Synopses & Reviews
In the ancient Middle East a pious, wealthy young widow risks her life to save her town from a besieging army. Based on the apocryphal Book of Judith, Judith is a 2015 finalist in the International Book Awards. "The ancient story of Judith of Bethulia is given a powerful heartbeat in this imagining by Leslie Moise," says Anne Marie Jackson, a literary translator & feminist author in London, England. "Moise's writing is immediate and empathetic, her characters vividly drawn. Judith is an engrossing read that you will not want to put down." Publisher's Weekly praises the author's research into the period aroumd 350-100 BCE and the inclusion of "abundant detail" regarding the customs, clothing, and lives of Hebrew villagers, the behaviors of Assyrian warriors, and perceptions and treatment of women. "Faithful widow Judith, grieving and childless, befriends the Assyrian defector Achior, whose message from Nebuchadnezzar's general, Holofernes, to Judith's village of Bethulia is 'Surrender or die.' As Holofernes lays siege to the village, Judith receives visions from God and pleas from her friends to help save the village. In danger of rape and death, she overcomes fear through faith and ritual, with the support of her maid, Abra; Achior; and the general's slave. Her defeat of Holofernes forms the satisfying climax of this occasionally slow-moving but always well-imagined novel."