Having grown up with an abusive father, Leah sees her marriage to Judah Maccabaeus as a means of escape. Determined to please her strong, yet gentle, husband, Leah works hard and eventually finds a level of peace, safety, and contentment outside of her father's home and the walls of Jerusalem. Just as she begins to trust that God has delivered her from a marriage like her mother's, however, Judah's devout family becomes embroiled in a rebellion against Antiochus IV. Leah struggles to rationalize the need for violence against their oppressors and even fellow Jews who have turned away from the Law. How can she love a man who leads a violent revolt? Why did God choose her, of all people, to be the wife of a commander?
Angela Hunt brings to life yet another fascinating piece of history in Judah's Wife. Much as she did in Egypt's Sister-- the first in her Silent Years series-- Hunt uses the historical fiction genre to tell stories about people and places most modern Christians know very little about. Hunt's portrayal of the Maccabean revolt from an insider's perspective was masterfully accomplished. Leah's inner struggle to come to terms with God's will in her life and for His people, as well as her own journey to understand the nature of real love were equally beautiful. While the love story between Judah and Leah was more satisfying than the virtually non-existent one in Egypt's Sister, I still could have done with more. I realize that history-- rather than romance-- play the larger role in Hunt's works, but the amount of time Leah and Judah actually spend content in their marriage was short, and a bit rushed. While I understand their importance, and appreciate the historical accuracy involved, I also admittedly grew tired of-- and even resorted to skimming through-- the many, many battle scenes depicted in the novel. Overall, I enjoyed Hunt's latest, and look forward to future additions to the Silent Years collection.