I Came to Love You Late
Joyce Landorf's first novel, I Came to Love You Late, retells the story of Martha, sister of Mary and Lazarus. Landorf depicts Martha as a person who was slow to come to understand who Jesus was, slow to put her faith in him, and slow to learn to love him. Although Jesus spent much time in her home, and though her brother and sister were quick to follow him, Martha needed more time, and neede to come to understanding, faith, and love in her own way, as Landorf tells the story.
What is encouraging in the novel is that Jesus allows her this space. He does not demand she be just like Mary or Lazarus. While there are times she feels misunderstood, the chastening she receives is only that which she invites. Her journey toward coming to see this is one that many Christians should be able to identify with.
In my own experience, I have seen many people who, like Landorf's Martha, are slow to come to belief. Usually, once they do decide to belive, trust, and love Jesus, they are virtually unshakeable. Perhaps this is part of why I have a soft spot for Martha as she is depicted on the pages of I Came to Love You Late. Of course, this is aided by the excellent writing and pacing of the story, but this is what readers of Landorf's other works have come to expect.
Reviewed by Shelly Bryant © 2015