Daughter of Rome

Written by Tessa Afshar
Review by J. Lynn Else

Afshar explores the lives of Aquila and Priscilla from the Bible, a married couple who were extremely influential in the early Christian movement. In 49 A.D. during the reign of Emperor Claudius, Aquila is trying to find his place in the world when, after professing his faith in Christ, his family disowns him. Meanwhile, Priscilla has a devastating secret. She’s become a follower of the Jewish faith where she meets Aquila. As their feelings grow, she fears her one past mistake will ruin everything.

Afshar explores faith, forgiveness, acceptance, and making peace with one’s self through the cross. Priscilla is a kind-hearted person who no one would suspect hides a shameful secret. The author deftly explores the difference between appearance versus substance. While the cross’s appearance has never changed, because of Jesus’s sacrifice, the substance of the cross has been irrevocably altered. This is what Afshar’s characters must come to trust: Christ’s ability to wash away sin. Priscilla’s and Aquila’s faith is tested in various ways. They must learn to trust their faith but also each other. This is a lovely slow-burning, faith-filled exploration about overcoming trials and accepting past mistakes in a richly detailed world. Recommended.