded with the tale of an unlikely romance and framed with dangers and betrayals from unexpected sources. At its core, The Centurion's Wife unfolds the testing of loyalties--between two young people whose inner searchings they cannot express, between their irreconcilable heritages, and ultimately between their humanity and the Divine they yearn to encounter.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Bethany House Publishers
Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.8" Height: 1.3"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2009
Publisher   Bethany House Publishers
Edition  Reprinted  
Series  Acts Of Faith  
Series Number  1  
ISBN  0764206540  
ISBN13  9780764206542  

Availability  0 units.

More About Davis Bunn & Janette Oke

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Davis Bunn is an internationally-acclaimed author who has sold more than four million books in fifteen languages. He has been honored with three Christy Awards and is a sought-after lecturer on the art of writing. Visit his website at

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Fiction > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction > Historical

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Historical

Reviews - What do customers think about The Centurion's Wife (Acts of Faith, Book 1)?

Semi-interesting...  Apr 6, 2010
This is a book I borrowed from a friend; she said she liked it and thought I would too. I was interested because I haven't read Janette Oke for years - the last time I tried, it was a book by Bunn and Oke, from some American historical series they have. It really dragged and wasn't that memorable so I didn't read any others.

I decided to give the two authors another chance, though, since the story idea seemed so interesting. But it was kind of a disappointment, because:

1. The ending is unsatisfying, and not inspiring enough to make me feel at ease with the loose ends. It feels like the authors just got tired and decided to stop because the story had run out of steam. (It didn't have much steam to begin with, by the way).

2. Characters are poorly developed...I would have liked to have seen more of Procula, Pilate, Alban, Leah, and the followers of Christ. I agree with the professional review that stated that the followers of Jesus were very flat - their personalities consisted of "piety."

3. The romance is undeveloped...and I felt that the characters showed enough promise to have a great love story...but instead we got a story where they fell in "respect" with each other. At least that is the way I saw it. Contrary to other reviewers, I did like Alban and Leah, and was really hoping for a relationship that developed in the book. Perhaps this was a "read between the lines" romance. That might have worked, if this was on the big screen, where we could see facial expressions, etc. like that "The Nativity" movie. Lots of unspoken stuff there. It doesn't work in this book, though.

4. The editing. I have worked as an English teacher and as an editor and I cannot stand when typos are littered through a book. Please, dear heaven, read the book before you send it to the publisher!!! (Or maybe they DID read the book...that means there's no hope, I guess). The typos just make the publishing company look lazy and unprofessional or the authors stupid. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'm not surprised. I'll just go back to my Grammar Club friends and complain, or reread "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves".

It's not a HORRIBLE book. I didn't feel like I wasted my time, but I doubt that I will read any of the rest of the series.
New Life in an Old Story  Apr 3, 2010
This book was a wonderful surprise in both its accuracy in utilizing the Biblical account, as well as its mastery in enlivening the recorded events pulled from the Bible by weaving in the fictional story of Leah. I have read these parts of the Bible more times than I can count, but this novel made the events fresh and exciting, as if I were living in the time period and watching them first hand. It made me realize as I read it how much I take for granted in having the completed Bible, which those first believers did not have. I could relate quite easily to some of the characters, especially the portrayal of Mary Magdalene. I also especially loved how the authors described the scene at Pentacost, as well as the allusions to the wedding in Revelation using Leah's wedding plans.
This book is the first book in the series Acts of Faith, which I like because not only are all the loose threads not accounted for, but also because I would love to see other Biblical characters portrayed by these authors, such as Paul. I look forward to continuing the series with the next book, The Hidden Flame.
This is how Christian fiction should be written, in my humble opinion. The beliefs and doubts of the characters are real and believable - even to the point of looking messy and contradictory. Their faith hasn't been softened and molded by political correctness, too afraid to quote more than a few fee-good verses from Psalms or even use the name of Jesus. A Christian is not a one-dimensional type-cast description, and neither should the characters in a Christian fiction novel be.
I learned a few things along the way...  Jan 8, 2010
I just finished reading The Centurion's Wife, literally, and I really, really enjoyed it! I have read a lot of historical fiction lately, and this book was by far the most compelling and faith-inspiring of them all.

I have read a number of Janette Oke's books, but was not fond of her combined works with Davis Bunn. However, the topic of this book was intriguing, the time surrounding Jesus life is so interesting to me. I am so glad I gave this book a try! The story was fascinating and beautifully written, and the ending includes a well-done account of Pentecost.

While it is fiction, I always find it interesting to learn about history, especially the history of the Bible, in this manner. I know the nature of the genre is to embellish and change some things around for the plot and for our modern understanding, but I don't expect it to be 100% accurate. I do expect to learn something new, though, something that helps me understand that time in history better. This book delivers - I learned a lot about interesting cultural customs and lifestyles of the time of Christ. I now understand more about the Jewish betrothal process. While I was reading about Leah & Alban's betrothal, a lightbulb came on in my head regarding the betrothal of Mary & Joseph before the birth of Jesus, which makes much more sense to me now. And that's what I love about historical fiction from Biblical times, I feel like it helps the Bible itself come alive, so that when I go back to The Word and read, the people and God's message seem to be more clear to me.

The Centurion's Wife  Jan 1, 2010
I've been reading Janette Oke since I was a kid and was really excited to receive this book from the [...] Early Reviewer giveaway. I love this time period, and felt like this book should have been a lot better than it ended up being.

I loved Alban His characterization seemed spot on with what I have learned in my history classes. I felt much more connected to him than I did Leah.

Leah's characterization made me hate her throughout the book. She did not ring true to a proper Roman lady, no matter what her circumstances. A high born Roman lady, especially in this time, would have known her place and not complained so bitterly about an arranged marriage. There were rarely any love matches made, as marriage was seen as a way to build alliances between the power players of the time. Her constant harping on her sister's (and her) situation made me question just how much time Oke spent researching her background materials when she set about writing her portions of the novel.

Overall, this lack of forethought in regards to Leah made me want the book to be over much more quickly than it was. What was a good premise was ruined by the obvious lack of historical research.
Simply Marvelous  Dec 25, 2009
I've just recently started getting into Christian fiction and picked it up whilst on sale. I finished it within a couple of days and cannot wait for the next! I really enjoyed how it has a tinge of romance but the focus is mostly on the main characters finding Jesus. I also really liked how both characters couldn't just 'know Him' straight away. They had to look and search and want Him with all their hearts - which is the same for all of us today. Negatively the book was slow paced and I think alot more could have happened - but I spose that's what the next book is for!!
If you are looking for Christian fiction thats focus is mainly on Christ not just on romance, this is one for you!

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