A fictionalized account of Jesus’ life, told from the perspective of a young disciple.
Kleymeyer’s (Cultural Expression and Grassroots Development, 1994) debut novel leads readers through young Daavi’s journey—both literal and metaphorical—with his neighbor Yeshu, a carpenter from Nazareth. The novel’s plot closely follows biblical accounts of Jesus’ life, with many familiar characters and episodes appearing throughout the book. Flashbacks recount early stories told by Yeshu, his mother and his grandmother to the children of Nazareth, but the book mainly focuses on Daavi’s formative years and Yeshu’s adulthood. Although Daavi eagerly follows Yeshu’s teachings on peace and humility, he remains an ordinary boy, with occasional bursts of temper and impatience that demonstrate that, although Yeshu may be divine, his followers retain their humanity. Daavi and Yeshu’s other adherents travel the lands sharing stories, ministering and healing people—until Yeshu’s execution by the Roman government. Daavi’s story continues after Yeshu’s death as he deals with his grief and anger, reconciles with his family and finds a way to continue Yeshu’s work. The book features a well-developed cast of supporting characters; some have Latinized names (such as Maria Magdalena), while others retain their Hebrew names. Yohanan, the novel’s version of John the Baptist, is one of the strongest figures here, with a finely drawn sense of spirituality that guides Daavi’s own religious development. Despite occasionally awkward prose, the story moves at a rapid pace that belies the book’s considerable length. The plot remains simple and focused despite the novel’s large cast of characters, making it easy for readers to follow.
A compelling take on a famous Bible tale.