By Tessa Afshar
Published by Tyndale
384 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances—along with her father’s precious dye—help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.

REVIEW: No one brings the Bible to life and touches your heart and mind like author Tessa Afshar. In her newest novel, Bread of Angels; this author brilliantly transports readers to biblical times and has them get to know Lydia and her father in an up-close and personal way; allowing readers to walk in Lydia’s shoes, experiencing challenges they faced in creating a vibrant color purple like no one else had and feeling their struggles in overcoming fear with faith. This is a moving tale showing what women faced in business and giving a realistic glimpse of what life might have been like in ancient Palestine.

The past collides with the present. Lydia has a choice to stand firm in her faith and trust God at His word or let fear have its way and sweep her into the darkness. I liked this feisty, passionate woman who was determined to face her fears. I like how her father describes his own fight, ““Fear became like a chain that bound me. Then I realized that I would never achieve anything of worth until I wrestled with this monster in my heart. You know my dyes are different from everyone else’s here in Thyatira. Do you think I was born with formulas already composted? “No” “But trial and error, I discovered them. I found them in dark of confusion…I failed. But then, in the end, I found my way to places no one else had.” He encourages Lydia to step out and do what he taught her. He had equipped her with all she needed to be a dye master of the color purple.

Readers will be forever changed by the power of Lydia’s story as this author has them feel her pain and anguish as hopes and dreams are crushed. Things turn around for Lydia when she hears Apostle Paul speak of Jesus’s message of surrender, forgiveness, hope, and love. The reader will rejoice and feel renewed along with Lydia as God helps her pick up the pieces of her life to create something she never imagined possible.

I felt like I was learning right along with Lydia as she discovered her ability to be an overcomer and allowed God to give her the courage she needed to face her fears. She is an inspiration. This story is powerful, moving and one I won’t soon forget. I love novels that make me go to the Bible and to find out more. This book is a keeper and one that would work well in a book club setting.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
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