I’ve always been a great historical fiction fan. I just finished this audiobook that pretty much blew my mind and made it to my list of top ten favorite historical fiction novels.
The Advocate by Randy Singer
Rating: 5.0 – 5.0
In books of Luke and Acts, the two-part piece of work written by physician/evangelist Luke, are addressed to Theophilus (Luke 1:3,4; Acts 1:1). The Bible doesn’t say anything about Theophilus but it is generally believed that he was a benefactor of Luke and Paul. Beyond this, there are only theories. One of those theories is that Theophilus was the lawyer that represented Paul during his trial before Nero and that Luke wrote the books of Luke and Acts so he would know the facts as he prepared for the trial and he would “know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed” Luke 1:4. It is upon this theory that Randy Singer tells his story.
Singer tells the story of a man who not only witnesses but plays a role in the trials of both Jesus of Nazareth and the apostle Paul. It is an epic tale and that put me in mind of Wallace’s Ben Hur and reminded me of my favorite book from the 8th grade, The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (which I now feel like re-reading!). He expertly paints a picture of Roman societal, religious, and political life as you follow the experiences of a man who must make sense of what truth really is as Rome meets her decline and a new religion is born. It was super educational without being textbook-y, just as a good historical piece should be.
About halfway through the story, I wondered how much more story Singer could possibly tell. I was not expecting what was to come. You know the feeling you get at the end of a long, epic movie? You wonder how things could take such a turn, how the character’s life in the beginning could be so diametrically different from his life at the end? Your emotions get played and you wonder how you’d deal with it if were your story. Yeah, that’s how I felt at the end of this book. Bittersweetness isn’t quite the word to use but it’s the best I can come up with. It was beautiful and horrible and real.
This will definitely be on my list of favorite books read this year, I can’t recommend more highly! Seriously, read it. You won’t regret it!
Happy reading, y’all!
This book counts towards the following challenges: