Daughter of Cana (Jerusalem Road)
This novel opens at a rather famous wedding in Cana in 27 CE: far more people arrive than originally invited, and halfway through the seven-day feast, the wine runs out. Tasmin who, with her twin Thomas, is providing food and drink to the wedding feast, is frantic. Then Yeshua, a guest from Nazareth, tells her to fill the wine jars from the rain-water cistern – and the jars become full of wine. (Tasmin is sure it’s a trick, but can’t figure out how it was worked.)
Thomas drops his responsibilities to his sister to listen to Yeshua. Also at the feast is Jude, one of Yeshua’s younger brothers, who helps Tasmin with the work, and tells her Yeshua’s always been strange. Strange or not, Thomas falls under Yeshua’s spell, and when Yeshua leaves, Thomas follows. Tasmin sets out to find her twin and bring him home to help their father in his date grove; she’s escorted by Jude, who wants Yeshua to come home to the family carpentry business. Tasmin and Jude always seem to be one step behind Yeshua, but they encounter those who witnessed apparent miracles – or are they tricks? – and learn about Yeshua’s mission through his works. At last they find Yeshua, but is he a prophet, or the long-promised messiah?
Any reader of biblical fiction knows the name Angela Hunt; she’s one of the stars of the genre, and you don’t have to be a Christian to enjoy her books. She writes with conviction, believability, and a strong sense of time and place, as well as a good understanding of human nature. Daughter of Cana is another excellent novel from her, and I particularly appreciated the wry humor woven through the narrative. While the ending seems a bit rushed, this is a satisfying story of love, guilt, and redemption.