In a time of turmoil, one woman will search for love and peace–and find it where she never expected.
Tugged this way and that by fate’s indifferent hand, Claudia’s life is adrift–until she meets Lucius Pontius Pilate and becomes his wife. When they move to the troublesome territory of Judea, she does what she has always done: makes the best of it. But unrest is brewing and Claudia will soon find herself and her beloved husband embroiled in controversy and rebellion. Might she find hope in the mysterious Jewish Rabbi everyone seems to be talking about?
Let this epic story whisk you through marbled palaces, dusty marketplaces, and idyllic Italian villas as you follow the unlikely path of a woman who warrants only a passing mention in one of the Gospel accounts, but whose story, as told by Diana Wallis Taylor, is one worthy of legend.
How do you write a novel about a woman mentioned in just two verses in the New Testament? This is a task Diana Wallis Taylor sets about doing with a mixture of fact, conjecture and imagination. Pilate’s wife is not named in the Bible, and the name of Claudia Procula only appears in apocryphal texts written in later centuries. Roman historians, however, chronicled the relationship between the emperors Augustus and Tiberius, and Augustus’ daughter, Julia, and so Taylor has deftly grafted Claudia to this significant family tree and inserted her into their historical narrative.
The Roman Empire was a difficult era in which to live. On the one hand, you could be a slave to the ruling classes. Conversely, if you were able to climb the social ladder, your continued success often depended on your patron. If he fell out of favor, so did you. You might lose everything, including your wife. Often, a disgraced man would commit suicide so that his wife and offspring might escape the shame of being persona non grata. In Claudia, the title character is the grand-daughter of Caesar Augustus, via his daughter Julia. After the death of Augustus, his successor Tiberius summons Claudia to Rome where she learns the machinations of Roman politics. It is there she encounters the ambitious Sejanus and is married off to his protégé, one Lucius Pontius Pilate. It turns out to be a love match.
There has been some speculation as to why Pilate’s wife sent the message begging her husband to have nothing to do with an innocent man. In Claudia, she dreams of Jesus before she knows who he is. She then has the opportunity to hear him and becomes a believer after he heals her son. Her husband isn’t as quick to believe even though he realizes he has condemned an innocent man, mainly because he straddles a fine line between respecting Jewish beliefs and staying in control of the region. But things can change quickly in Roman politics. Will Claudia be able to convince her husband before it’s too late?
Claudia: Wife of Pontius Pilate is another superb book by writer Diana Wallis Taylor. This is the third book of hers I’ve read, and the third one I’ve enjoyed. I’d recommend any of her books to lovers of Biblically-based fiction.
Thank you to Revell for my free copy of Claudia: Wife of Pontius Pilate, which I received in exchange for an honest interview.
Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing
Publication Date: 15 June 2013
Page Count: 336