The King James Men by Samantha Grosser
Publication Date: November 20, 2018
Sam Grosser Books
eBook & Paperback; 393 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Christian Fiction
Two men, once friends, have long since gone their separate ways. But when the new King James commands a fresh translation of the Bible, their paths are fated to cross again.
For biblical scholar Richard Clarke, the chance to work on the new translation seems like a gift from God, a way back in from the cold where his friendship with Separatist Ben Kemp has kept him for many years. But Richard soon discovers there is a price to pay for his new-found favour, and that price is betrayal. Caught between love for his friend and his faith in his Church, Richard must make a decision that could cost him his soul.
Set against the background of the writing of the King James Bible, and inspired by true accounts of the community who became the Mayflower Pilgrims, The King James Men is a vivid portrayal of the religious struggles of the age, and the price of being true to your faith.
My Take:The description of The King James Men made me want to read the book even more than just the title - which would have been enough on its own. I think for many of us historical fiction/history readers, the writing of the King James Bible is a fascinating event and process and the time period is full of contradictory and interesting happenings. I have ancestors who were among the Puritans and I have always been interested in this time period. Naturally, I was interested in reading this book, but I was a bit worried that the novel might be too slanted in its perspective - but after reading a short excerpt, I knew I had to read the whole thing. I am very glad that I did!
While there is ample, well-written historical context and information about the other players in the translation and English church, the real draw for me was the friendship between Richard Clarke and Ben Kemp, their very sincere and strongly held beliefs, and how those beliefs affected their relationship. The struggles within each man and between them was fascinating to read and I think the novel brings out some really relevant and important questions about faith, personal integrity and responsibility. I think the author did an excellent job of examining the different perspectives without demonizing either side. I really liked both of these men and appreciated the way they still cared about and respected each other while having very different beliefs.
The King James Men is very well written and the characters are very engaging and make the reader want to understand their motivations. There is much to learn from this very readable novel - not just the historical events, but also lessons about friendship, loyalty and faith. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys intellectual, thought provoking historical fiction.
About the AuthorHistorical fiction author Samantha Grosser originally hails from England, but now lives on the sunny Northern Beaches of Sydney with her husband, son and a very small dog called Livvy.
Combining a lifelong love of history with a compulsion to write that dates from childhood, Samantha is now bringing her passion for telling compelling stories to the world.
Samantha has an Honours Degree in English Literature and taught English for many years in Asia and Australia. She is the author of wartime dramas Another Time and Place, and The Officer’s Affair. The King James Men, set during the turbulent years of the early years of 17th Century, is her third novel.
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Blog Tour ScheduleTuesday, November 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Wednesday, November 21
Review at Donna's Book Blog
Thursday, November 22
Interview at The Writing Desk
Friday, November 23
Excerpt at Let Them Read Books
Saturday, November 24
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Monday, November 26
Feature at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, November 27
Review at Introvert Booklover
Interview at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Wednesday, November 28
Feature at Faery Tales Are Real
Thursday, November 29
Review at Broken Teepee
Friday, November 30
Feature at Hisdoryan
Review at A Book Geek
Saturday, December 1
Review at Impressions In Ink
Monday, December 3
Review at Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, December 4
Review at The Reading Woman
Interview at Love Books Group
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