About the book:
Claudia's life did not start easily. The illegitimate daughter of Julia, reviled and exiled daughter of Caesar Augustus, Claudia spends her childhood in a guarded villa with her mother and grandmother. When Tiberius, who hates Julia, takes the throne, Claudia is wrenched away from her mother to be brought up in the palace in Rome. The young woman is adrift-until she meets Lucius Pontius Pilate and becomes his wife. When Pilate is appointed Prefect of the troublesome territory of Judea, Claudia does what she has always done: she makes the best of it. But unrest is brewing on the outskirts of the Roman Empire, and Claudia will soon find herself and her beloved husband embroiled in controversy and rebellion. Might she find peace and rest in the teaching of the mysterious Jewish Rabbi everyone seems to be talking about?
Recently named “Writer of the Year” by the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild, Diana Wallis Taylor has been writing since the age of 12 when she sold her first poem to a church newspaper. Her third novel, Mary Magdalene came out May 2012 and she recently completed her fourth novel of Biblical Fiction for Revell, Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. She won first place in the San Diego Book Awards for her short story, “Phipps and the Jay”; First place in Christian Romance for her book Smoke Before the Wind. First place in Christian Fiction for her manuscript, “House of the Forest”; Second place last year for Martha all in the Reader’s Favorite Book Review and Award Contest. Her collection of poetry, Wings of the Wind came out in 2006. Her writing contributions appear in various compilation books and magazines. Diana wrote the words and melodies to an Easter cantata called “Glorious” recently completed with her fellow collaborator, Carolyn Prentice, who did the orchestration.
Diana lives with her husband Frank in San Diego, California. Between them they have six grown children and ten grandchildren. She enjoys speaking and sharing her heart with women of all ages.
You can read more about her on her website http://dianawallistaylor.com/
Biblical fiction is one of my favorite genre's. Diana did a great job bringing Claudia and Pilate to life.
Claudia is mentioned once in the Bible, in Matthew 27:19, While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him a message, saying, "Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him."
In this novel, we see Claudia who is taken from her dying mother when she is young to the court of Tiberius, and raised in Rome. She is then wed to Lucius Pontius Pilate. The relationship between Pilate and Claudia is very endearing. They are truly in love and he wants to make her life better than it was before.
It isn't very long during Pilate's governing that he becomes the Prefect of Judea, which is in total unrest, and gets worse with Jesus coming on the scene. Claudia has had dreams about Jesus, before she even gets to Judea. She begins to have questions about the Jewish beliefs, and asks members of her staff who are Jewish. She then meets Jesus face to face and her life was changed. He wasn't made of stone or wood, He was flesh and blood, and her life was forever changed in that moment.
When Jesus is brought to Pilate, and accused Pilate tries four times to not have Him crucified, yet the crowd wouldn't have it and Pilate knew a riot would ensue.
Years after Jesus' death, Pilate feels guilty for not stopping His crucifixion, and Claudia tells him that he was part of the plan, because Jesus came to free us from our sins.
In the author's note, Diana says that there is much speculation about whether Pilate became a believer or not. There is an Orthodox church named after him, so I would like to believe he finally realized who Jesus was and that he was forgiven. How Pilate died is also speculation. Some say he committed suicide, some say he died in exile of natural causes.
I am with Diana, I want to believe that he came to faith.
Pros: Beautiful Biblical scenery all throughout. Bible verses put in at the right places. Seeing a woman who believed in the gods of the Romans come to faith.
*Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group*