And So It Was Written

by Ellen Brazer

Judy Stanton (01/03/14): One of the reasons I like historical fiction is that it exposes me to history through an interesting, more personal story, and motivates me to learn more about what actually happened in the past. Such is the case with And So It Was Written, a story set in Rome and Israel (Judea) in 132 CE based on events leading up to the Roman war that annihilated thousands of Jews and thwarted reconstruction of the Temple. I had never heard of Bar Kokba, and the story of his being a "false" messiah. After reading the book, I learned how significant this war was in the Jewish religion -- it changed beliefs about the messiah, and one source said it caused the ultimate break between Jews and what were then known as Jewish Christians. The story reflects a theme often found in literature and movies…the one-on-one contact between individuals on different sides of a conflict that tears their relationship apart. The story was good and kept my interest, but I didn't love the writing: I felt the scenes of emotion and love-making were trite in their description. But the author did make a time in history of which I was not aware come alive and spiked my interest. 3+
Rating: ***+

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