Bread of Angels
Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.
But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant's daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.
With only her father's secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances--along with her father's precious dye--help her become one of the city's preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can't outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.
I almost didn't review this book.
I had requested it from Tyndale a couple months ago (they usually have you put in your requests relatively early before the book comes out) but the thing about book reviewing is that sometimes there are dry spells, and sometimes you are swamped. This past week has been the latter. I had five books come in the mail at once and, unsure if I would be able to commit, I tried to remove my request for Bread of Angels...only to find out the book had already been sent.
I'm glad it was.
This book was pleasant and heartwarming. It doesn't follow the pattern of most Christian fiction plots, and in some ways felt more like a fictional biography (in a good way) of Lydia's life, and how she came to a place where she was open to Paul's message about Jesus. It's was definitely more character-driven than plot driven, but it was a good change of pace for me, and I love all of the connections and friendships Lydia made along the way, both Christian and pagan, in her journey. SPOILER (This was wrapped up wonderfully in the end when they all stood by her!) END OF SPOILER.
Overall, I really liked this one, and I think a part of it was because how many likable characters there were who I just wanted to be friends with! It was one of those books that had the unpredictable fortune of "clicking" with me, and I couldn't help but close the book with a smile on my face.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.