Before you get into this review, I would like to encourage you to check out my post of some of the favorite quotes from this book.
A Week in the Life of a Greco-Roman Woman presents the life a woman (or women) ancient Ephesus named Anthia. It opens with the death of her friend after giving birth. Then the story shifts to her own pregnancy as she experience it going through her daily life, her dealings with society and eventually her encounters with the Christians. It’s part of a series which I haven’t check all of it yet but I read A Week in the Life of a Slave, which safe to say it goes along with that kind of story.
However unlike A Week in the Life of a Slave, the social and cultural details in this book are very impressive (kudos to Dr. Beers!). A Week in the Life of a Greco-Roman Woman has a great emphasis on food, clothing and everyday life in Ephesus that you’ll feel that you’re living with these people. Social and economic status are also included in the story however, the detailed life of characters here are strong. The treatment of women and children in this society will grab your hearts and how Christianity turned their world upside down will spark a fresh appreciation to the reader. Stay also with this book as it mentions slavery, honor and shame culture and pagan gods.
Now for the rants. As much I enjoyed reading the culture and biblical backgrounds going on with this book, the later part became fillers for the story. The thing is, the book started strong then in the later chapters it became uninteresting because of the fillers. Fillers that are fascinating in itself but unnecessary to the story. So skip it and it won’t disrupt the story. Then the names of the characters are quite confusing especially women starting with the letter “E”. Finally the anti-climatic ending which it’s not a big let down but I think it would be better if its something else. It could end with the healing of the main character, finally meeting Paul or book burning on Ephesus which will leave the reader stunned. The author has couple of ways to end this book memorably but settle for something soft.
A Week in the Life of a Greco-Roman Roman is a good read with a strong initial premises but had a bumpy ride towards the end. Read it more for cultural backgrounds that will help you understand the Bible.
4 out of 5
(InterVarsity Press provided the digital copy for this review)