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Reviewed by Paul F. Murray for Readers' Favorite
Anticipated (A Jagged Journeys’ Novella Book 2) by Ida Smith is a wonderful story about the Jewish response to Jesus the Messiah in the first century A.D. The author’s description of Jesus is based upon solid research and a realistic portrayal of the different responses to Jesus by first century Jews, as seen through the eyes of Bethlehem shepherd boy Uzziel. Uzziel grows into manhood, expecting a fierce warrior-Messiah who would lead an army to oust the Romans from Israel. The adult Jesus is very, very different from what Uzziel and his fellow Jews had originally expected. Uzziel’s reaction to Jesus forms the core of the story, as Uzziel works to reshape his expectations. Jesus the infant, Jesus the toddler at the time of King Herod’s attempt to kill him, and Jesus the teacher in circa 30 A.D. are all based upon the probable realities that Jesus and his detractors, as well as his followers faced, rather than upon a fantasy version of what Jesus, Mary, and Joseph should have been like in too many less well-researched writers’ minds.
I really enjoyed Anticipated by Ida Smith. I came away from the novel with a clearer understanding of why many first century Jews rejected Jesus and his teachings, as well as why some Jews came around to understanding the real reason why Jesus the Messiah came to earth. Not only was the novel fun reading, but also very informative. The grammar is flawless, making for easy reading and an ample desire to keep turning the pages. Author Ida Smith knows her craft.