The Fisherman’s Bride: The Untold Story of the Wife of Simon Peter

Written by Catherine Magia
Review by Susan Higginbotham

When Hasar, a rich merchant, makes an offer to marry the (deliberately unnamed) heroine, she is appalled. Not only is the merchant crass and repulsive, as is often the case with such suitors in historical fiction, his would-be bride has come to like her father’s apprentice, the fisherman Simon, who daringly makes his own offer of marriage. Having made her choice, the heroine, disowned by her father, settles into matrimony. But as the years pass, Simon, restless and yearning for spiritual fulfillment, finds himself drawn to John the Baptist—and then to a new acquaintance he and his wife meet on a journey, Jesus of Nazareth.

Magia’s prose is graceful and descriptive, evoking a strong sense of place, and once the stereotypical Hasar was sent on his way, the characters became complex and engaging. My only quibble was an ending that felt abrupt, probably because of the promised sequel; without having seen the latter, I did wonder whether the books might have been better joined together. Still, Magia left me caring about her heroine, and I am looking forward to see how her story continues.