John, Son of Thunder
by Ellen Gunderson Traylor
Traylor's close-up look at the life of Jesus' closest friend is one of her longer novels. It is a nicely fleshed out telling of the story of the apostle John, taking us to the fishing boats on the Sea of Galilee, the temple courts, and across the countryside where Jesus taught and ministered to the Jews.
The novel takes us into a world of people "in the know." John is not represented as a burly, uncouth fisherman. Rather, he is a part of a well-connected family. From this, we get a little insight to the politics of the day, and the intrigue surrounding the religious leaders comes clearly to the forefront.
The character of John is quite endearing in Traylor's representation. He is young and vulnerable, and somewhat confused by what is happening around him. And, he is loved by the Lord. The closeness of that relationship is probably what makes the greatest impression when reading the story.
Traylor's novels are always a fun read. Her mastery of presenting Bible characters in a fuller, closer story than what we get in scripture is not to be surpassed. The wide range of characters she has explored in her novels is a testimony to her ability to apply her imagination to the old stories she has studied. John, Son of Thunder is one of her best.
Reviewed by Shelly Bryant © 2010