Jenna Van Mourik is currently working on her untitled Biblical fiction novel. When she finishes it, she’ll let you know!
For now, read my synopsis!
Growing up in the midst of Jerusalem, Shamira’s family has experienced oppression like none other. Her cousin Libi, born with a handicap, has not been able to find healing in any medicine, and the prayers and sacrifices her parents make on her behalf have made no difference. Her aunt and uncle bear the burden of shame every day, having been told that it is their sins which caused their only daughter to be born with such an affliction. Shamira’s sister is found to be barren, and disgraced because of it. Worst of all, Shamira herself is a woman. A girl whose opinion holds no sway, and whose thoughts have no value.
Asa, the son of a temple priest and love of her life, is her oldest friend outside of family, but although it is the desire of her heart, she may never be able marry him due to her social status. Shamira, born into a lowly shepherd’s family, and Asa are only further separated as political tensions rise in their city. Shamira longs for a world where women are judged by their spirit, not just by their dowry.
Ultimately, she finds life in the strict community in Jerusalem suffocating. Day after day, she is left feeling empty. Ignored. Mistreated.
All of that changes when a mysterious Rabbi enters the city. Shamira grew up hearing her grandfather tell tales about the time he was watching his flock outside of Bethlehem, and angels appeared to him proclaiming that a savior was coming. With the arrival of the teacher from Nazareth, she wonders if this could be the Messiah her grandfather so often spoke of. This man teaches about a new kind of life, he teaches forgiveness, love, and acceptance – a message which could change the life of Shamira and everyone she knows.
Jesus of Nazareth brought light to their darkness. However, when tragedy strikes in the form of Crucifixion, Shamira and her family wonder if that light still shines. Will Shamira find a new life and a new faith? Or reject is as so many others in her community already had? Will Asa join her in following this new man’s teachings, or will he remain skeptical, even in the face of miracles?