A TIME TO HEAR: the first volume in what may be my favorite series of Biblical novels of all time

Posted: June 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

How fitting it is that I should write this review on Children’s Day, seeing as how it speaks of a novel which starts a series that retells The Greatest Story Ever Told through the eyes of a child.

The novel in question is titled A TIME TO HEAR,  written by S. J. Knight, and it tells the story of Dan ben Ammiel. a shepherd boy from the Holy Land of 2.000 years ago, who is hungry for learning, looking for a purpose, and expecting the Messiah.

The story of Christ has been told in fiction countless times, from various points of view and on various moments in history. However, there are surprisingly few books about Christ written from the point of view of children, which is paradoxical, as He loved them dearly.

Another tendency of Biblical fiction authors is that of telling the story focusing on one well-known New Testament figure or another.  This is why Ms. Knight’s novel is such a pleasure to read: one gets to acquaint themselves with entirely new characters who interact with those who are known from the Bible. I loved spending time with Dan’s family of shepherds, taking in their joys, their sorrows, and remarking how strikingly similar the lives of shepherds back than and those who live nowadays in my own native country of Romania were. These were simple people, but the depth of their souls matched the immensity of Heaven.

I loved everything about this book. The attention to detail is amazing, the language is vivid and very period-conscious without sounding too flowery to be readable(I always appreciate the fact that there are no anachronistic forms of expression within a historical novel), and the characters are absolutely amazing. From Dan with his innocence and hunger for knowledge, to Ammiel, with his deep simplicity, to Aunt Etta, a fiercely courageous and faithful woman, to Marah All Alone, who offers a vivid, heartrending picture of the effects of Herod’s bloodlust, and even the rash, hard-drinking Uncle Bukki, all of these people are far from saintly characters. They live, laugh, cry, love and err like all of us, and you will love them.  All the stars in the sky for this amazingly soulful piece of Truth-speaking fiction! Oh, and Loukanos, the Greek…I have a feeling I know him from somewhere.

PS: If you want to see how an ending can be the beginning for everything, there’s one book that demonstrates this to a tee, and I’ve had the pleasure and blessing to talk about it in this post. I cannot wait to see how the journey will carry on.

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