TAMAR by Gladys Malvern
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A colorful, sensitive novel centered around the episode of Jesus' healing of the daughter of Jairus, the ruler of Capernaum, marks Gladys Malvern's second venture (the first- Behold Your Queen'- the story of Esther) into biblical fiction. The ailing young Tamar, her stalwart and wise father Jairus, and her beautiful mother Channah, are a prosperous and recognized family in the voluptuously described Galilean city. But they feel too deeply to ignore tales from Channah's cousin of how her husband and three other fishermen have gone off to follow a powerful Nazarene- or to treat lightly their socially forbidden friendship for the Roman centurion Marcellus and his handsome young ward, Julian. In her encroaching womanhood, Tamar experiences heartfelt conversion at the coming of Jesus and a deep love for Julian. Jairus must undergo struggles with men like Zakkai and the jealous members of the Sanhedrin on his way to renunciation of the emotion-chanelling Law of the Prophets, his acknowledgement of the new faith when Tamar is made well. Julian's and Marcellus' conversions and the tragic climax of Jesus' preaching precede a journey by the two Romans and Jairus' family to start a new life north of Jordan. With handling that plays on modernistic chords of feeling towards religion but which in many respects is harmonious with the period, this rings true as a worthy young people's Quo Vadis or The Robe.

Pub Date: Aug. 22nd, 1952
Publisher: Longmans, Green