Jairus's Girl

Christian - Historical Fiction
180 Pages
Reviewed on 12/02/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Lynn Robertson Hay’s writing covers a number of episodes for BBC TV, film, radio and theatre - winning an award for Best Children's Theatre from the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. She was a quarterfinalist in the Academy's prestigious Nicholl Fellowship (yes, *that* Academy), from 6,400 screenplays worldwide.

As an actor she’s played parts ranging from Lady Macbeth to Mole, Puck to Miss Prism, and was recently seen wielding a rolling pin as Flo Capp in ANDY CAPP - THE MUSICAL. She has just made her West End debut - understudying Stockard Channing in APOLOGIA, and going on in that amazing role eight times!
Her one-woman show has played a variety of venues in the UK, US and elsewhere, including the only part of Glastonbury Abbey still standing (not her fault).

Lynn's claim to fame is that she once won an episode of quiz show Fifteen to One.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite

Jairus’s Girl by L.R. Hay tells the story of Tammie who lives with her parents, Jairus and Naomi, in a small fishing village near Galilee. Set in the time of Jesus, the story shows a different perspective of life in those times. The lives of Tammie’s friends and family are followed as they pursue their daily routines, carry out their chores, and enjoy the small adventures that every day brings. Jairus is highly revered in his community and Tammie adores him and is proud of her father. Tammie’s life in this historical period gives a new insight into the way of life and the daily comings and goings at a time when the focus was mainly on the life of Jesus.

This is a new and innovative approach to a well known historical era, told in a light-hearted way and in a voice ideal for the pre-teen reader. The author, L.R. Hay, is to be congratulated on creating an entertaining story yet interweaving the life of the era, resulting in a read that is fun and informative. This is a great idea to entice pre-teens to read about biblical life, without getting too engrossed in the Christian aspects, yet piquing their imaginations and interest. This was a really enjoyable read, even for an adult, and might well appeal to both adult, young adult and pre-teen readers if they are interested in a different perspective on biblical times. A nice enticing cover adds to the appeal of this book. A story that, though simple in its approach, stirs the imagination.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

The life Jairus leads is an important one and it’s one that takes him away from his family a lot, but each time that he comes home, his little girl is right there waiting for him. Tammie is young, only 11 years old, but she is proud of everything that her father does and everything that he stands for. And then, everything changes with the coming of Jesus. Their world will never be the same now that their Savior has come to them; and it’s definitely not the same when the Son of God is lost to them, seemingly forever, but nothing is ever as it seems, and the fate of Jesus is no different in Jairus’s Girl by L.R. Hay.

For those who have always been interested in the story of the coming of the Son of God, this is definitely a book to read. There were many people in the world at the time, and such an important event certainly made an impact on all of them. With the many different ways to look at this story, reading it from the point of view of a young child who was greatly impacted is an interesting one. Tammie is very affected, but in a way that’s entirely new compared to the versions we’ve all heard from the point of view of the disciples and other adults during this time. Even though readers already know the story, it’s a fun one to revisit and Jairus’s Girl by L.R. Hay has something intriguing and insightful all the way round for everyone.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

There is a story in the New Testament of the Bible about a little girl whom Jesus raised from the dead. Just when family and friends had given up hope, Jesus arrived and told the girl to rise up. And she did. This is Tammie’s story. Tamar Bilkiah Keren Happuch Bath-Jairus. Rabbi Jairus’s daughter. It was a name she hated, but she learned later to like it, to appreciate it, especially when Jesus told her the meanings of her names: Tamar, meaning beautiful, Keren Happuch meaning splendour of bright colours, Bilkia meaning coming back to life. Before she became very sick, Tammie was an obedient daughter who willingly helped with all the chores, including taking care of a very sick woman, Sarah. Even though she was warned not to go near Sarah while caring for her, lest she succumb to the fever, Tammie couldn’t leave the old woman alone, thrashing around in the deep throes of a fever. Tammie held Sarah's hand and sang to her. And Tammie contracted the fever.

L.R. Hay has written a beautiful story about a young girl. But Jairus’s Girl is so much more than just a beautiful story. Adopting stories from Scripture, the author has made these simple stories of faith into a compelling plot where the characters come alive with passion and purpose. As the plot develops, so too does Tammie’s connection with the new prophet, Jesus. As she learns to love the man and his teachings, she develops a new, stronger bond with her God. At the climax, the darkened skies of what we now refer to as Good Friday, Tammie’s story resolves itself, as she comes to realize that Jesus is still with her and everyone else. As she stated quite clearly, by ripping the curtain in the synagogue, Jesus allowed Tammie and everyone else a closer connection with God. The story is told as a parable of old, but it is also told with side-notes to make it relevant to the young reader of today’s world. Very well done.

Ray Simmons

My mother is a librarian and a very devout Christian. I learned how to read, first by reading Bible stories, usually from a Sunday school book, and then the Bible itself. I have read all the stories. The popular and well-known ones, as well as those many don’t know. I have always found them interesting and entertaining, but when my kids were growing up, I longed for stories that they could relate to. Stories that are told from a child’s perspective. I have found exactly that type of story in Jairus’s Girl by LR Hay. It is a perfect Bible-based story for children. It is even told from a girl’s point of view, which is rare. I enjoyed it, and though my kids are grown, I think they still will enjoy it too.

I like the plot of Jairus’s Girl. LR Hay takes well documented events from the life of Jesus and weaves them into a believable and inspiring story as it might have been perceived from the point of view of the neighborhood kids. The main character, Jairus, is my personal favorite but there are plenty of lovable and believable children that a young person can relate to. The writing is spot on and LR Hay never forgets that she is writing for and hopefully inspiring young people. Her portrayal of how life might have been in biblical times is as good as any I have read, as is the effect of Jesus on the lives of those who met and knew him.

Edith Wairimu

In Jairus's Girl by L.R. Hay, Tammie, a lively and compassionate young girl, enjoys life surrounded by family and friends in a small town in Galilee. Her father, Jairus, is a teacher of the law at the synagogue and, once in a while, Tammie learns about her people’s traditions and faith through him. Life continues seamlessly until one day Tammie falls ill with a terrible fever. As each day passes, her condition gets worse and her parents’ faith continues to dwindle. Jairus cannot let his daughter go and he decides to approach Jesus. Other teachings of Jesus are included in this book, as well as some of his miraculous works such as the feeding of the four thousand people and the healing of the paralyzed man.

The tone used by L.R. Hay is friendly and the language is suitable for young readers. Tammie and her friends depict what true friendship should be like and they possess admirable character traits such as hospitality, compassion, obedience and faith. Jesus is presented in Jairus’s Girl in a way that young readers can relate to him and understand his teachings. The end of the book emphasizes hope and forgiveness which are also important virtues. Even though the story of the raising of Jairus’s daughter is a common one, L.R. Hay manages to tell it in a unique and fascinating way that captivates both young and adult readers. There are also many surprising elements that made me take a closer look at the story and learn something new. I highly recommend this delightful read.

Grant Leishman

Jairus’s Girl by LR Hay is a biblically-based book aimed at probably middle-schoolers and high school aged children that tells the story of Jesus, his teachings, his crucifixion and his resurrection through the eyes of a simple young girl in the town of Capernaum in 33 AD. Tammie is your typical pre-teen, full of energy and excitement as she enters her teenage years. Her father is the Rabbi of Capernaum, commanding much respect and honor for the family. When an itinerant preacher comes to town and turns everyone’s lives upside down, Tammie is as excited about this Jesus as everyone else in the small town. When Jesus begins preaching and performing miracles amongst her family and friends, both Tammie and her father are convinced that Jesus is indeed the real thing and may even be the Messiah that the Jewish people have been waiting so long for, as prophesied. Not everyone is convinced, however, and to some Jewish people he is seen as nothing short of a blasphemer and a heretic.

Author LR Hay mentions that her target audience is young people, but that some adults have also read and enjoyed the adventures of Tammie and her family. I can count myself as one of those adults enamored and moved by this simple tale, Jairus’s Girl. Hay has crafted a sweet, funny and strangely moving tale that I have no doubt many young people will identify with. To put it simply, this book is a delight to read. The author uses the tool of “reader asides” to engage her readers and I found this a clever technique that subtly reminded us that although these things may have happened two thousand years ago, they are just as relevant today and the morals and lessons inherent in the story are equally applicable in modern times. I say to any doubters, forget it is about Christianity and just read and enjoy the adventures of a young girl in early Palestine. I’m certainly not overtly religious and I loved the story and the message it conveyed. It is a story well worth reading and definitely well worth the five stars I have given it.