Up from Dust: Martha’s Story (Women of the Way)

Written by Heather Kaufman
Review by Elizabeth K. Corbett

Martha of Bethany is a young woman who remembers the bitter truths of life. She was only a girl when her mother passed away, a memory that continues to haunt her. In her youth, she played an essential part in raising her two younger siblings—Lazarus and Mary. Her life begins to change when she crosses paths with Jesus of Nazareth, a rabbi who can miraculously heal others. When her friend’s husband is ill, she meets the rabbi, and her life begins to transform in a positive way.

Up from Dust, the first instalment in the Women of the Way series, is a heartfelt story of faith. It surrounds the life of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, whose story is featured in the gospels of Luke and John. While it is about all three siblings, the novel focuses primarily on Martha and her experiences with Jesus of Nazareth. Through Heather Kaufman’s gorgeous and masterful writing, the world of first-century Judea comes to life. The characters are so vulnerable and human, Martha especially. It was fantastic to read a story through the eyes of Martha, a character who is often known for her sense of duty in the Bible, and to understand the narrative behind her life. To say that I fell in love with Martha is an understatement. This was Kaufman’s debut novel, and I look forward to what she writes in the future!