Official Review: Lydia, Woman of Philippi

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
Post Reply
User avatar
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 291
Joined: 13 Apr 2015, 12:49
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 70
Currently Reading: A Book for Oreo
Bookshelf Size: 230
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Vetted by K'Anne Meinel

Official Review: Lydia, Woman of Philippi

Post by Momlovesbooks » 12 Dec 2017, 16:58

[Following is an official review of "Lydia, Woman of Philippi" by Diana Wallis Taylor.]
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

Lydia, Woman of Philippi, is a fictional novel based on a female character in the Bible. The author, Diana Wallis Taylor, has written several other novels revolving around women in the Bible. This one proves to be a touching story.

The book begins with a young Lydia growing up in a Roman society in the city of Thyatira. Her father and brother are staunch Romans, but her mother has led her in a quiet belief of the Jewish God, Adonai. At the age of fifteen, her father arranges her marriage into an influential Roman family. Although her husband is cruel and shows her no love, Lydia remains a loyal wife. She gives birth to a beautiful daughter, but her husband is furious that she can't give him a son. Several years later, he is killed in battle. Lydia returns to her father's home with her twelve-year-old daughter.

Lydia convinces her father to train her in the family dye business. Her father owns a profitable business that she quickly learns to love. Lydia is intelligent and quickly picks up on the inner workings of the business. After tragedy strikes her family, she moves to Philippi to take control of her father's business in that city. While there, her faith in God is strengthened. She begins to bond with her employee, who is also a God-fearer. When she meets a man named Paul the Apostle, her life will be drastically changed.

I enjoy reading Biblical fiction. The story of Lydia captivated me from page one. Although we don't have a lot of details about her in the Bible, I believe it is a good assumption of how Lydia's life might have been. The author used great detail when describing the Roman rules, customs and worship of other gods. I could tell Ms Taylor thoroughly researched the background and kept the story Biblically correct.

The characters were well-developed and depicted accurately for that time period. I enjoyed her portrayal of Lydia as a strong, independent, smart woman who is a follower of the Jewish God. The characters came alive on the pages and enhanced the flow of the story. The only awkward part I noticed was when Lydia's life jumped from being a new mother, to having her child be of marrying age. There was a gap in her past that I would have liked to seen shared with the reader.

The life of Lydia was inspiring. She showed strength and determination during difficult times. Through all her trials, she kept her faith in God and kept her heart open. Woven throughout the story, were several opportunities for Lydia to share the good news of God's love.

I didn't notice any grammatical mistakes and feel this book was professionally edited. Based on my above observations, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed it and believe fans of historical fiction and Biblical themes will find this an interesting read. If religious novels aren't your cup of tea, this may not be the book for you. However, I look forward to reading other novels by this author.

Lydia, Woman of Philippi
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like Momlovesbooks's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Sahani Nimandra
Trial Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 746
Joined: 27 Nov 2017, 22:49
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 5
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 85
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 180
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... >Emotional Intelligence</a>
Currently Reading: The Problems of Life and Ethical Dilemmas
Bookshelf Size: 309
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The 11.05 Murders by Brian O'Hare
Location: Sri Lanka

Post by Sahani Nimandra » 14 Dec 2017, 00:39

It sounds good! A story revolving around a woman who went through hardships and finally succeeded. Thank you!
Looking forward to read this book.
Happiness is a cup of coffee and a good book!

User avatar
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1507
Joined: 30 Oct 2017, 04:36
2017 Reading Goal: 0
Bookshelf Size: 0
Location: Eastern UK

Post by Lincolnshirelass » 14 Dec 2017, 05:01

Great review and sounds like an interesting book. I am fascinated by the role of women in the Bible, as in some ways it seems contradictory. For instance, those infamous words of Paul's about women shutting up in church - and yet he addresses epistles to women who run churches in their homes! I'm inclined to accept the argument that he was advising his followers to respect some social mores of the time. Also (in the old testament) there are strong women like Esther and Deborah, and the famous 'proverbs woman' - I've often wondered if she was an actual person or an archetype. Anyway, I would certainly like to read the book and thanks for the review.
An Eye for an Eye only ends up making the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

User avatar
Posts: 1128
Joined: 03 Sep 2016, 15:34
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 42
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 400
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... 665">Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban</a>
Currently Reading: The Sleepwalker
Bookshelf Size: 271
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Punk Finds a Forever Home by Brenda Loew
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by MarisaRose » 14 Dec 2017, 07:19

I really enjoy novels that take relatively small characters from history and give them life. It sounds like this one does a great job of creating a character and bringing her story to life. I'll add this one to my 'to read' list. Thanks!
"No two persons ever read the same book." -Edmund Wilson

User avatar
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 4827
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 42
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: End of the Last Great Kingdom
Bookshelf Size: 177
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Fountain Found by Allen Broderick

Post by kandscreeley » 14 Dec 2017, 08:23

I love the thought of this story. The cover is great as well! I enjoy reading Biblical fiction if it follows fairly closely with the Bible. It sounds like this is definitely one worth looking into. Thanks for a great review!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

User avatar
Mercy Bolo
Posts: 939
Joined: 31 May 2017, 03:44
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 54
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... 10262">The Wisdom and Peace of the Teachings of the Tao Te Ching</a>
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 148
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Lion Roared FREEDOM by Andr&ecirc; Black

Post by Mercy Bolo » 14 Dec 2017, 08:33

Not much is said about women's lives in the Bible. From your review, the author did justice in telling the story of Lydia of Philippi.
"The minimum requirement for a dream is a safe place to lay your head."
~OluTimehin Adegbeye

User avatar
Posts: 158
Joined: 31 Oct 2017, 09:54
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 40
Currently Reading: The One
Bookshelf Size: 60
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by powergirl » 14 Dec 2017, 13:31

Great review,i love the book cover page.It seems to be a blibical story and i really like blibical fiction.
"To be or not to be that's the question" William Shakespeare

User avatar
Posts: 661
Joined: 02 Jul 2017, 12:56
2018 Reading Goal: 12
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 83
Favorite Book: <a href=" ... 15362">The Prodigal Son</a>
Currently Reading: A Game of Thrones
Bookshelf Size: 206
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: What the Hand by Todd Stockwell
Location: Chicago, IL

Post by MsTri » 14 Dec 2017, 17:26

I saw this book come up and was interested, but not as much as I was in something else I wanted to read. I'm glad to know I was right about it, though. I recently read First Family, which is the Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel stories from their POVs, and this sounds like it might be in the same vein. I will def check it out when I get a chance. Thanks for the solid review.

User avatar
Posts: 185
Joined: 25 Oct 2017, 06:42
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 4
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 67
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "And Then I Met Margaret" by Rob White

Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 14 Dec 2017, 21:19

Interesting biblical fiction. I will look up to it. Thank you for your good review.
"Read in order to live." ~Gustave Flaubert
"Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

User avatar
Posts: 433
Joined: 04 Nov 2017, 11:22
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2017 Reading Goal: 10
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 41
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 30
Currently Reading: A Wrinkle in Time
Bookshelf Size: 71
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Boss's Challenge by Mark A Scureman

Post by inaramid » 15 Dec 2017, 02:03

People sometimes deify biblical characters so much that they alienate regular human beings like me. I definitely love that this book shows the human aspect of a biblical character. Great review!

Posts: 17
Joined: 07 Sep 2017, 03:27
Currently Reading: Gideon: The Sound and The Glory
Bookshelf Size: 22
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: "Apollo's Raven" by Linnea Tanner

Post by Missnellus » 15 Dec 2017, 06:56

I'm just so captivated by your review. I love historical fiction with bible themes and this just touched my heart's core. Looking forward to read the book myself.

User avatar
Whitney Marchelle
Posts: 254
Joined: 10 Oct 2017, 12:16
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 20
Currently Reading: Clan and Conscience (Clan beginnings Book 6)
Bookshelf Size: 46
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Superhighway by Alex Fayman

Post by Whitney Marchelle » 20 Dec 2017, 23:30

Great review.I enjoy biblical fiction too, glad there's a story out there about a character we don't a lot of info on.

User avatar
Posts: 15
Joined: 04 Nov 2017, 05:11
Bookshelf Size: 10

Post by chozella » 21 Dec 2017, 14:39

I would love to read this book about Lydia! Interesting to read about her life as it might have been! The story line seems fascinating and how she became a business woman. Awesome, this type of book is right up my alley!

User avatar
Posts: 280
Joined: 19 Sep 2017, 01:32
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 73
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 8
Favorite Author: James Mace
Currently Reading: The Buried Secrets of Peonies
Bookshelf Size: 163
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Final Notice by Van Fleisher
fav_author_id: 21042
Location: NZ

Post by N_R » 23 Dec 2017, 20:57

Love this review, thanks for a tempting invitation to read the book. To be honest, I've never really read biblical fiction but very interested in it now!

User avatar
Posts: 359
Joined: 29 Nov 2017, 20:30
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 9
Currently Reading: The Everett Exorcism
Bookshelf Size: 32
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: God Versus The Idea of God by Thomas Richard Harry
Location: Philippines

Post by pinklover » 25 Dec 2017, 08:24

You have a beautiful review and I feel the touching story upon reading your review. I love Bible stories and this one make me wanted to read more stories on the Christian Bible.
When everything seems too late, but it's not. God is there! Just keep on believing Jesus.

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”