Monday, April 8, 2024

My Thoughts and More on Up From the Dust: Martha's Story by Heather Kaufman

 



About the Book


Book: Up from Dust: Martha’s Story

Author: Heather Kaufman

Genre: Biblical fiction

Release Date: January 23, 2024

Martha of Bethany is no stranger to adversity. After her mother’s untimely death, Martha shoulders the responsibility of raising her siblings–quiet and studious Lazarus, and wild and rambunctious Mary. She finds solace in friendship and the beginnings of first love, but just as Martha begins to imagine a new future, hardship strikes again and her dreams crumble into dust.

Ten years later, Martha’s friend pleads for the new teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, to come and heal her husband. When Martha discovers that the carpenter-rabbi is connected to her past, she’s not sure she can trust him with her future. But as he continues to perform miracles, the invitation to believe becomes harder to resist, renewing Martha’s hardened heart, even as she faces an unknown future.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Biblical fiction can be hit or miss for me, especially when the author is writing on a specific and known character straight from the Bible. For my preference, I mainly prefer stories with fictional characters that live during Biblical times or interact with a Biblical person. This story is not like that. This is a fictional account of Martha, the sister of Lazarus and Mary, the siblings who were friends of Jesus.

This story is divided into two parts. The first part is the fictional story of the siblings, some things that might have happened to have developed them into the people that they become. Even though fictional, this part was an engrossing read and moved rather quickly. The second part sends us more into the time of the Biblical part. 

The author's notes explain why she made certain decisions with the storylines she followed. When we get to the Biblical parts, their interactions with Jesus, the sisters' side of when Lazarus died and Jesus did not come, their brother coming back to life, Mary's offering, and finally the death and resurrection of the Messiah was told very well. We are right there with Martha a living breathing woman as her faith is tested and questioned and she sees the Almighty at work. Knowing the Biblical account and reading this story gave me much to think about and to be greatly thankful for.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.


About the Author


Heather Kaufman is the author of multiple books and devotions, praised by Kirkus Review for writing “a charming and well-crafted tale.” She delights in highlighting the goodness of God through storytelling. When not reading, writing, or accumulating mounds of books, Heather can be found exploring new parks with her husband and three children near their home in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

 

 

 

More from Heather

Up from Dust: Martha’s Story is the first of three books in my new series, “Women of the Way.” Each book focuses on a female follower of Christ, diving deep into her history before touching upon the events we know from Scripture. Book one is on Martha of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus and Mary.

 

Let me ask you a question: What comes to your mind when you think of Martha?

 

Busy? Angry? Worried?

 

How about: Teachable? Trusting? Strong?

 

I’m afraid we’ve distilled poor Martha down into a personality type, turning her into a cautionary tale for Christian women. When Scripture as a whole presents a much different picture.

 

The seed of this story was planted in my heart during an Easter sermon in 2016, when I was startled into a deep admiration for this remarkable woman of faith. “Why haven’t I been encouraged to be more like Martha?” I wondered. Martha . . . a woman who learned from her mistakes and took the living God at His word. A woman who confessed Jesus as the resurrection and the life while her brother was four days dead in a tomb. Her trajectory in Scripture from worry to radical trust is one to emulate and it led me to ask: What happened in this woman’s heart?

 

In Up from Dust, I linger over Martha, imagining what her life was like before Christ. The story traces all the “many things” that worried and troubled Martha’s heart and the Christ who pinpointed her pain, met her in the midst of it, and lifted her up. We watch Martha come of age as she works through her mother’s death and the heavy responsibility of raising her siblings. We journey with Martha as she experiences first love and learns to shoulder the mantle of womanhood, even while coping with a father who is stuck in his loss. When grief comes to Martha’s own heart, she is presented with a choice. Will she cling to her hurt more than to Adonai, the way her father has done? Or is there a better way forward?

 

May this story encourage you to remain openhearted even when life feels unbearably hard, to pin your hopes to Jesus, the only One able to lift you up from the ashes of grief.

 

While you read, consider listening to the Up from Dust playlist! It’s full of inspirational music that ties into the themes from the book. Give it a listen HERE. Happy reading (and listening)!

 

Surrendering with you to Him,

Heather

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 27

Texas Book-aholic, March 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 30

For Him and My Family, March 31

The Lofty Pages, March 31

Splashes of Joy, April 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 2

She Lives To Read, April 3

Cover Lover Book Review, April 4

Artistic Nobody, April 5 (Spotlight)

Labor Not in Vain, April 6

Mary Hake, April 6

Holly’s Book Corner, April 7

Pause for Tales, April 8

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Heather is giving away the grand prize package of a $15 gift card to Amazon and a paperback copy of Up from Dust!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/2aa71/up-from-dust-martha-s-story-celebration-tour-giveaway


4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the book.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Up from Dust: Martha’s Story, it sounds like a great story and I am looking forward to reading it myself

    ReplyDelete
  3. From the Dust sounds like an excellent read for biblical fiction.

    ReplyDelete

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