Debauchery. Promiscuousness. Killing babies. Drinking parties. Far-off stories of persecution. Is this 21st century America?
No. Third century Carthage provides the backdrop for a young woman coming of age in Amy Rachel Peterson’s Perpetua. Having grown up under her moral father’s watchful eye, Perpetua is shocked by the corruptions permeating her social circle and beyond, yet they hold a certain lure for her. When her mother and brother return from a long vacation, Perpetua puzzles over the changes she sees in their lives, then learns they have joined a dreaded, mysterious cult. They are Christians.
Perpetua tries to understand how her mother and Saturninus could forsake the gods they’ve worshipped for years, to risk their lives in near atheism. Then, in a moment of agonized clarity, she sees the idols for what they really are, and her one refuge is the faith she’s so despised.
This riveting first-person novel draws on historical facts from the diary of the actual Perpetua. More than just a simple read, the book immerses the reader into the ancient Roman Empire with skill and intimacy. The plot pulses steadily with several twists and surprises, yet the depth of the prose causes the reader to linger, sipping insights like nectar. Romance occurs in the latter half of the novel, but the crux of the book is the passionate love story between Christ and His church. -- Katie Hart, Christian Book Previews.com
Perpetua is an historical novel based on the real life and death of a young Roman noblewoman. Perpetua was martyred in the amphitheater of Carthage in 203 AD, but kept a diary of her arrest and time in prison. While many martyrs were poor or illiterate, Perpetua was neither. A new mother, a noblewoman, wealthy, highly educated… she had much to lose, and she chose to give it all away for the privilege of dying for Jesus. The novel expands her diary to include the less than three years between her conversion and her execution. As she experiences love, life, persecution and self-discovery, we are taken along on her heart journey. All the while danger is building … the shadow of death encroaches … betrayal and jealousy threaten to expose her faith to the Roman authorities. And by the time she is willing, even eager, to give her life, we are with her rejoicing at the chance to die, hoping for the same chance ourselves.