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Blood of a Stone    by Jeanne Lyet Gassman order for
Blood of a Stone
by Jeanne Lyet Gassman
Order:  USA  Can
Tuscany Press, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

The Author's Note in Blood of a Stone states: 'The intent of this book was to depict the Jesus movement from the point of view of an outsider, from the perspective of someone who was neither Roman nor Jewish.' Jeanne Lyet Gassman has definitely achieved her goal, and with a very interesting story.

Demetrios is a slave in first-century Palestine, living under an extremely harsh Roman master. When the master is killed, Demetrios and Elazar, a Jewish slave, must run for their lives from Roman authority. Elazar knows something about trading, and they decide to be partners. All goes well in their travels until they begin to hear praises for a man they call 'the Rav.' Elazar is so taken with this man that he gives up his partnership to follow him. Demetrios does not know how to react to what is happening. He feels betrayed by Elazar, but as he sees the wonders that Jesus performs, he is transformed.

Through Demetrios' adventures we get an idea of what that desert kind of a life was like. Scorpions and vipers are natural dangers; brigands and cheats are another. Although this reader would have liked to know lots more about Demetrios - how did this illiterate young man get to be so smart so quickly? - and Elazar - what were the real reasons for his about-face at the end? - as well as the other characters, Gassman provides some interesting highlights, such as when the brutal Roman master moans that he should have died on the battlefield.

This is Christian fiction about a time fraught with meaning for believers. Even though certain things in the story have been changed from tradition, the author has managed to show us important political, social and cultural aspects of the period from the point of view of a likable young Gentile who is a stranger to everything.

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