A Stray Drop of Blood
By Roseanna M. White
Review by Michelle Griep
Beautiful is a dangerous thing to be when one is unprotected.
For seven years, Abigail has been a slave in the Visibullis house. With a Hebrew mistress and a Roman master, she has always been more family than servant…until their son returns to Jerusalem after his years in Rome. Within a few months Jason has taken her to his bed and turned her world upside down. Maybe, given time, she can come to love him as he says he loves her. But how does she open her heart to the man who ruined her?
Israel’s unrest finds a home in her bosom, but their rebellion tears apart her world. Death descends with Barabbas’s sword, and Abigail is determined to be there when the criminal is punished. But when she ventures to the trial, Barabbas is not the one the crowd calls to crucify. Instead, it is the teacher her master and Jason had begun to follow, the man from Nazareth that some call the Son of God…
Born free, made a slave, married out of her bonds, Abigail never knows freedom until she feels the fire of a stray drop of blood from a Jewish carpenter. Disowned by Israel, despised by Rome, desired by all, she never knows love until she receives the smile of a stoic Roman noble.
A Stray Drop of Blood is a fast-paced story that keeps you guessing until the very end. The unexpected plot twists and action make for an entertaining read—not your average ‘I-know-how-this-is-going-to-end’ type of tale.
One thing that author Roseanna White really nails is influencing a readers’ emotions via characterization. When main character Jason Visibullis was introduced, I took an instant dislike to the man, which rapidly turned to disgust. However, later on, White managed to completely change my opinion of him, and he became one of my favorites.
I think this is an important book because of how well it describes the plight of women. Granted, this happens to be told from a slave’s point of view, but even contemporary women will relate to the way heroine Abigail is treated. Ultimately this is a story of hope and contentment.
If you’re a lover of Biblical era novels, then this is the book for you…or a great Christmas gift for someone you know that has a Bible times penchant.
I’ve just finished A Stray Drop of Blood, I’m speechless, teary eyed, filled with wonder and know I’ve caught a glimpse of a Biblical time period in a whole new way. Roseanna White has written a masterfully crafted story with characters I grew to love and some I loathed. The people in this story have been forever embedded in my heart and mind as they learned of Jesus and finally encounter him up-close and personal. It’s an enthralling read.
I’m so thankful to have received a review copy of this astounding tale which transported me to a time where Jesus walked his final days. This book is viewed through Abigail’s eyes and her experience of being born free, sold into slavery, and all she went through because of her beauty. Reading of people, who were hearing about Jesus for the first time and seeing their reactions, was compelling and heart wrenching at times.
It was remarkable to read how Rome was ahead of its time in technology and design. What fascinated me as I read this haunting and hopeful story was that what people struggled with then, we're still dealing with today. Times have changed dramatically with technology, but with matters of the heart, nothing is new under the sun.
Roseanna takes great care in walking you through the marketplace and homes to show you colorful details of the city and its people. I truly felt I was there. I loved imagining how people might have heard about Jesus at that time. They didn’t have instant messaging, email or CNN for that matter. Word got around slowly.
Abigail said, “I am only a woman, Andrew, and a slave. I do not pretend to have the answers. But nowhere in the Holy Scripture themselves have I read or heard of a king come to triumph over nations. I have heard only of a savior come to be defeated.”
Abigail’s story is one of faith, hope, and love, nothing short of an astounding miracle for this extraordinary Jewish girl. This is one author I’ll be keeping an eye on what she writes next, you will too.
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
ACFW Book Club Assistant