- Shanea Goldizen
The first time I read one of Janette Oke’s books I was around twelve years old, and since then, whenever I pick up a book written or co-written by her, I know I am in for a captivating story that has a good plot, romance, and an uplifting message. The Centurion’s Wife, which Oke co-wrote with Davis Bunn, is no exception.
The story takes place in Jerusalem and in the surrounding Judean provinces immediately after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and during its controversial aftermath: his burial, resurrection, and appearances before his disciples. The reader experiences all this through the perspectives of two people: Leah and Alban.
Leah is the niece of Pontius Pilate, but is forced into the life of a servant in his household after the financial ruin of her father. She is to be betrothed and married to the Roman centurion, Alban, whose origins as a Gaul make him an outsider in both Roman and Jewish societies. Both Leah and Alban become swept up in the investigation of the prophet Jesus’ death and the mysterious disappearance of his body.
When they both encounter evidence supporting what they both resist believing, Leah and Alban do not know how to proceed. When they both begin to believe the stories of people who have seen and believed, their individual worlds are in danger, and their life together is threatened by the vengeful Roman leaders whose fears of a revolution may cause them to do anything to keep their wealth and power.
Alternating between Leah’s point of view and Alban’s, the story demonstrates the successful collaboration between two great authors--Bunn and Oke. Book number one in the “Acts of Faith” series, The Centurion’s Wife has this reader going to the library to check out book number two already.