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Saturday, 13 October 2018

Junia The Fictional Life and Death of an Early Christian - Father Michael E. Giesler

Junia: 
The Fictional Life and Death of an Early Christian 
Father Michael E. Giesler
Scepter Publishers
ISBN 9781889334646

eISBN 9781594171130
ASIN B0046W6TP8


I recently finished one of Father Giesler’s non-fiction books, You See Me, You Hear Me, it was so amazing, I circled back to this one and bumped it way up on my reading list. I am so glad I did, this book is an amazing read. But I found out it is part of trilogy. It is hard to find the books by Father Giesler, for they are published under many different variations on his names. For example, this book on the cover has the name Michael E. Giesler, book 2 Marcus has the name Michael Edward Giesler, and book 3 Grain Of Wheat does not even have a name on the cover.  From what I have found his books are published under the following names: Michael E. Giesler, Rev. Michael Giesler, Father Michael Giesler, Michael Edward Giesler and just Michael Giesler. Based on how wonderful this book was I have already picked up his three historical fiction novels and look forward to reading them. One other strange thing about this series before I get to the review, Books 1 and 3 have eBook, kindle and print editions, where book 2 only has a print edition. But back to this specific book.

My first reaction after reading this book was WOW! I could barely put this book down. I read it on my commute to work, and it took all my discipline to put it down and start work when I should. But I ended up reading both my coffee breaks, and through my whole lunch. That is how addictive this book is. And I am very thankful I have books 2 and 3 ready to go. 

Yes, this book is a fictional story. But it is based in on a lot of history. There are stories of numerous saints from this time that this story mirrors. Saint Philomena among others. This story revolves around Junia, a roman citizen, and daughter of a senator who is about to become consul to the emperor. She is beautiful, intelligent, and loved by most. But in first century Rome, not all things are as they appear. After the death of her closest friend in the colosseum for being a Christian, she is drawn to the Christian faith. And soon one of her rivals in Roman society sets out to destroy her. She is given a choice of worship the emperor and renounce Christ or die. 

From the beginning readers know where this story is heading. But how father Giesler gets us there is masterfully done. As a first work if fiction the writing in this book is incredible. The characters are fully fleshed out. The pacing is excellent. The plot based on historical facts will transport you back in time. And based on the political culture today maybe a reminder of what may yet come to pass. 

As mentioned this book is a page turner, once you start reading you will not want to put it down. And the story continues a few weeks after the events of this book in Marcus. I read a lot of books, I average over 100 a year and this is an incredible piece of Christian fiction! A great read that I give a solid 5/5 Stars! 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Rev. Michael Giesler:
You See Me, You Hear Me
Guidebook for Confessors
Family Grace: A Story of Conversion Through Friendship
Called by Name: Twelve Guideline Meditations for Diocesan Priests

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Spanish Editions:
Dios te ve y te oye

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Christian Historical Fiction Trilogy:
Junia
Marcus
Grain Of Wheat

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