by Ellen Gunderson Traylor
Typical of Ellen Gunderson Traylor's fiction, Jonah is a well-researched, well-written retelling of the life of a character familiar to Bible students. The novel is a fleshed-out version of the Biblical narrative, adding insights, ideas, and possible backstories to the tale of the prophet Jonah.
In Traylor's novel, the attention to detail in her research is evident, as is her wonderful story-telling ability. She writes well, and also really does her homework to get into the mind of her character, and also the customs of the time. In Jonah, much of the political conflict that Nineveh would have represented to an Israelite is put on display, and it adds a depth to the story that is accessible and challenging to modern-day Christians.
Traylor has written many novels based on the lives of Biblical characters. Jonah's story is one of those she handles best, offering some perspectives that might slip the notice of the casual Bible reader. Add to that the fact that it is an enjoyable tale in its own right, and you have a real winner with Traylor's Jonah.
Reviewed by Shelly Bryant © 2013