Book Review: Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

land of silence tessa afshar book review

The synopsis on the back of the book: 

Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.

No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body . . . and soul? 

  • Genre: Biblical Fiction
  • Published: 05/2016
  • Pages: 390
  • Goodreads rating: 4.52
land of silence tessa afshar book review
If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O LORD, help me up. when the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
— Psalm 94:17-19

Why I Chose This Book

I have been wanting to read some more Biblical fiction. When I came across this book at Lifeway Stores, I was attracted to the story right away. I also love that it's based on the woman in the Bible who had bleeding issues all her life, and Jesus healed her. This story, of course, is fictional but the account of the healing by Jesus is in the Bible. 

First Initial Thoughts

Elianna is a headstrong woman. Her father allows her to work alongside him in his textile trading business. The business is a very successful one and revered as one the best throughout the land of Isreal. She is a very happy woman at the beginning and is loved dearly by her family. However, tragedy stricks when her brother, Joseph, is killed while in her care. The death of her brother causes Elianna to suffer PTSD and depression as the story develops later on. 

Ethan is the man Elianna is betrothed to at the beginning of the novel. He is a quiet man at first but he loved Eilanna and was very protective of her. He was very supportive of Elianna working at her father's textile business. When she kept delaying their marriage- I just wanted to shake her and notice how rare of a man Ethan was. Especially during that time!

Virato is another minor character in the story,  but I personally could not forget him. He is such a jolly man despite the difficult times he experienced in his past. He could always put a smile on Elianna's face - and anyone else for that matter - it was nice to see a man who could make a whole house smile despite the tragedies that took place.

Setting

This story takes a couple years before Christ made an impact in Isreal. Tessa did an amazing job creating the world of Isreal and what it was like at that time period. I liked that she explained a few of the Jewish customs during that time. I learned a few new things! I appreciate it when authors take the time to research and include accurate history in their book. 

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.
— Psalm 25:16-18

Final Thoughts

Someone give this poor woman a big hug, some chocolate, and time to cry! Throughout the novel, I just kept thinking, my goodness, what else are you going to throw at her? She faced multiple tragedies and heartaches throughout the novel. I admired Elianna for her perseverance and the will to keep going. 

The romance story between Ethan and Elianna was a tough road for sure. There were lots of bumps throughout their betrothal. I liked that the romance wasn't the main focus of the story and they faced a lot of issues throughout their relationship. This made it more realistic and relatable. 

What I also liked about the story is that Tessa introduced us to many famous characters in history. For example, Titus Flavius before he became Roman Empire. And of course, she introduced us, Jesus. What I also appreciated from Tessa, is her ability to recreate the stories from the Bible into a fictional story. As a person who reads the Bible daily, it can be hard to translate it to real life sometimes. So it's always appreciative to read a story like this! 

The main theme of this book is forgiveness and healing. Elianna really thought it was her fault that Joseph died throughout most of the book and never forgave herself. She thought that God did not love her because of what she had done. But that is the furthest from the truth.

God loves you no matter what your sin. He is a loving God, not a condemning God. 

Would I Recommend This Book? 

Oh definitely! I know it's only a few days into the new year, but I can already feel that this is going to be one of my favorites of the year. I think you will love it as well! Especially, if you need help with healing from the past. It's an inspirational story for sure. 

 

Ok, this was an emotional read. I think I may need to read something more heartwarming next time. Have you read this book? If so, share your thoughts in the comments below! 

the caffeinated bibliophile