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When Heaven Weeps (Martyr's Song, Book 2) Paperback – Deluxe Edition, May 26, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Heaven Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews


"Tim Gregory captures the essence of Dekker's story of war and peace, love and loss. Drawing clear definitions of the characters, Gregory displays his talents with soft intonations for the priests, harsh and gruff accents for the soldiers, a sweet tone for the women, and even innocent voices for the children. Portraying the main character, Jan, from his early years at the end WWII in Bosnian territory to his later years as a writer, Gregory projects the pain that Jan experiences when the brutality of war comes back to haunt him in the company of an evil that must be defeated. Dekker’s story is complicated, making this production best for the seasoned listener." 
J.E.   © AudioFile Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Since 1997, Ted Dekker has written full-time. He states that each time he writes, he finds his understanding of life and love just a little clearer and his expression of that understanding a little more vivid. Dekker's body of work includes Heaven's Wager, When Heaven Weeps, Thunder of Heaven, Blessed Child, A Man Called Blessed, Blink, Thr3e, The Circle Series: Black, Red, White, Green (a prequel), and Obsessed.

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 28, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849942918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849942914
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,031,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
WHEN HEAVEN WEEPS is one of the more powerful novels that I've read in the past few years. The second book of The Martyr's Song series, it is basically a 20th century re-telling of the Biblical story of Hosea.
Jan Jovic was a Bosnian soldier in World War II. His troop happened upon a small village where the people were led by a godly man name Father Michael. A confrontation between Michael and Karadzic, Jan's commanding officer, escalated into a terrible tragedy where Michael and a small child named Nadia show Jan the true meaning of the love of Christ in the sacrifices that they make. Jan's eyes are opened and his life will never be the same.
Flash foreword to the sixties and Atlanta, Georgia. Jan has written a story retelling the story of Nadia and Father Michael entitled THE DANCE OF THE DEAD. The book became a best seller and Jan has turned his life into a ministry, desiring to show the world what the love of Christ truly means. About to be engaged to his manager, Karen, his life is turned directly upside down one day when he happens upon a junkie named Helen, who is fleeing from her lover (who also happens to be a very dangerous underworld figure). What ensues basically follows the plot of Hosea. Jan unavoidably falls for Helen and Helen responds in kind but she continues to be drawn to her past, and thus becomes unfaithful to Jan multiple times over.
In Hosea, God commanded Hosea to take a prostitute as his wife and to love her. The prostitute's unfaithfulness to Hosea was a graphic example of Israel's unfaithfulness to their lover, God. In WHEN HEAVEN WEEPS, the character of Helen represents each of us -- and therein lies the power of the story. WHEN HEAVEN WEEPS is remarkable in that it is quite graphic in its description of sin.
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Format: Paperback
When Heaven Weeps, is a love story dually set in a Balkan village near the end of World War II and America in the late 60's. The story of ex-Serbian solider Jan Jovic and his courage to learn why loving is dying. The story of Helen, a drug and sex addicted prisoner of her needs and the struggle to receive unconditional love. Finally, it is also the unforgettable story of Ivena, who as a young mother watched her child and most of her village die simply to fulfill a twisted soldier's game. This very game of death and love played expertly first by Ivena's daughter, then by Helen and Jan, knits this novel into a masterpiece of Christian fiction.
I picked up this book to read because of three things. One was this sentence on the back, "dive into a romantic thriller like none you've ever read. Drink deeply of a love that will bring a tremor to your bones. Go ahead, it's your turn to play the game. But remember... There is a price. And no one could possibly prepare you for that price." I love books based on relationships and I am absolutely fascinated by thrillers. I had no idea what I had begun. This book not only fulfilled my thirst for a relationship based book with a thrill aspect but it delivered. It changed my thinking. It tightened my belief system. It left me asking months after I read this book "Do I believe and live what I say I believe."
Secondly the author's note at the beginning of the book shared a very critical letter written by someone regarding this authors first book in the Martyr's Song series. The criticism was based on bringing an experience from the bible into present day perspective. I had not read the book but was intrigued by the idea of the author being satisfied with this criticism.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Dekker's first book, but felt he was pushing a little, still stretching his wings. Boy, this book takes flight and never comes down. Dekker tells a gripping story and peoples it with characters we love or hate. On top of the captivating tale, he manages to weave in a powerful symbol of God's love and sacrifice for His Bride, the Church. Usually, this type of symbolism becomes heavy-handed and overpowers the use of a real plot and believable dialogue. Here, Dekker pulls it all off with masterful ease and entertains us just long enough for us to let our guard down...then he slams his point home. I've read few novels this well-written.
Some minor glitches: one character pulls on Nikes years before they were developed (I grew up in Eugene, OR...I should know). Big deal, right? But it did remind me it was all a story right in the middle of getting hooked. Dekker also loves to say "spiked." As in "his heart spiked." This started to jump out at me after a while. Last complaint...my copy was missing pages 313-344! A printing error, I guess. And right in the middle of the last quarter of the book...aggh. Once I found a complete book, I was greatly relieved.
Don't miss this book. Don't miss this author's writing. And don't miss the point. "When Heaven Weeps" it's because God loves His people and will do whatever it takes to prove that love. Ted Dekker does his best to weave a beautiful and suspenseful tale. I'll have to read this one again.
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Format: Paperback
Although this story takes place in 1964, there is a "story within a story" in Book One that, to me, was the most emotional, heart-wrenching part of this whole novel. It hearkens back to World War II era Bosnia where a troop of soldiers, led by the unspeakably evil commander Karadzic, descends upon a peaceful village, turning a child's birthday party into a cruel, degrading, bloody "game". The depth of love confronting evil nearly brought tears to my eyes, and nothing that came afterward in the book had quite the same impact, although parts of it came close.
Jan, a soldier who defied Karadzic and spent five years in prison as punishment, comes to Christ and writes a bestselling book about the incident. Now living in America (Atlanta, to be precise), he is engaged to his beautiful and intelligent publicist, and is poised to make millions on a proposed motion picture based on his book. Then he "rescues" a drug-addicted young woman in the park, and his cozy world begins to get turned upside down. Foolishly and recklessly, he falls in love with her. This is a love he tries desperately to fight, but he cannot, because this love comes from God. Significantly, this is a love that scandalizes the evangelical establishment. Complicating matters is that Helen, the young woman, is torn between the unconditional love showered upon her by Jan and her love and craving for drugs, a craving that keeps her coming back to Villain #2, the evil and powerful Glenn Lutz.
"When Heaven Weeps" is based on the book of Hosea and the Song of Solomon from the Old Testament. It is symbolic of God's extravagent, almost foolish love for His people.
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