Book Review: Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

“Flaws and blemishes pointed to the brutal years . . . but . . . survived . . . it became what the struggle and the ease made of it.” (309)

Title: Bread of Angels
Author: Tessa Afshar
Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers
Release Date:  June 6, 2017
Genre: Historical Biblical Fiction

Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant's daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father's secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances--along with her father's precious dye--help her become one of the city's preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can't outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life. 

Tessa Afshar have a way of making your heart ache for her character's struggles, yet rejoice with them when they find truth and faith (and romance along the way). Bread of Angels brings to life the story of Lydia, the seller of purple and her faith journey, casting light to messages of hope and revelation through her encounter with Paul. And what light that is!
"Grief. Betrayal. Shame. Guilt. Fear. . . God knew. Had always known the power they still held over her. Only the revelation had not come accompanied by a hammer of condemnation. God had not said, 'You are unclean. Unacceptable. Unlovable. I know your hear, and I reject you.' Instead, God had sent an invitation to freedom. He had whispered to her his desire to set her free." (260)

If you enjoy Biblical fiction, Bread of Angel will be a story that can open hearts and ears to lives past, as well as revelation to much more. Powerful, yet soothing all the same, Bread of Angels may be just what you need. And may I add that Marcus is one patient hero.

"Driven day after day, past agony, past exhaustion, past the voice that whispered this thing could not be done, I pulled on the oar and gave my bitterness to . . . God.." (275)

With that I end with a prayer for all to find hope and give all our bitterness to God.

 "There is never so much sorrow in a life that it should become devoid of hope.  Hope may grow fragile as a thread of silk; it may get stuck inside the box of your misfortunes. But it is there. Don't misplace your hope . . . not even when all of Pandora's monsters chase you.." (116)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.


TESSA AFSHAR was born in a nominally Muslim family in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She survived English boarding school for girls before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her mid-twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDIV from Yale University where she served as co-Chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last twelve years in full and part-time Christian work and currently serves as the leader of Women's and Prayer ministries at a church in New England.

TO CONNECT WITH TESSA:  website,  facebook,  twitter



  1. Awesome review, Annie! Tessa is an author that I have been wanting to read for a while now.


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