Biblical Fiction

by Kimberly P. 

For those of you used to my posts, you’ll remember that I’m very into all things dark. Serial killers, horror, dark fantasy, urban fantasy. Give me death and a mystery and I’m yours. I recently dipped my toe into some of the lighter books and movies that we have to offer here at Sno-Isle, but I decided to take it one step further this month, and have touched a genre I’d never really read: Biblical historical fiction.

Growing up in the Deep South, I’ve gotten my fair share of a heap of biscuits & gravy with a side of Bible stories, but I was more interested in fairies, princesses, and knights than the Gospels.

But with Christmas here, I thought–why not? 

The Young Messiah by Anne Rice

My first foray into the genre started with a favorite author of mine, Anne Rice. I have loved her series, The Vampire Chronicles, since the Interview With the Vampire. Her writing style is like dark silk, at once decadent and pleasurable against the ear, but remarkably insidious. Her vision of the life of young Jesus–written after much research and debate with Biblical scholars–follows young Yeshua in a year of his life as he struggles to discover the events that occurred at the time of his birth and understand his strange abilities.

I was pulled into the story so thoroughly that I didn’t want it to end. As soon as I finished the novel, I picked up the sequel, Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana and continued my journey with Jesus through the events leading up to his baptism, his time in the desert, and meeting his apostles.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

 

I love this story. I got lost in the beauty of Diamant’s settings, the poetry of her writing style, and the complexity of her characters. Set during the events of the Book of Genesis, Diamant breathes life into a minor Biblical figure, Dinah daughter of Jacob. Through Dinah’s eyes we chronicle the lives of her father, his various wives (whom she calls her “mothers”) and her brothers whose progeny would form the tribes of Israel.

A Light On The Hill by Connilyn Cossette

I prefer Biblical fiction that is less academic and more driven by flawed characters, spiritual strength, and messy relationships.

In other words, Connilyn Cossette’s new Cities of Refuge series. Her first novel fascinated me so much that I can’t wait to read more.

Branded as a young girl by an evil priestess, Moriyah has spent her life hiding from the scorn and derision of her Hebrew village. When her carelessness leads to the death of two children, she has to flee the wrath of her tribe. Can she find forgiveness and a way to a new life, or will her crimes ultimately end in her death?

Delilah: A Treacherous Beauty by Angela Hunt

Throughout Biblical history, there are several women known more for their notorious deeds than their actual emotional struggles and driving forces. Delilah is one such woman. Though the story of Samson and Delilah is brief, Hunt manages to craft an emotionally complex, psychologically scarred protagonist. She makes Delilah sympathetic and immersed me in her dangerous world.

I railed against her circumstances. I praised her willpower. Walking in her shoes was uncomfortable. I’m glad Hunt had me do it.

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks

This fictional account of King David’s life has received so many accolades that I knew I had to read it. Ancient, accessible, and timeless, Brooks’ novel evokes a keenly drawn time period.

I felt as if I were actually roaming David’s palace. I marveled at the beauty of his voice while he sang psalms and played the harp.

And, with the increasing dread of a noose slowly tightening around the throat of a doomed man, I watched as David’s past choices returned to exact vengeance.

 

 

 

Want more Biblical historical fiction? Browse my list below!


Comments

7 responses to “Biblical Fiction”

  1. Rachel P says:

    The Red Tent is one of my all time favorite books! Good picks!

  2. Jordan says:

    The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare is one of my favorites too! It won the Newberry Medal in 1962.

  3. Kristi S. says:

    “Her writing style is like dark silk, at once decadent and pleasurable against the ear, but remarkably insidious.” This is such a gorgeous sentence. I aspire to write like you!

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