Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.
But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.
With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances—along with her father’s precious dye—help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.
In Acts chapter 16, we have the apostle Paul meeting a woman by the name of Lydia who is a seller of purple and she becomes a Christian. Author Tessa Afshar has taken Lydia and given her more of a backstory then we know, although fictional it was still a very engrossing tale. How did Lydia become who she was and where she was in the Roman world that was run by men and become such a business woman in a time that was cruel and hard for a woman to make a name for herself?
We meet Lydia when she is just 17 years old living in Thyatira with her merchant father who has created his own recipe for the often sought after purple coloring in clothing. She has a very kind father who loves her very much, but Lydia is a very cautious young woman with a great enemy, fear, that seems to be just hidden in the shadows. The author really highlighted how this controlling fear can affect every part of your life; it keeps you just out of reach of your potential, robs you of sleep at night, and no matter how hard you have tried to prepare for it, it will sneak in and rob you of your peace of mind. I really took the message and illustrations of this fear to heart as how often have I lost sleep over fear instead of praying about it.
This was the first novel I have read by author Tessa Afshar and it was a very quick read for me. The title of the story I had not actually read before in the scriptures and by the conclusion of this story, Bread of Angels just clicked for me. I am thankful for author’s and their imaginations when they can make a small ordinary person from history stand out and have me thinking about Bible verses in a whole new perspective.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to post a positive review and all the views and opinions expressed are my own.
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