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Reviewed by Denise Stern for Readers' Favorite
se Stern for Readers'Favorite.
In this highly fictionalized account, Don Willis has created a thought-provoking and interesting story that takes place during biblical times, and involves the influence of one of the most celebrated figures in the history of mankind, Jesus Christ. In the story, two brothers, Dismas and Jotham, grow up in the town of Bethlehem, at a time when Roman rule often wreaked havoc on the Israeli people. When the story begins, Dismas is nearly 11 years old, and his little brother Jotham is almost five. The two brothers meet and become acquainted with a young couple, Joseph and his very pregnant wife, Mary. Through the intervening years, the two brothers are confronted with enormous and alarming decisions, including an incident where the two brothers must fight each other to the death. Eventually, because of his deeds, Dismas is sentenced to die by crucifixion by Pontius Pilate, along with his friend, Gestas. They are placed on either side of Jesus Christ on the Hill of Golgotha. It is there, while hanging beside Jesus, that Dismas acknowledges Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and asks for God's forgiveness. However, a surprising twist at the end propels the story full circle.
The plot, character development and dialogue are well thought out, offering a balanced blend for each reader. Not at all “preachy” in style, this Christian-based fictionalized story provides an in-depth glimpse into the struggle and choices of two brothers striving to survive in trying times. Well-developed and rendered, the book shows the author's innate talent for imagination and creativity.