Christian fiction, Fiction, historical fiction

Biblical Fiction

These historical fiction selections explore the lives of biblical figures, some well-known and some lesser-known. From Lazarus, to Jesus’ family, to Noah’s wife, these stories offer a deeper perspective on familiar lives. Recommended by Ashley Lewis.

A Light on the Hill

A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette 
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large print book
hoopla ebook 
RbDigital audiobook
Seven years ago, Moriyah was taken captive in Jericho and branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods. Now the Israelites are experiencing peace in their new land, but Moriyah has yet to find her own peace. Because of the shameful mark on her face, she hides behind her veil at all times and the disdain of the townspeople keeps her from socializing. And marriage prospects were out of the question . . . until now. Her father has found someone to marry her, and she hopes to use her love of cooking to impress the man and his motherless sons. But when things go horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee. Seeking safety at one of the newly-established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face, and the enemies–and unexpected allies–she will encounter on her way. 

Daughter of Rome

Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar 
hoopla ebook 
A woman with a devastating secret. A man bent on proving his worth. A chance encounter that catapults them into the heart of history. 

When the daughter of a prominent Roman general meets a disinherited Jewish immigrant, neither one can dream of God’s plan to transform them into the most influential couple of the early church. Nor can they anticipate the mountains that will threaten to bury them. Their courtship unwittingly shadowed by murder and betrayal, Priscilla and Aquila slowly work to build a community of believers, while their lives grow increasingly complicated thanks to a shaggy dog, a mysterious runaway, and a ruthless foe desperate for love. But when they’re banished from their home by a capricious emperor, they must join forces with an unusual rabbi named Paul and fight to turn treachery into redemption. 

With impeccable research and vivid detail, Daughter of Rome is both an emotional love story and an immersive journey through first-century Rome and Corinth. 

Esther

Esther by Angela Hunt 
hoopla ebook
When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people. When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king’s heart and a queen’s crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king’s permission to exterminate all Jews – young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people…and bind her husband’s heart. 

Title details for Isaiah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews

Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews 
book
Overdrive ebook 
In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah’s household rises to capture the heart of the future king. 

Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name—Zibah, delight of the Lord—thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet’s home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah’s lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah’s favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation. 

Sinners and the Sea by Rebecca Kanner 
large print book
hoopla audiobook
While the fate of the world rested on Noah’s shoulders, the survival of the human race rested on hers. The young heroine in Sinners and the Sea is destined for greatness. Known only as wife in the Bible and cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, this unnamed woman fated to become the mother of all generations after the great flood lives anew through Rebecca Kanner. The author gives this virtuous woman the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories come alive like never before. Desperate to keep her safe, the woman’s father gives her to the righteous Noah, who weds her and takes her to the town of Sorum, a haven for outcasts. Alone in her new life, Noah’s wife gives him three sons. But living in this wicked and perverse town with an aloof husband who speaks more to God than to her takes its toll. Noah’s wife struggles to know her own identity and value. She tries to make friends with the violent and dissolute people of Sorum while raising a brood that, despite its pious upbringing, develops some sinful tendencies of its own. While Noah carries out the Lord’s commands, she tries to hide her mark and her shame as she weathers the scorn and taunts of the townspeople. But these trials are nothing compared to what awaits her after God tells her husband that a flood is coming and that Noah and his family must build an ark so that they alone can repopulate the world. As the floodwaters draw near, she grows in courage and honor; when the water finally recedes, she emerges whole, displaying once and for all the indomitable strength of women. Drawing on the biblical narrative and Jewish mythology, Sinners and the Sea is a beautiful account of the antediluvian world told in cinematic detail. 

The Family of Jesus

The Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury 
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book on CD
hoopla ebook 
hoopla audiobook 
America’s favorite inspirational novelist offers a fictional view of six of the family members of Jesus, all anchored by Scriptural truth, creating a life-changing and unprecedented emotional connection to the Bible. 

Through The Family of Jesus, readers will develop an emotional connection to the family members of Jesus, learning about their lives and falling in love with Scripture along the way. 

Bible studies and devotionals abound, and in churches everywhere people gather to seek a deeper understanding of God’s Word and its application to their lives. But too often these studies engage only the analytic approach to Bible learning. In The Family of Jesus, Karen Kingsbury will make you laugh, cry, and ultimately care more deeply about the Bible by helping you grasp the truths in Scripture not just with your mind, but with your heart. 

The characters in these short stories were among those closest to Jesus – Mary, Joseph, Jesus’ brother James, John the Baptist, Zechariah and Elizabeth. Each has a compelling tale to tell. Kingsbury intersperses fictional, emotionally gripping details anchored in Scripture with historical and theological insights and questions that will guide soul-searching and reflection. 

The Legend of Sheba

The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee 
hoopla audiobook 
Her name is legend. Her story, the epic of nations. The Queen of Sheba. 

There is the story you know: A foreign queen, journeying north with a caravan of riches to pay tribute to a king favored by the One God. The tale of a queen conquered by a king and god both before returning to her own land laden with gifts. That is the tale you were meant to believe. Which means most of it is a lie. 

In the tenth century BC, the new Queen of Sheba has inherited her father’s throne and all its riches at great personal cost. Her realm stretches west across the Red Sea into land wealthy in gold, frankincense, and spices. But now new alliances to the North threaten the trade routes that are the lifeblood of her nation. Solomon, the brash new king of Israel famous for his wealth and wisdom, will not be denied the tribute of the world-or of Sheba’s queen. With tensions ready to erupt within her own borders and the future of her nation at stake, the one woman who can match wits with Solomon undertakes the journey of a lifetime in a daring bid to test and win the king. But neither ruler has anticipated the clash of agendas, gods, and passion that threatens to ignite-and ruin-them both. An explosive retelling of the legendary king and queen and the nations that shaped history. 

The Dog Who Was There

The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco 
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large print book
hoopla ebook 
hoopla audiobook 
Relive the story of Easter through the eyes of man’s most faithful friend . . . No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah. He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley’s eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we’ve never experienced before. 

Barley’s story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver’s home and through the dangerous roads of Roman-occupied Judea. 

On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told. 

Redeeming Grace

Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith
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large print book 
hoopla ebook 
RbDigital audiobook
When famine visits Bethlehem, Boaz holds out hope for rain while his relative Elimelech moves his wife Naomi and their sons to Moab. For a while, it appears the Lord is blessing Elimelech’s family, and his sons marry two lovely Moabite women. But calamities strike, one after another, leaving Naomi alone in a foreign land with only her childless daughters-in-law for comfort. When news reaches Naomi that the famine in Bethlehem has lifted, only Ruth will hazard the journey to her mother-in-law’s homeland. Destitute and downhearted, Naomi resigns herself to a life of bitter poverty, but Ruth holds out hope for a better future. And Boaz may be the one God has chosen to provide it. Combining meticulous research with her endless imagination, Jill Eileen Smith gorgeously renders one of the most beautiful stories in Scripture. Readers will adore this third installment of the inspiring Daughters of the Promised Land series. 

When Jesus Wept

When Jesus Wept by Bodie Thoene 
hoopla ebook 
The life of Lazarus holds interest well beyond this miraculous event. Living in Bethany, near Jerusalem, Lazarus witnessed many of the most important events of Jesus’s life and ministry. Lazarus owned a vineyard and devoted his life to caring for its vines and fruit. But he encountered another man, Jesus, whose vineyard was the world, its fruit the eternal souls of men. When Lazarus’s story and the story of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection touch in When Jesus Wept, we are offered a unique vision into the power and comfort of Christ’s love. Brock and Bodie Thoene’s most powerful and climactic writing project to date, When Jesus Wept, captures the power and the passion of the men and women who lived through one of the most important days in the history of the world. 

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