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Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite
A Man Whose Name Was Joseph by Shawn Stanley is an historical journey exploring the life and times of Joseph and Mary. A fictional work but based on known facts, the novel follows Joseph from the commitment to marriage to Mary through to the time they take the baby Jesus and flee from Bethlehem. This is the story of the nativity from Joseph’s perspective, and the novel also gives an insight into what life must have been like during those times, relating the hardships of Roman rule and of everyday life, and of one man’s determination to fulfil his destiny. This story looks at the conception and birth of Jesus in a fresh and intriguing way.
The author, Shawn Stanley, has clearly researched his subject well, and apart from his knowledge of the Biblical reporting of events, has put his own interpretation onto the known facts which has really developed the story and given it a realism that has also given the story credence. The writing is smooth and flows well, and the descriptions help to enhance the story and to bring alive the whole ethos of what is the greatest story of all time – the birth of Jesus. The writing is emotional and I really enjoyed reading from the perspective of Joseph, who is so often a lesser character in this well-known story. I think this Christian story could have an incredible impact and encourage the author to further explore his adaptations of Biblical events. Highly recommended.