Woman of Clay (2012) by Linda Caddick is a fantastic novel that reads as a standalone, but does have a sequel (Woman of Mettle). This book comes in all forms including eBook, and is 299 pages in length. With a full-time job and a very busy six-year old at home, this novel took me three days to read. I received a copy of this book in eBook form from the author. In no way has this influenced my opinion of the story. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give Woman of Clay 5 STARS. This novel is Biblical Fiction set in 1st c. Israel during Jesus’s ministry.
About the Book
This vivid story of love triumphing over human weakness plunges you into a vibrant drama in 1st century Israel.
“In her mind’s eye, she saw herself cowering as the blur of that first stone hurtled towards her, its keen edge cutting into the soft flesh of her neck. Then another, striking her on the temple with a head-splitting blow, stones slamming into her from every direction. She felt the terror of death and heard her own screams inside her head. “God, have mercy on me,” she whimpered.”
Self-deception, passion, and turmoil threaten to destroy everything Shana holds dear, even her own life. Driven by a burning quest for happiness, she sacrifices the love of a good man to satisfy a need she can’t identify, paying a high price for the legacy of her father’s rejection.
A shocking face-to-face encounter with a controversial young rabbi reveals the truth. He claims her heart and gives his life in exchange, but still she must suffer the consequences of her choices. A cruel twist of fate presents her with a final test – her will or God’s will? Love requires a sacrifice, but can all she has lost ever be restored?
From bestselling biblical fiction author Linda Caddick, this poignant account of a woman’s journey from brokenness to healing through redeeming love, provides an enlightening, true-to-life experience of history during the time of Jesus, that illustrates the bible in a new way.
Woman of Clay is an excellent novel. This book spoke to my soul! I found that I often had to step away from the book because it really made me think about Jesus, His ministry and purpose, and how I will react when I come face to face with Him one day. This book allowed me to take a good look at who I am as a woman of God. This introspection allowed me to see areas where I am good and strong in my faith, but it also allowed me to recognize some serious aspects within myself I need to continue to work on with God’s help and guidance. I will definitely think on this novel long after having finished it.
In John 8:1-11, Jesus deals with a woman caught in adultery. I have always disliked this story because of how mean it is. There are so many injustices it’s awful. First, if this woman really was committing adultery, then by Law the man she was committing this sin with needed to be present in front of this group as well. But there is no man. Just one lone, scared, shamed girl. The Pharisees in this story did not really care about the Law. They cared about hurting Jesus. The second thing that bugs me about this moment is how the woman is treated. Like she is trash. No one cares that she’s been set up. No one cares that she is totally defenseless. They are a mob with hate-filled hearts who relish in the idea of hurting this girl and hurting Jesus. It’s horrendous. BUT JESUS…
Jesus sees the truth behind everything and everyone. Nothing surprises Him. So, when this girl is thrown in front of Him and the group of very angry men call for her death, Jesus gets what’s really going on. Woman of Clay envisions this woman’s story in such a beautiful and respectful manner. What struck me the most about this novel is the moment when this woman — her name is Shoshana in the book — comes face-to-face with Jesus. Forget about what the men’s intentions were. Forget about the injustice of it all. Consider, just for a moment, what it would be like to stand next to Jesus as you are right now. The most perfect being EVER and He is looking at you. He sees into your eyes. He sees your truth — your shame, guilt, pride, anger, frustration, doubts, worries, and fears. Thinking about it makes me feel so unclean, so unworthy, but I know that what I will see in His eyes is total, perfect love just as this adulterous woman must have seen. How amazing is that?! We serve an awesome God!!! Shoshana meets Jesus and her life is never the same again. She has been completely changed just as we all are when we meet Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Savior.
The prose in Woman of Clay is so beautiful and sensuous. Not only did the sentences flow smoothly from line to line, but the imagery Caddick’s words created — I totally felt like I was in 1st century Israel with Shoshana. When she met Jesus, I was right there standing next to her and Jesus. And, it isn’t just the moments with Jesus that are so realistic. Caddick does an excellent job of accurately portraying life as a person in 1st century Israel. I could feel the caked on dust on my feet as Shoshana walked mile upon exhausting mile to get to each place she walked to. I could feel the intense muscle aches of the characters as they went about their days filled with backbreaking, arduous work. I could smell the foods as the women gathered to cook and bake their daily meals. It was truly a pleasure reading this book because I was transported back in time. Reading this book is a beautiful experience.
I think Woman of Clay lends itself well to a fascinating Bible and history study. This book made me run to my Bible to study a few things a bit deeper, which should be the ultimate goal of every piece of Biblical fiction written. If you are looking for a story that will transport you back to Jesus’s time, a story that will have you looking at some New Testament stories in a whole new light, then Woman of Clay is definitely the book for you. I HIGHLY recommend this reading experience.