Master, by Toni Sorenson
I read Master, by Toni Sorenson, for my book club in January. We were lucky enough to have the author, Toni Sorenson, attend our meeting and share her experience of writing this marvelous book. Toni told us that she wrote the book, sent it off to her publisher, and heard nothing back until the publisher called and said the book was being sent to the printer in five minutes. Can you imagine?
Master is the story of the life of Jesus Christ told through Almon, a mute found by Joseph, Mary, and Jesus in the desert on their way back from Egypt. Almon’s father had been killed by bandits, and Almon had been left for dead. Almon was taken with the family back to Nazareth and made a servant – not a slave – in Joseph’s household. He eventually gains his freedom and is educated as a Jewish scribe in Jerusalem. Almon, early on, begins to understand the mission of Jesus and devotes his life to Him, despite his own misgivings and sins.
This is a beautiful book. It brought the New Testament to life for me. I could see the sea of Galilee. I could smell the animals cloistered at the temple for sacrifice. I understood the sequence of events better. I also gained insight into the traditions of the Jews and the Old Testament. And, I came a little closer to understanding the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.
This book’s strong point is its story. The retelling of Jesus’s life through the eyes of a mute servant in His household is brillantly done. Almon has a physical infirmity and suffers the guilt of past sins. He represents, in essence, all of us. In addition, the character of Jesus was very respectfully done, and he says almost nothing that is not contained in the scriptures. The writing generally flows along without calling attention to itself. The settings are realistic and vivid. I do have to say, though, that the pacing was a bit unsteady. Also, the author obviously had to improvise the personalities of some of the Apostles and the relatives of Jesus. That was a little weird for me. Still, this book is an amazing tribute to the life of Jesus Christ.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a better understanding of the New Testatment, Jewish law, and the history and ministry of Jesus Christ.
Master, by Toni Sorenson [rating:4]
Published 2008, 486 pages