In the Bible, this character has no name, but we know who she is. In the last chapter of Romans, the Apostle Paul sends her a greeting because he loves her like his own mother. Simon, her husband, is the last person who performs an act of kindness for Christ before the crucifixion. Her two sons, Alexander and Rufus, appear to be leaders in the early church. It seems she spends her later years in Antioch, home of the first people called Christians.
History has remained silent about this astonishing woman. Abi of Cyrene, an imaginative novel about Simon's wife, uncovers her life as it might have been.
Before moving to Cyrene, she is a young Nubian archer, living near the Nile in the ancient land of Nobatia. The name Abi, meaning her father, alludes to her greatest need, to be loved by a father. The man who contributed to her biological parentage beats and belittles her. Melech, a eunuch slave, loves her as a father should.
The rabbi in her hometown of Meroe tells Abi not to pray to the Father in Heaven, because she is a woman. She prays anyway in every crisis, and she receives blessings. As life's journey takes her from one culture to the next, can her hopes be realized?
Abi of Cyrene, beautifully written and believable, takes the modern listener on a fast-paced adventure through ancient lands.
©2015 Mary Lou Cheatham (P)2015 Mary Lou Cheatham
This was a very good read and a great story of faith. It was great to see Abi and Simon both develop as husband and wife and as Christians through the book.
Cheatham must have spent days researching the world she leads us through in ABI...a good performance by the reader, too, makes it hard to put this down.
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