I love history, but one of my least studied eras was ancient and biblical history. I’m finding a very fun way to explore the past through historical novels. Since my daughter is studying this era of history more extensively this year I have been drawn to these novels lately.
The re-release of Tracy Higley’s novels has been exciting for me as she was previously unknown to me. This follow-up to City on Fire: A Novel of Pompeii is an excellent way to delve into the early church and understand how difficult it was to be a Christian at the beginning of the church age. We take this for granted and I often don’t think about.
While the historical elements were fascinating and have inspired me to learn more about this ancient city, My favorite part about this novel was Cassia’s journey to salvation. I love novels where the main characters are changed by the end in one way or another. I love how the presentation of the gospel to her was laid out by the believers simply by living their lives with her. There is much to be said for living our lives in this way, the way Christ did.
I also like that although there is romance involved in this story, it is not the central motivating factor for the character’s actions. I enjoy romance, but when the motivations of the main characters are always based on their emotions toward their love interest, I quickly lose interest. Higley’s novels are never like this. The romance is secondary and the plot is primary. Too bad more author’s don’t think this way!
Even if you haven’t ever tried a historical novel or one in the biblical genre, I encourage you to pick up this one. It’s a great one to delve into and includes suspense and unexpected twists and turns along the way!