The Hidden Flame is the second book in the Acts of Faith Series and continues with some of the same characters that we met in The Centurion’s Wife.
Abigail now appears as the main character. She lives in Jerusalem where the first century church is struggling. Not for lack of converts, but because the Roman rulers and the religious leaders would like to stamp it out. They all thought that when they killed Jesus, his followers would cease to exist as a group, but they didn’t count on what would happen next.
First of all, the church is now growing at a remarkable rate, and secondly, the Holy Spirit has been sent to give the believers power. So, instead of disbanding they are actually very bold in their efforts to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the middle of this chaos, Abigail finds great joy in working for the Kingdom by serving her fellow Christians. Only one thing is lacking in her life, a husband and family. She soon finds herself being sought for marriage by two different men. Ezra, a rich Hebrew merchant who is also a widow is looking for a mother for his children; and Linux, the Roman soldier and close friend of Alban is enamored by Abigail’s beauty and charm. But Abigail finds herself interested in someone else.
In this book, Davis Bunn & Janette Oke do a great job of continuing the story of the early church. The combination of rich new characters and familiar old ones (some from The Centurion’s Wife and some out of the pages of the Bible) draws you into the book from the start.
You feel like you know them, like dear old friends. It also gives you good insight into the lives of the early Christians and makes you feel what it must have been like to live in that era. I found myself thinking of the characters more as real people rather than as “characters in a story.”
I enjoyed this book very much and feel like a learned a lot about the time and the people. I feel it would appeal to readers of many different genres. I would recommend it not just to people who love historical fiction, but also to anyone who is interested in finding out more about their faith, or to anyone who just loves a good book. I can’t wait to start reading The Damascus Way.
**Read Pam Nelson’s review of The Centurion’s Wife, and watch for her review of book 3 in the Acts of Faith series, The Damascus Way, coming soon.