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The Apostle's Sister

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Aya, daughter of Zebulon of Tarsus, does not want a traditional life. Because she has always lived in the shadow of her brilliant brother, she wants to use her gifts and be something more than a wife and mother. When her traditional father insists she marry Avidan, a Torah student, she reluctantly agrees, but when Avidan leaves for Jerusalem, she seizes an opportunity to f Aya, daughter of Zebulon of Tarsus, does not want a traditional life. Because she has always lived in the shadow of her brilliant brother, she wants to use her gifts and be something more than a wife and mother. When her traditional father insists she marry Avidan, a Torah student, she reluctantly agrees, but when Avidan leaves for Jerusalem, she seizes an opportunity to fulfill her deepest yearning, realizing she may never have another chance to do so. After moving to Jerusalem, she expects to be bored in her role as wife to a Torah student, but finds herself fascinated by her husband's studies. And when her brother Sha'ul makes a life-altering decision, she finds herself faced with a troubling question: How can she remain true to all she's been taught since infancy and still love her blasphemous brother?


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Aya, daughter of Zebulon of Tarsus, does not want a traditional life. Because she has always lived in the shadow of her brilliant brother, she wants to use her gifts and be something more than a wife and mother. When her traditional father insists she marry Avidan, a Torah student, she reluctantly agrees, but when Avidan leaves for Jerusalem, she seizes an opportunity to f Aya, daughter of Zebulon of Tarsus, does not want a traditional life. Because she has always lived in the shadow of her brilliant brother, she wants to use her gifts and be something more than a wife and mother. When her traditional father insists she marry Avidan, a Torah student, she reluctantly agrees, but when Avidan leaves for Jerusalem, she seizes an opportunity to fulfill her deepest yearning, realizing she may never have another chance to do so. After moving to Jerusalem, she expects to be bored in her role as wife to a Torah student, but finds herself fascinated by her husband's studies. And when her brother Sha'ul makes a life-altering decision, she finds herself faced with a troubling question: How can she remain true to all she's been taught since infancy and still love her blasphemous brother?

30 review for The Apostle's Sister

  1. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    AD 30. The story brings two parallel stories of brother and sister. They both get married and arrive in Jerusalem, first Sha’ul with his wife, then Aya with her husband. Aya’s future was decided for her at sixteen. She didn’t want to marry, but she also didn’t have a choice. She didn’t want to follow the role of Jewish women, be an obedient wife, bear her husband’s children, and her own desires would not matter. But she couldn’t openly voice it with her father. Thus, she was forced to follow the AD 30. The story brings two parallel stories of brother and sister. They both get married and arrive in Jerusalem, first Sha’ul with his wife, then Aya with her husband. Aya’s future was decided for her at sixteen. She didn’t want to marry, but she also didn’t have a choice. She didn’t want to follow the role of Jewish women, be an obedient wife, bear her husband’s children, and her own desires would not matter. But she couldn’t openly voice it with her father. Thus, she was forced to follow the path. However, with her strong personality when opportunity presents to be her own person in some measure, she seizes it. Their lives are set against the time when Yeshua of Nazareth and his followers continue coming back to Jerusalem. Their increasing influence is seen as potential for trouble. The story is well-embellished with religious observations, festivities and traditions. It has a good flow and has interesting aspects to it. However, I didn’t feel a strong connection and it’s due to the style of writing. It’s mostly telling, not showing. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kristianne

    Touching and convicting, The Apostle’s Sister follows Paul’s sister Aya as she discovers her place in the world and learns how to find beauty amid the ashes of disappointment and grief. It’s not a story driven by high-paced action and gripping tension, but rather a deeply soulful tale about a woman much like you and me who learns that the only one who can satisfy her heart is the One who walks the valley with her. Perfect for fans of heartfelt biblical fiction, this story is a gentle yet powerfu Touching and convicting, The Apostle’s Sister follows Paul’s sister Aya as she discovers her place in the world and learns how to find beauty amid the ashes of disappointment and grief. It’s not a story driven by high-paced action and gripping tension, but rather a deeply soulful tale about a woman much like you and me who learns that the only one who can satisfy her heart is the One who walks the valley with her. Perfect for fans of heartfelt biblical fiction, this story is a gentle yet powerful exploration of human suffering and God’s purpose in it. Characters: Aya was a strong female character, but not in the way that is so often portrayed in fiction. Her strength was the inward, non-flashy kind. The quiet kind of courage that refuses to give up in the face of defeat, but shines like a jewel in the night. That’s what I loved most about her. I instantly connected with her over our shared love for music and desire to be more than just a homemaker. Don’t get me wrong—I greatly desire to be a mother someday, but I also want to make room for my writing and music. However, I appreciated that while Aya was a woman ahead of her time in many ways, she was still respectful of her parents’ wishes and obedient to HaShem’s will for her. That kind of submissive sacrifice of one’s own desires is deeply admirable and something we need to see more of in YA fiction today. Another thing I loved about her—she didn’t have the exuberant, dominant personality traits that we so often see in character roles that push the bounds of society. She was gentle, thoughtful, selfless, and didn’t seek the spotlight. And that, I think, made her all the more multi-faceted and interesting. Of course, she still had plenty to learn throughout the story, but her maturity at such a young age stands out as a shining example young people should follow. I also found it fascinating to get a glimpse into what the personality and life of the apostle Paul might have been like before his conversion, especially why he might have decided not to marry (possibly a second time). I especially found it insightful how his zeal for the Law transferred over to his zeal for Yeshua and Christianity. He was such a good big brother to Aya—always encouraging her in her music and offering her sound advice. I would have liked to have seen more of him after his conversion though. Plot: While some readers might find the plot on the slow side, it’s a beautiful, masterfully woven testimony to the working of God, dramatically culminating in the moment Aya sees Yeshua for who He is. While there is a good amount of action and excitement to keep you reading, it’s the deep character insights and moving portrayals that will draw you in on every page. The historical detail was well-executed. I found the musical elements especially fascinating since I knew very little about biblical instruments. The carefully-placed details added depth and color to Aya’s world and a fascinating window into early Christianity. I did find a few mistakes about biblical characters that stuck out to me, but for the most part, the story seemed well-researched. Themes: Life often doesn’t go the way we imagined, and The Apostle’s Sister explores that reality honestly, while showing us that it doesn’t have to end in bitterness and disappointment. This story is a touching reminder that God is active and present in every part of our lives, using even the blackest threads to lovingly weave a masterpiece. It’s an invitation to trust, to place our hand in His, and allow Him to lead us wherever He would have us to go even when it’s different from our plans. As Aya’s mother says, “When HaShem closed a door, He opened a window.” Aya longed to be seen. She longed for others to see her as more than what society expected of her. To see her gift and to know her for who she really was. To see her pain and walk with her in it. She found all that in Yeshua. “I weep with you,” Yeshua told Aya. And He does the same for us. I appreciated that Aya’s change of heart happened gradually. Her story is a beautiful testimony to how God uses scores of “coincidences”, encounters, and people in our lives to reveal the truth and slowly chip away at the walls we have built around our hearts. And because of those threads woven so carefully throughout the story, her conversion at the end was all the more powerful because it only made sense for it to happen. If there’s one thing I take away from this story, it’s this: that while God does not always take away our pain, He always walks through it with us. With Aya, I hope to say, “I would trust that everything in my life, even the suffering and waiting, was for God’s glory. So others might believe.” Content: (view spoiler)[Two wedding nights are briefly described, but nothing is explicit. A woman dies in childbirth, and the embalming process is briefly described. (hide spoiler)] *I received a complimentary e-ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    What a wonderful story set in Bible times. The author takes us on a journey with Paul and his sister from Tarsus where they were born to Jerusalem. Not only a richly atmospheric tale but also documenting their faith journey using existing scriptures and filling in with very plausible scenarios. I felt like I was right there with them. Ms. Hunt is very adept at bringing the scriptures to life and connecting the Old Testament with the New, putting the words of the Bible into the mouths of the char What a wonderful story set in Bible times. The author takes us on a journey with Paul and his sister from Tarsus where they were born to Jerusalem. Not only a richly atmospheric tale but also documenting their faith journey using existing scriptures and filling in with very plausible scenarios. I felt like I was right there with them. Ms. Hunt is very adept at bringing the scriptures to life and connecting the Old Testament with the New, putting the words of the Bible into the mouths of the characters. She gives a glimpse of what life was like in Jerusalem around the time of Jesus ministry, death and resurrection, the conversion of Saul and many others. Interesting to me was the description of Saul and his education and installation into the Sanhedrin and the Jewish traditions and culture of the times. I recommend this for all who enjoy Biblical Fiction and a well-written story about early Christian faith. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through their review program. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erin Laramore

    Another wonderful biblical historical novel by Angela Hunt! This is the 4th book in the Jerusalem Road series, but is not connected story-wise to the others, so it can definitely be read on its own. They are connected solely as taking place in the time of Jesus's ministry and immediately following. This one follows Aya, the Apostle Paul's sister. Though her name is never given in scripture (and so that was fictional), we do know that Paul had a sister because her son learned of the plot in Jerus Another wonderful biblical historical novel by Angela Hunt! This is the 4th book in the Jerusalem Road series, but is not connected story-wise to the others, so it can definitely be read on its own. They are connected solely as taking place in the time of Jesus's ministry and immediately following. This one follows Aya, the Apostle Paul's sister. Though her name is never given in scripture (and so that was fictional), we do know that Paul had a sister because her son learned of the plot in Jerusalem for his life and told Paul and the Roman guard. Knowing he had a sister and speculating on what her life must have been like as being the sister of the young member of the Sanhedrin whose zeal persecuted members of The Way to being the sister of one who converted to following Yeshua was something I hadn't considered. Aya has always lived in Saul's shadow, both because he was firstborn, but also because he was intelligent and ambitious and climbed the ranks quickly to get to the scholar status he did when he became a persecutor of Christians. In this story, Aya longs to be a singer and use the gift HaShem has given to her, but because she is a woman, she is expected to marry and bear children. I enjoyed watching her goals change and her character grow and develop throughout the story and through various hardships. I enjoyed seeing her mother's advice play out for her as well and see how she grew to appreciate being a wife and mother. In addition, I enjoyed learning more about Tarsus and its demographics and how that played both into Paul's Roman citizenship, but also how he related to the Gentiles. There was a lot of good history in this one that I'd taken for granted in my Bible reading. As always in Biblical fiction, I encourage fellow readers to read the author's note at the end which tells what was factual and what was fiction in the story and to always lean upon the actual Bible as their source of truth. I think this one is my favorite of this series and I really enjoyed learning more about Jerusalem in the time of the early church and learning more about where Paul came from and speculating how his choices impacted his family. If you enjoy Biblical fiction, this is one I'd definitely recommend! Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this novel. I was under no obligation to provide a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    It is always a real treat to read Angela Elwell Hunt books. She brings out details of the culture and interweaves a complex but simple character. All of it is relatable and all of it turns you to the scriptures. At the end of the book, Angela will share the research that was done in weaving this beautiful story of Saul (who later was called Paul) and his sister. The narration is done between brother and sister Aya during the time of Jesus' ministry and beyond. If you recall, Saul is the one that It is always a real treat to read Angela Elwell Hunt books. She brings out details of the culture and interweaves a complex but simple character. All of it is relatable and all of it turns you to the scriptures. At the end of the book, Angela will share the research that was done in weaving this beautiful story of Saul (who later was called Paul) and his sister. The narration is done between brother and sister Aya during the time of Jesus' ministry and beyond. If you recall, Saul is the one that prosecuted and killed many Christians. You are brought back in time of the Jewish culture. The privilege of being a Pharisee/teacher of the law, marriage and the traditions of faith. In those times and for the safety of of Jewish women, families would arrange marriages. Aya wanted something more. She loved her music and felt God had given her a gift to share. The contrast between her parents wishes and her own desires played out and it gave the reader a sense of what was at stake. The relationship between Aya and her brother was of adoration and then when Saul had his encounter with Christ, it had changed. The narration also includes the scriptures that reveal who Jesus was and how difficult it was for the Jewish people to see their redeemer. A book like this only increases your desire to know Christ more and that God is good. It connects the dots to Old Testament to New. Highly recommend. A special thank you to Bethany House and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paperbacks

    This is the fourth book in the Jerusalem Road series, although I've heard that they can be read separately and don't connect. I have not read the others in the series, but since I've read this one I will definitely pick up the rest of the series to read. I really loved Angela Hunt's character and story building, she really brought to life these characters of the Bible and I was engrossed for almost 2 days straight. I love that Biblical fiction has given us a look into these people's lives and enc This is the fourth book in the Jerusalem Road series, although I've heard that they can be read separately and don't connect. I have not read the others in the series, but since I've read this one I will definitely pick up the rest of the series to read. I really loved Angela Hunt's character and story building, she really brought to life these characters of the Bible and I was engrossed for almost 2 days straight. I love that Biblical fiction has given us a look into these people's lives and encourage us to dig deeper into God's Word. Aya's character growth was truly inspiring, I loved how she really wanted to be a musician but when it didn't work out or things went differently she felt that God maybe had other plans for her. I love how she discovered her true purpose in life. How we can be many things and have many jobs and it doesn't mean we haven't found our purpose. Just that the Lord might have more than one path for us, or He needs us in different places at different times. It took me awhile to realize the character of Sha'ul was Paul in the Bible (because of the Old spelling of Saul), but I loved seeing his point of view and how he was so set in his ways of the Old laws of Moses and could not believe what these new "followers" were believing about the Messiah. He took a long road of learning and having faith, but it's all God's timing and His plan. I really loved this story so much, thank you to Baker Publishing for blessing me with a copy for review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This is another wonderful historical fiction book by Angela Hunt. This time she is telling about Paul's life through the eyes of his sister. Angela;s books bring the Bib;e to life Her research into the culture of the time and the Jewish law is spot on. I learn so much from these novels because it helps me understand how the people lived, what they ate, that their day looked like, what the locations in the Bible are all about etc. And even though I am very familiar with the Bible story, there is This is another wonderful historical fiction book by Angela Hunt. This time she is telling about Paul's life through the eyes of his sister. Angela;s books bring the Bib;e to life Her research into the culture of the time and the Jewish law is spot on. I learn so much from these novels because it helps me understand how the people lived, what they ate, that their day looked like, what the locations in the Bible are all about etc. And even though I am very familiar with the Bible story, there is still a story told here that is not famliar and "old hat." I have voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that I received from NetGalley. All views expressed are only my own honest opinion.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elly

    The Apostle’s Sister is one of the best Biblical fiction novels that I’ve read in a long time. Both thoughtful and deep, it kept me immersed in Sha’ul and Aya’s lives right through to the very last page! I loved being able to delve into the lives of the apostle Paul and his sister and follow their journeys from legalistic Jews to believers in Christ. What a fascinating time and culture! I cannot say enough just how thoroughly I enjoyed this unique story! I did not read the first three books in The Apostle’s Sister is one of the best Biblical fiction novels that I’ve read in a long time. Both thoughtful and deep, it kept me immersed in Sha’ul and Aya’s lives right through to the very last page! I loved being able to delve into the lives of the apostle Paul and his sister and follow their journeys from legalistic Jews to believers in Christ. What a fascinating time and culture! I cannot say enough just how thoroughly I enjoyed this unique story! I did not read the first three books in the Jerusalem Road series before reading this one, as they seemed to be totally unrelated and I did not deem it necessary. And this story did indeed stand on its own two feet, without giving me the feeling that I was missing anything. This was my first Angela Hunt novel, but it certainly will not be my last! This author has captivated me with the depth of her research, the strength of her storytelling and the boldness of her faith that shines throughout her writing. I will be on the lookout for more of her books to enjoy in my future reading endeavors! (p.s. Be sure to read the Q and A at the end for some fascinating reasoning and explanations related to the story!)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cathryn

    Loved it! I’ve not read biblical fiction and I regret not trying it sooner. I really feel like I have a better connection with Paul after reading this book. I was amazed at all the research the author must have done to share the cultural specifics she did. I learned a lot about Jewish life and customs. Aya dealt with so much and I liked her strength. All the characters were well developed and there were not any lulls in the story. It was a joy to read! My husband is probably sick of me talking a Loved it! I’ve not read biblical fiction and I regret not trying it sooner. I really feel like I have a better connection with Paul after reading this book. I was amazed at all the research the author must have done to share the cultural specifics she did. I learned a lot about Jewish life and customs. Aya dealt with so much and I liked her strength. All the characters were well developed and there were not any lulls in the story. It was a joy to read! My husband is probably sick of me talking about it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Betti

    “He saw my past and present, good and bad, and yet in his eyes I saw forgiveness and patience and longing…..” Aya is a young girl that is not much different than most young girls. She has hopes and dreams and wonders if any of them could possibly come true. Her brother, Sha’ul (Paul) is very smart and has been a Torah student since he was ten years old. With all his knowledge, he would never make the wrong choice, would he? Will marriage bring their separate hopes and dreams to life? The Nazarene, “He saw my past and present, good and bad, and yet in his eyes I saw forgiveness and patience and longing…..” Aya is a young girl that is not much different than most young girls. She has hopes and dreams and wonders if any of them could possibly come true. Her brother, Sha’ul (Paul) is very smart and has been a Torah student since he was ten years old. With all his knowledge, he would never make the wrong choice, would he? Will marriage bring their separate hopes and dreams to life? The Nazarene, Yeshua, seems to be gaining a great deal of support - how can those who are true to the law and the prophets stop this sect from getting bigger? Gaining support from the Great Sanhedrin, some are sent out to do just that. Would they succeed in stopping this fire from growing? This fourth book in the Jerusalem Road was received through Bethany House and Baker Publishing Group. These thoughts and impressions are my own and were in no way solicited.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    The Apostle’s Sister is another in a series of captivating biblical stories. Angela Hunt does a fantastic job of presenting the depth of characters and their development as well as their relationship with each other. The historical and biblical accounts presented in this book are thought provoking. The author shows a respect for family tradition and cultural values and the struggles that the individuals have reconciling those values that conflict with new spiritual understanding. This book will The Apostle’s Sister is another in a series of captivating biblical stories. Angela Hunt does a fantastic job of presenting the depth of characters and their development as well as their relationship with each other. The historical and biblical accounts presented in this book are thought provoking. The author shows a respect for family tradition and cultural values and the struggles that the individuals have reconciling those values that conflict with new spiritual understanding. This book will strengthen your faith and your walk with Yeshua

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Angel Hunt is a talented writer who can spin a scripturally accurate, engrossing, and creative Biblical fiction story. I was excited to receive a review copy of The Apostle’s Sister. The book does not disappoint. Aya, the sister of Sa'ul of Tarsus, feels overshadowed by him and wants to make her way in life by using her beautiful voice to sing. Instead, she marries a Torah student in obedience to her parents. Her comfortable world changes when her husband decides to move to Jerusalem so that he c Angel Hunt is a talented writer who can spin a scripturally accurate, engrossing, and creative Biblical fiction story. I was excited to receive a review copy of The Apostle’s Sister. The book does not disappoint. Aya, the sister of Sa'ul of Tarsus, feels overshadowed by him and wants to make her way in life by using her beautiful voice to sing. Instead, she marries a Torah student in obedience to her parents. Her comfortable world changes when her husband decides to move to Jerusalem so that he can study the Torah. Aya settles in, makes friends, and joins the Temple’s women’s choir. Saul’s conversion to Christianity threatens her family's standing in their community. Follow Aya through changes in her life ...birth, loss, death, life...and her relationship with her brother Sa'ul, the apostle Paul. This is the best of Angela’s Jerusalem Road Series, Be sure to read this book. You will not be disappointed.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Susan Feaster

    The Apostle’s Sister is the fourth book in Angela Hunt’s Jerusalem Road series, but can easily be read on its on. This is the parallel story of Aya and her brother Sha’ul, whom we know better as the Apostle Paul. This is an interesting fictional account of what their lives might have been like. It is full of Jewish festivities and traditions common to that era. Fans of Biblical fiction are sure to love this one. I received a copy from the publisher and Net Galley. The opinions are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The Apostle's Sister by Angela Hunt is a cornucopia of possibilities that look behind the curtain of the Apostle Paul's life and his sister's. Call me shocked, but I did not realize Paul had a sister! It is such a brief mention in the Scriptures that you almost pass by it (Acts 23:16). Kudos to the author for developing a rich story that was entertaining and informative. I greatly appreciated the look at Jewish life, the prayers, the rituals and, more importantly, the glimpse into the Scriptures The Apostle's Sister by Angela Hunt is a cornucopia of possibilities that look behind the curtain of the Apostle Paul's life and his sister's. Call me shocked, but I did not realize Paul had a sister! It is such a brief mention in the Scriptures that you almost pass by it (Acts 23:16). Kudos to the author for developing a rich story that was entertaining and informative. I greatly appreciated the look at Jewish life, the prayers, the rituals and, more importantly, the glimpse into the Scriptures that all point to Jesus as the Messiah. Filled with wonderfully detailed observations, the author has captured Paul's life before he found Jesus. The transformation is all the more poignant when we can take that journey with him. Each chapter flips between Paul (Shu'al) and his sister Aya. They come from a devout Jewish family rooted in Pharisaic traditions. We get inside Paul's mind, but we also look at his sister, who is struggling to fulfill her heart's desire (to sing) while obeying the Law and its many rules. As the book progresses and Paul turns from persecuting Christians to becoming one, Aya struggles with how to deal with her blasphemous brother. Aya's gripping story will have readers rooting for her to succeed in her music and believe in Jesus as the Messiah. While this is the fourth book in the Jerusalem Road series, it can be read alone. If you like Biblical fiction, you will want to read this one. I highly recommend it! I received a review copy from Bethany House through NetGalley for my honest opinion.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tayler Carlisle

    As with all of Angela Hunt's books the reader is swept back into the time of the characters. This particular book follows Saul/Paul and his sister. I loved reading about the culture and customs of the time period as well as connecting with the emotions of the main characters. This is another great installment of the Jerusalem Road Series . As with all of Angela Hunt's books the reader is swept back into the time of the characters. This particular book follows Saul/Paul and his sister. I loved reading about the culture and customs of the time period as well as connecting with the emotions of the main characters. This is another great installment of the Jerusalem Road Series .

  16. 5 out of 5

    Charity Henico

    I'd never read an Angela Hunt book before, so I jumped at the chance to read this. The title itself intrigued me. I felt, though, that she put some modern day thinking into Aya's desires. I didn't care for that, but it all balanced out in the end. I loved seeing the Hebrew prayers and the different names of God. I'm a sucker for the historical side of things like those ancient prayers that I think are still said today among the Jewish people. I also really liked seeing the wedding rituals. It gi I'd never read an Angela Hunt book before, so I jumped at the chance to read this. The title itself intrigued me. I felt, though, that she put some modern day thinking into Aya's desires. I didn't care for that, but it all balanced out in the end. I loved seeing the Hebrew prayers and the different names of God. I'm a sucker for the historical side of things like those ancient prayers that I think are still said today among the Jewish people. I also really liked seeing the wedding rituals. It gives a whole new perspective on being the bride of Christ, and what that means. The questions and answers at the end also helped clear things up; I had never before thought of Paul having a sister. How I've managed to skip over that in Scripture all these years is beyond me! The oral traditions fascinate me, too. I'd never read any of them before. I did have a hard time remembering who was speaking in each chapter. The voices didn't "sound" any different to me. All in all, a solid read. *I received this book for review. All opinions are my own.*

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nyla

    The Apostle’s Sister by author Angela Hunt, is Book Four in her Jerusalem Road series. This is an amazing Biblical Fiction that tells what have happened in the personal life of the Apostle Paul. Author Hunt obviously did extensive research and remained true to the Bible. She just filled in some gaps. This author has a gifted way of storytelling. I always gleans bits and pieces of knowledge that had previously escaped me. I was captivated by this book as she brought Bible times and people to life The Apostle’s Sister by author Angela Hunt, is Book Four in her Jerusalem Road series. This is an amazing Biblical Fiction that tells what have happened in the personal life of the Apostle Paul. Author Hunt obviously did extensive research and remained true to the Bible. She just filled in some gaps. This author has a gifted way of storytelling. I always gleans bits and pieces of knowledge that had previously escaped me. I was captivated by this book as she brought Bible times and people to life in an interesting fashion. This is the story of Aya, Sha’ul’s (Paul) younger sister. Set in Tarsus in A.D. 30, Aya is a young girl with a love of singing and a gift for it. She does not want to marry but finally relents. Sha’ul marries in obedience to the Law and to further his ambition to become a member of the Great Sanhedrin. Aya and her husband, Avidan, leave Tarsus and go to Jerusalem so that he can study the Torah. It is difficult for him due to his poor eyesight, but Aya helps. I often wondered what it was like to experience life during the time Jesus walked among us. This exquisite book described it in such great detail that made me feel like I was there. I was riveted to this book reading about Yeshua and His followers. I became emotional reading about miraculous healings and messages of salvation spreading throughout the world. I highly this to everyone. It is an inspirational, educational, moving novel, and gets 5 stars from me. A copy was provided by NetGalley, but these are my own words.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    Rating: G (general audience) Language: Good (no swearing, offensive language) Content: None (very minimal violence, no warnings, controversial topics, etc.) Age: Teens and Adults (13 +) I didn’t pick up on this from the beginning, but this story follows Paul (Sha’ul) from the New Testament and his sister Aya. The beginning starts strong with Aya and Sha’ul strongly opposing marriage to focus on their passions of music and study. Though they marry, they stick together in Jerusalem. The beginning of t Rating: G (general audience) Language: Good (no swearing, offensive language) Content: None (very minimal violence, no warnings, controversial topics, etc.) Age: Teens and Adults (13 +) I didn’t pick up on this from the beginning, but this story follows Paul (Sha’ul) from the New Testament and his sister Aya. The beginning starts strong with Aya and Sha’ul strongly opposing marriage to focus on their passions of music and study. Though they marry, they stick together in Jerusalem. The beginning of the story serves as a set up for the plot taking off after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Though about half the story is set up, it is not dull, bland, and is definitely needed. Major tragedies and triumphs occur during the set up that makes the story enjoyable and worthwhile. Also, the voice of the story, which is first person, dual POV (Aya and Sha’ul) is strong and vivid – you can almost picture them speaking to you face to face. Nevertheless, the set-up, makes the plot take-off a real page-turner because by being familiar with the New Testament, I wanted to see how the author was going to play out the events from the characters’ perspectives, especially Aya, who’s not really in the New Testament. Even if you’re not familiar with the New Testament, with the set-up, which eventually creates strong tension in the characters’ world, makes the story intriguing, even a little suspenseful. There are no obvious negatives that I have for this story, it interested me from beginning to end and I felt the author stayed true to the story of Paul (Sha’ul). I would recommend this story to anyone who loves biblical fiction, historical fiction, and stories that are both plot-driven and character-driven. ***This book was given to me by Bethany House for an honest review.***

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    Although I haven’t read the previous books in the Jerusalem Road series I found each can be read as a stand-alone. I am fascinated with Biblical Fiction as it brings to life the setting, culture, and real people while being woven into a fictional account. I am impressed with the extensive research involved as I would find it overwhelming. This author does a wonderful job of making you feel like you are in the midst of it. I liken it to my recent visit to the Ark Encounter where everything is bro Although I haven’t read the previous books in the Jerusalem Road series I found each can be read as a stand-alone. I am fascinated with Biblical Fiction as it brings to life the setting, culture, and real people while being woven into a fictional account. I am impressed with the extensive research involved as I would find it overwhelming. This author does a wonderful job of making you feel like you are in the midst of it. I liken it to my recent visit to the Ark Encounter where everything is brought to life and you feel in awe of the experience. I loved this novel and wish to read the other ones in this series as I walked away with a hunger in my heart. I especially loved how God wooed Aya to the truth. Pick up a copy and take time to savor your visit to Jerusalem. I was truly blessed reading this. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Bochman

    I absolutely love Angela's Hunt's biblical novels. I enter each story with the expectation to be not only entertained but challenged to dig deeper into the Scriptures and discover truth for myself. And each story never ceases to live up to those expectations. This book, the 4th in Hunt's Jerusalem Road series, features the Apostle Paul and his sister. Though fiction, Hunt has a remarkable ability to bring her readers to the Bible and convey messages that draw us closer to the character of Jesus I absolutely love Angela's Hunt's biblical novels. I enter each story with the expectation to be not only entertained but challenged to dig deeper into the Scriptures and discover truth for myself. And each story never ceases to live up to those expectations. This book, the 4th in Hunt's Jerusalem Road series, features the Apostle Paul and his sister. Though fiction, Hunt has a remarkable ability to bring her readers to the Bible and convey messages that draw us closer to the character of Jesus Christ. I loved every inch of this story. The characters jumped into my heart as the plot thickened, drawing me into a tale both familiar and unknown. This is a series you do not want to miss. I received the book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kati

    I have read a story or two about the life of St. Paul before, but never told from the perspective of his sister. And this makes The Apostle's Sister a lot more than just a biography of the apostle; it sheds a lot of light at the life and position of women in the first-century Jewish communies. The first half of the book is mainly giving an overview of the the kind of life Jews (and especially women) lived in Tarsus. The pace here is slow, but content interesting. The second half is set in Jerusa I have read a story or two about the life of St. Paul before, but never told from the perspective of his sister. And this makes The Apostle's Sister a lot more than just a biography of the apostle; it sheds a lot of light at the life and position of women in the first-century Jewish communies. The first half of the book is mainly giving an overview of the the kind of life Jews (and especially women) lived in Tarsus. The pace here is slow, but content interesting. The second half is set in Jerusalem around and after Jesus' crucifixion. This portion has less Jewish traditions woven into the story, but plenty of familiar tales from the Book of Acts. Something I had never considered before was how Saul's conversion affected his relatives. The story also opened up and explained whole world of first-century Jewish traditions and customs. A clean, interesting, and thought provoking read; a definite must for anyone who enjoys Biblical fiction.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelly-Ann ~ Sassy Bookish Mama

    Review coming soon :)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cristine

    I was not that impressed with this book right from the beginning, but maybe because this is book 4 in a series. Aya is the sister of Paul the Apostle. But this is set before then. Her parents have arranged weddings for both Aya and Saul (Paul). She does not want to, but is forced to go through this. When she moves to Jerusalem and her brother has changed over to the belief of Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah, what will she do? This is a very hard decision for her, for her husband is learning the To I was not that impressed with this book right from the beginning, but maybe because this is book 4 in a series. Aya is the sister of Paul the Apostle. But this is set before then. Her parents have arranged weddings for both Aya and Saul (Paul). She does not want to, but is forced to go through this. When she moves to Jerusalem and her brother has changed over to the belief of Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah, what will she do? This is a very hard decision for her, for her husband is learning the Torah. You will need to read this to find out. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this e-book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. The Apostle’s Sister becomes available for sale June 7, 2022.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Una Ireland

    I love reading Biblical fiction. Angela Hunt does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life in her book The Apostle’s Sister. She has done her research of the culture and the people of the time she writes. I have a better understanding of Hebrew law in that period and of the start of Christianity. I received a copy from the publisher. I was not required to do a review. The opinions are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ang

    "O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how incomprehensible His ways!" This is a quote from Sha'ul in the book of Romans (Romans 11:33) and from the book I just read, but have been waiting for since I began the series. This quote explains how I felt when I read this book: The Apostle's Sister, by Angela Hunt, which is book 4 in her Jerusalem Road series. She is one of my favorite authors, and after I read her book, I felt that "O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how incomprehensible His ways!" This is a quote from Sha'ul in the book of Romans (Romans 11:33) and from the book I just read, but have been waiting for since I began the series. This quote explains how I felt when I read this book: The Apostle's Sister, by Angela Hunt, which is book 4 in her Jerusalem Road series. She is one of my favorite authors, and after I read her book, I felt that I understood the Jewish faith a little better, and how God sent Jesus to reconcile the Jews and the Gentiles (non-Jews) to Himself and to each other through a great story about a brother and sister that I really didn't want to end! The book is the story of Aya, a young Jewish woman from Tarsus, who loves and respects her Jewish faith, but feels that HaShem (Hebrew word used for God) may have a different plan for her than just getting married and having children. She wants to do that someday, but since HaShem has blessed her with a beautiful voice, it has caused her to consider what His plans for her may be. Her parents have always supported her gift and allowed her to use it, but now that she's of an age to get married, they want her to fulfill what Torah (1st 5 books of the Bible) commands in this regard which is to marry and be fruitful and multiply. Aya loves HaShem and wants to obey but she isn't sure why she feels a pull from Him to do more, so she decides to talk to her brother about it. Ana's brother Sha'ul, is a Pharisee and loves HaShem, and above all wants to do nothing other than to study His word! His father was a tent maker from Tarsus who always wanted to study Torah and become a Pharisee, but had to realize his dream through his son, Sha'ul. So he sent Sha'ul to study under the best, which at that time was Rabbi Gamaliel. Sha'ul had learned from the best, and he was completely devoted to his calling from HaShem but since he wanted to be a part of the Sanhedrin, which was the highest office of elders in Israel, but to be a part of this group you must be married as Torah states, so Sha'ul went back to Tarsus to allow his father to choose his bride for him as was tradition. On this trip home, Sha'ul is greeted by his sister, and they have an honest heart to heart about tradition and HaShem's calling on each of their lives. Both weren't as excited about marrying but decided to obey HaShem's command, and to trust Him with the rest, which was the best thing they both could do. So they both marry, and HaShem does do amazing things in each of them and through each if them!! To find out more, you will have to read this amazing book!! What I really learned through this story is to not just take someone's word for what is truth, which is a scenario Aya faces in this story. She has been taught one thing all her life, but then she is faced with something she her brother shares with her, and is totally new to her, she is totally closed to at first, but then HaShem begins to open her eyes on the outside to what He is showing her, and then He opens her heart to His truth. I love that about our God!! From Sha'ul I learned that I must not be swift to judge others, and to seek God in prayer as well as His word! He showed must not just sift my beliefs through my own heart and mind or the heart & minds of others, but must rely on the Holy Spirit to guide me as He did Sha'ul's which you will understand as you read more! I also was able to understand more of God's grace through Sha'ul's life. He was a man who wanted to please God, but ended up doing terrible things because he was being misguided, but was shown the truth by Yeshua (Jesus) and not only forgiven and redeemed, but He used him to touch many many others throughout the years, and even me! So I highly recommend this book to you! I would give it 5 out of 5 stars. But to be honest, since I am someone who reads the word a lot I wasn't sure at first about a few things Angela Hunt wrote in this story, but felt God said to keep reading (always pray when alarms ho off), but all my questions were answered in the "question and answer" portion of the back where she explains the reasons she wrote what she did! Then she also listed her sources, so again I sifted her words thru the Bible, and i found her story to be fiction, but it stays true to God's word! And literally ever time I read one of her books, i draw closer to HaShem and Yeshua and the Ruach Ha-Kodesh. Again when you read this story you will learn who these are! Take time to read it, as you will not be disappointed!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Keri Willis

    Angela Hunt is not only a master storyteller; she is a scholar. Her latest book in The Jerusalem Road series, The Apostle’s Sister, draws the reader into life in first century Tarsus and Jerusalem with vivid descriptions of sights, sounds, and fragrances to complete the story. The accurate use of the Hebrew language woven throughout the story immerses the reader more fully into the culture of the time and people. The inspired Scripture gives us the perspective of the writers. It is complete and l Angela Hunt is not only a master storyteller; she is a scholar. Her latest book in The Jerusalem Road series, The Apostle’s Sister, draws the reader into life in first century Tarsus and Jerusalem with vivid descriptions of sights, sounds, and fragrances to complete the story. The accurate use of the Hebrew language woven throughout the story immerses the reader more fully into the culture of the time and people. The inspired Scripture gives us the perspective of the writers. It is complete and lacking nothing. Angela’s story helps the reader to understand potential perspectives of other participants in the stories contained within the Scripture. In this narrative, the Apostle Paul’s free-spirited sister, Aya grows up in the shadow of her brother who is a student of the Torah. We travel with her as she marries, leaves her home in Tarsus and the freedom to sing and teach others music, and moves to Jerusalem with her new husband, also a student of the Torah who has committed his life to the study. Through the eyes of Aya, we are given a front row seat to observe the goings on leading up to and surrounding Paul’s conversion and his impact on the known world. One of the most difficult aspects of writing historical fiction is studying and researching and understanding the history of the time and bringing it to life for the reader. Angela has not disappointed. Her work will teach and inspire you. It will give you a better understanding of the struggle of women, children, Jews, and believers in the first century.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Loraine

    Angela Elwell Hunt is among the best Biblical fiction writers. This story is told from the point of view of Ava, a young Roman woman, who is the sister of Sha'ul who is studying in Jerusalem to become a rabbi. When Ava marries Avidan who is also studying to become a rabbi, they move from Rome to Jerusalem. There Sha'ul, Avidan, and Ava are exposed to the Christian groups who believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Will this change their lives and lead them to become believers, and will one of them b Angela Elwell Hunt is among the best Biblical fiction writers. This story is told from the point of view of Ava, a young Roman woman, who is the sister of Sha'ul who is studying in Jerusalem to become a rabbi. When Ava marries Avidan who is also studying to become a rabbi, they move from Rome to Jerusalem. There Sha'ul, Avidan, and Ava are exposed to the Christian groups who believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Will this change their lives and lead them to become believers, and will one of them become a mighty apostle for Jesus Christ? Well written with excellent historical research and Biblical foundation. Hunt brings this fictional story to life and gives the reader a picture of what was happening in Jerusalem as new Christians spread the message of Jesus Christ. This book reads well as a stand alone even though it is the fourth in her Jerusalem Road series. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karen J

    The Apostle's Sister is the 4th in Angela Hunt's series called Jerusalem Road. I always enjoy these books, because I learn something from them every time. This time, I learned that Saul was not the horrible bad guy that I always thought he was! He was a Bible scholar, believed in God, and was a devout religious leader. His problem was with Jesus claiming to be the Messiah. Saul was adamant that Jesus was lying, and he despised not only Jesus, but his followers. The other character in this book i The Apostle's Sister is the 4th in Angela Hunt's series called Jerusalem Road. I always enjoy these books, because I learn something from them every time. This time, I learned that Saul was not the horrible bad guy that I always thought he was! He was a Bible scholar, believed in God, and was a devout religious leader. His problem was with Jesus claiming to be the Messiah. Saul was adamant that Jesus was lying, and he despised not only Jesus, but his followers. The other character in this book is Saul's sister, Aya. Yes, Saul did have a sister and a nephew, and I love how Angie goes back and forth between the 2 main characters in her chapters. I also love that this time the book is divided into sections like Daughter, Wife, Mother, etc. The transformation that both Saul and Aya go through is heart-warming and positive. It makes me realize that anyone can have a change of heart and learn to love and follow Jesus.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    If you are looking for a good Christian historical fiction book, Angela Hunt has a new book that came out recently titled, The Apostle’s Sister. This is the first book I have read by Angela Hunt, and now I will be adding her to my list of author’s to follow and read. This is actually book 4 of this series called Jerusalem Road, though the series does not need to be read in order or all of series, as they are each independent from each other. The Apostle’s Sister is a story of Sha’ul/Paul and his If you are looking for a good Christian historical fiction book, Angela Hunt has a new book that came out recently titled, The Apostle’s Sister. This is the first book I have read by Angela Hunt, and now I will be adding her to my list of author’s to follow and read. This is actually book 4 of this series called Jerusalem Road, though the series does not need to be read in order or all of series, as they are each independent from each other. The Apostle’s Sister is a story of Sha’ul/Paul and his sister, Aya during the time of Jesus day’s at the end of his journey on earth and His followers. I love how the author brought to life the culture of the time in the story, with the timeline of the Bible. As you read it, you will learn about the culture, the beliefs, customs, and history of the time. This is a great way to help a person understand how it would feel like to live at that time. The chapters are short, it was hard to stop at just one chapter, I would sit and read several at a time. Hard book to put down! At the end of the book, the author provides a Q&A about the historical background of the book. This book would make a great book to read along while studying Paul in the Bible and to discuss with others for a book club.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Renee Knoblauch

    The fourth book in the Jerusalem Road series. I haven’t read any of the previous books in this series. I felt that the book was fine as a stand alone book. The story takes place in 30 AD, in Jerusalem. Ava was married as tradition would have it and a husband was chosen for her. At 16 she was married despite not having a choice. She had to bury her dreams. Ava was a strong and likable character. Despite her not wanting to get married she was respectful and honored her parents and most of all she w The fourth book in the Jerusalem Road series. I haven’t read any of the previous books in this series. I felt that the book was fine as a stand alone book. The story takes place in 30 AD, in Jerusalem. Ava was married as tradition would have it and a husband was chosen for her. At 16 she was married despite not having a choice. She had to bury her dreams. Ava was a strong and likable character. Despite her not wanting to get married she was respectful and honored her parents and most of all she was going to follow HaShem’s will in her life. Aya, is the sister of Sa'ul of Tarsus. The story also goes into Sa’uls life too. When Paul has his encounter with Yeshua how will it affect Ava? The story has a lot of Jewish customs/traditions, culture, and the religious and Biblical observations throughout. Some Jewish prayers are throughout the book and are accurate. As in any historical Biblical Fiction there is some liberty taken. The author has always done a remarkable job in all of her Biblical Fictions novels. The story isn’t a fast paced story and did take me a bit longer to read. However, the story was delightful and I enjoyed it very much. Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest thoughts.

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