I’m really enjoying this Psalm series and the different way each author is shining a light on the meaning and application of their chosen Psalm through fiction. In this third book in the series, the lives of the apostle Timothy and the Praetorian Prefect Sextus Burrus provided an interesting contrast through which to explore Psalm 42, where the Psalmist cries out, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God…Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” (vv. 5, 7)
I found Sextus Burrus to be the more interesting and better developed of the two main characters, and I loved the historical notes at the end that explained what was actually known about him. The broad outline of the story is based on historical fact in spite of the scant information that has come down to us, but being unfamiliar with Sextus Burrus himself meant that there was an element of surprise in the way the story ended. I recommend not reading up on him before reading this story!
Although I thought Timothy was less developed as a character, it was encouraging to see the way he grew in his faith through the circumstances of this story. So often we think of the apostles as beacons of faith, but they were human too, and the uncertainty that came with Paul’s imprisonment, as well as some other circumstances that arise during the novel, challenged Timothy to examine where his hope lay and to allow God to meet his deepest needs.
The historical setting was well-developed and the writing well-paced. An enjoyable read for lovers of Biblical fiction or those who would like to explore the meaning and application of Psalm 42.
I was not expecting Nero’s Rome as the backdrop for an examination of Psalm 42. Carol Towriss brings a story straight from Nero’s household, deftly weaving the challenges of life and death in those times, for all people, wth the penetrating truths of Psalm 42. Her history is accurate, her story well paced and peopled with believably charming and challenging characters. It was not only an enjoyable read but an enlightening one, in every way, ‘Deep Calling to Deep’. The best yet in this series.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book, but also pre-ordered a copy. I was not required to present a review or asked for any other support.