The Centurion’s Wife by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing The Centurion’s Wife Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2009) by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

Davis Bunn has sold more than six million books in fifteen languages in genres ranging from high drama and action thrillers to heartwarming relationship stories. He has three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction. His novels include My Soul To Keep, and Full Circle.  Bunn was named Novelist in Residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University. He and his wife, Isabella, make their home in Florida for some of each year, and spend the rest near Oxford, England, where they each teach and write.

Her first novel, a prairie love story titled Love Comes Softly, was published by Bethany House in 1979; 75 more novels have followed, including eight more in the Love Comes Softly series. Her other series include The Canadian West, Seasons of the Heart and Women of the West. Recent releases include I Wonder…Did Jesus Have a Pet Lamb, a a picture book, and The Song of Acadia series, co-written with T. Davis Bunn.

Janette Oke has received numerous awards, including the Gold Medallion Award, The Christy Award of Excellence, the 1992 President’s Award for her significant contribution to the category of Christian fiction from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, and in 1999 the Life Impact Award from the Christian Booksellers Association International. Beloved worldwide, her books have been translated into fourteen languages.

She and her husband live nearby in Alberta, Canada.


Caught up in the maelstrom following the death of an obscure rabbi in the Roman backwater of first-century Palestine, Leah finds herself  engulfed in her own turmoil– an arranged marriage to the head of the Roman garrison in Galilee, Alban, who seeks her hand to further his own ambitions.

Pilate grants Alban  his request on the condition of ferretting 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.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Centurion’s Wife, go HERE

ANDREA’S COMMENTS: Remember the Case for Christ? Or Maybe the Resurrection Factor? The characters of the novel are digging up much the same material, only they’re doing it in first century Judea in the weeks between the crucifixion on Passover and the birth of the Church on Pentecost. Oh yes, and it’s of course a fun and enjoyable novel rather than potentially boring non-fiction.  The personal conflict serves well to bring the story to life. The most disappointing part is the two don’t quite catch up with Jesus before the Ascension, probably because it’s difficult to get him right. Some of the facts raised question marks in my mind, but most of it bore out. They appeared to be subtly portraying how different witnesses recall the same events differently. The only potential drawback is it very heavy on people standing around talking or thinking about past events, which borders on quite a bit of telling, so it could read slow to some. A few carefully chosen flashbacks might have made some of those passages come alive more.