Christian fiction

Book & Cover Review of "Martha" by Diana Wallis Taylor

Martha: A Novel
Book Review
Martha: a novel is a reflective piece of biblical fiction fleshing out the lives of Jesus’s good friends Mary, Lazarus, and of course Martha. I have always been fond of the story in the bible about Martha and Mary because of my grandmother. Her name is Martha and she was born with an identical twin sister her parents named Mary … My grandmother often wish she had been named Mary because Martha was the worry wort of the story who didn’t sit at the feet of Jesus and soak in his very presence.

This story delves into the background of that very scene. Why did Martha feel compelled to take charge and to scold her sister? What was their family dynamic like and why. What were their lives like between visits from Jesus and how did they befriend him? What was life like during and after Lazurus’s death and resurrection?

This story felt very short, but it still added a richness to the lives of this biblical family that I feel I will remember every time I read the bible passages related to them.

Book Cover Review
I enjoy the warm, earthy colors and the large amount of texture used on this cover. I feel they help to tie it to a semblance of ‘reallity’ for living in biblical times.  However, something about the model used to represent Martha is a little off? I’m thinking it’s the lip gloss? That, and the fabric color of her head covering does not bother me, but the weave seems a little too uniform … to manufactured and modern day. I am very aware that this is being nit-picky, but if the cloth had been a little more rough, appearing to be hand woven, I think it would have blended better with the other rough textures used.

The colors, and textures are great, and the cover does grab the attention of the right readership. I feel this cover will still be successful, but there are just a couple of things I would have changed if they were possible.

* This book was received for review from the publisher. Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The following is a Press Release provided by the publisher with further information.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                Contact: Donna Hausler, Publicity Assistant
Martha Loses Hope As She Looks For The Messiah…and A Miracle.
“Oh God Who Sees, take me also. If not together in life, let me join him in death. I don’t want to live without him.” She looked up at the night sky. Had the God Who Sees kept her from making a mistake? Would it have worked out the way she dreamed?

Author Diana Wallis Taylor creates a beautiful story set in the New Testament following the life of Martha of Bethany, sister of Mary and Lazarus in Martha (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3465-7, $14.99, 256 pages, June). The busyness of Martha is well-known, identified with, studied, and often misunderstood by people today. Often painted in the colors of reproach, Martha seems to be the poster child for how not to be a follower of Jesus. Taylor provides a well-researched touching portrayal of Martha.
When her mother dies leaving young Martha in charge of the household, her family is dependant upon her to oversee the home. Yet like other girls in her village, Martha longs to be married and begin her own family. Considered a fine cook and weaver, Martha is quick to help others within her community. She experiences the hope of love and love lost, trials, friendship, the death of her father, the overwhelming duty to her family, the discovery of the Messiah, the miracles witnessed at the Temple, and the hospitality she shows to her Lord with dignity and grace. However, when Lazarus becomes ill and Jesus is too late – Martha questions both her faith and the Lord. How could she know that one of the Lord’s greatest miracles was only moments away? Through the life of Martha, Taylor shows readers a new perspective and appreciation for this special woman of the New Testament.     

Diana Wallis Taylor enjoys speaking to women’s groups and teaching writing and poetry workshops.  She is the author of Journey to the Well, has published many articles, and contributed stories to several books. Taylor lives in California. Find out more at, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.


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