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Book Reviews, Books, Women in Ministry

#BookReview: A Week in the Life of a Greco-Roman Woman by Holly Beers brings the first century to life @ivpress

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A Week In the Life of a Greco-Roman Woman by Holly Beers brings the first century teachings of Paul to life for modern readers.

NetGalley is hosting a “Review A Thon,” throughout the entire month of August. Net Galley is a great website that provides free advanced reader copies to bloggers and readers in exchange for an honest review. I love books and I also enjoy saving money, so Net Galley is perfect for me.

I enjoy reading as a form of self care. Curling up with a good book is a form of stress relief for me. Sometimes I share book reviews here on my website, but throughout the month of August, I will be sharing even more book reviews than normal as I work my way through my massive “To Be Read,” pile on Net Galley.

What are you reading? Let me know in the comments below!

 My Review for A Week In the Life of a Greco-Roman Woman by Holly Beers

the cover of the book shows a mosaic of a woman's face

A Week in the Life of a Greco-Roman Woman by Holly Beers brings the ancient city of Ephesus to life for modern readers. As a preacher, it is my job to attempt to bring the scripture to life every Sunday. It is always my goal to make the first century world that Jesus walked come to life for my congregation; however, this takes a great deal of time and study. That is why I am so grateful for books like this one.

Beers, an associate professor of religious studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, does a fabulous job of helping the reader to imagine what life was really liked during the time that St. Paul was preaching and teaching.  The majority of the book is a fictional account of the daily life of a woman named Anthia who lived in Ephesus. Although Anthia and her story are imaginary, the challenges she faces were are all too real for the majority of women in the ancient world. She deals with an abusive husband, the dangers of childbirth, unsanitary living conditions, and the gnawing hunger of a subsistence diet. Anthia’s life seems truly bleak until one day she encounters a man named Paul. Soon, she meets other followers of The Way and is exposed to ideas that make her question everything she has ever known.

My favorite part of this book were the realistic and gritty details. Beers does not shy away from exploring the many real dangers and tragedies that people faced in ancient Greco-Roman society. I also appreciated the side bars interspersed throughout the text. These sidebars included diverse information about everything from cosmetics, superstitions surrounding childbirth, and slavery.

The only gentle criticism I have about this book is that Anthia’s story felt rather incomplete. I would have preferred a more solid ending.  Nevertheless, I’m certain that I will reference this book in the future when I am preparing sermons, especially sermons based on Paul’s epistles.

Publisher’s Description:

Book Details

Title:  A Week in the Life of a Greco-Roman Woman 

Author: Holly Beers

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Publisher: InterVarsity Press / IVP Academic

Publication Date: December 3, 2019

Pre-Order your copy today! 


Other Review-A-Thon Book Reviews:

Why We Can’t Sleep- Women’s New Midlife Crisis– The modern challenges faced by women today as we enter middle age are rooted universal concerns.

Near the Exit: Travels with the Not-So-Grim Reaper- Episcopal deacon and author, Lori Erickson, travels the world to learn what other cultures can teach us about death and the grieving process.

50 Essential Etiquette Lessons The perfect little etiquette book for young professionals


What are you reading?

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What are you currently reading?  I’m currently reading Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are on Audible! Have you heard of Audible? You can try Audible and get two free audiobooks as well as two Audible Originals!  As a person with low vision, I absolutely LOVE Audible. I use it all the time! Sign up for a free trial and even if you cancel your membership, you get to keep the audioboooks! Try Audible today. Your Ears will thank you!


 I would love to hear your comments below! Also, please don’t forget to subscribe so that you never miss a post. You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter! 


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