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Lydia, Woman of Philippi Kindle Edition
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Lydia, Woman of Philippi is one of the better books I have read in a while. It tells the life story of Lydia, the seller of purple cloth mentioned in the Biblical book of Acts. The author re-imagines the choices that led Lydia to become a business owner (in a time when woman did not hold such positions) and to become a follower of Christ as a result of Paul's preaching in Philippi.
It is an inspiring story. Lydia has a lot of obstacles to overcome, but with God's help she succeeds. It is also a very feminist story. As a woman in that time period, Lydia was not supposed to have the skills, knowledge, or ability to own and run a business. In fact, if other people discovered that it was indeed her that ran it, her business would probably crash. But Lydia pushes forward anyway and does what she needs to. That feminism comes with a price, however. She is so determined to stay out from under a man's control and prove herself worthy that she refuses to see the love that she and a man have for each other. Both independence and submission have to be tempered in order to have a successful marriage or, really, any kind of relationship with the opposite sex.
There was one thing I did not like about this book. It had to do with the way the characters shared the gospel. It made it seem as though the way a person becomes a follower of Christ is through a formulaic prayer that a person has to be led through. Really, it sounds like a spell, as in, "say the magic words and you will be saved." But that's not what Christianity is about. When one believes in Christ as one of the three parts of God and as the Savior of their sins (yeah, they do have to admit they sinned), then they are saved. It is belief, not prayer of magic words, that bring Salvation. Though prayer is definitely important to one's relationship with God. The presentation of Salvation through a specific prayer just rubbed me the wrong way in this book.
I really liked this book. I enjoyed watching Lydia grow from a timid girl to a strong woman of faith. I recommend it to fans of Biblical fiction.
I received a complementary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
There are some things in this book that bothered me and did leave me lacking. The time jumps in the beginning were a bit jarring. I realize that they were necessary to get to the heart of her life but they didn’t feel well setup. The other biggie was the constant repetition. The same story told in the same way chapter after chapter. The same story of his experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus. The same story equating Jesus on the cross to the Passover lamb. The same conversion, the same prayer, the same everything. The same story so many times, chapter after chapter. It felt like it was a copy and paste from one telling to the next. I almost felt like it was NANO and word count was what mattered. I feel like so much depth could have been added by variances. Of referencing without retelling. It would have left so much open to deeper character development and story progression.
I feel like the story of Lydia was window dressing on what could have been an amazing story. The back story was here but was missing the depth. The idea of her running her business behind the curtain was surface for what could have been a deeper dive into the story, the characters, and the location. I loved the interlacing of her family, the good and the bad. I loved her independence and her strength. Lydia, in this book and in the Bible, has a lot to teach us. But like Christ, only if we are open to the learning.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by CelebrateLit. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Most recent customer reviews
Lydia has a great love for Adonai, a gift from her mother who is Jewish.Read more