I am very honoured to bring you Day 5 of the book review tour for Beneath the Tamarisk Tree by Rob Seabrook. To find out more, you can visit Rob’s website here. You can also find the names further down in this post for everyone who is taking part in the book tour. I definitely recommend checking out their reviews too!
“One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”Luke 23:39-43.
Beneath the Tamarisk Tree by Rob Seabrook, and published by Malcolm Down Publishing, is a Biblical fiction novel and is based on the true story of the Penitent Thief on the cross, which we read about in the Gospel of Luke. Although it is a fictional take on the story of the Penitent Thief, it is a story which shares the Biblical truth of God’s amazing grace, redemption, salvation and love. It’s also a story of hope, faith and forgiveness, and the ultimate sacrifice that was made for each and every one of us.
“Dismas awakes in heaven, baffled as to why and amazed by the wonder of his new surroundings. He is welcomed by Jesus and recounts his story. For the first time in his short, wretched life, he begins to discover many feelings and emotions that had been deeply buried and suppressed.
As he reflects on his past, he struggles to see the reason why he has been rescued and brought into paradise. But as his mind is renewed, he discovers that he is no different to anyone else – created special and unique by a forgiving Father; saved, healed and restored by a compassionate Son and filled with love and joy by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Beneath The Tamarisk Tree is a fictional take on the story of the Penitent Thief, a character mentioned so briefly in the Bible. But his encounter with Jesus offers great insights into the scale of the sacrifice that was made and all that is freely available to everyone who believes.” Beneath the Tamarisk Tree by Rob Seabrook.
The author begins the book with an introduction exploring the story behind the tamarisk tree and its key role in the Book of Genesis. It’s a part of the Bible that has been read so many times, but perhaps gets missed. It was lovely to be able to read more about the significance that the tamarisk tree plays in the Bible, what it symbolises, and how it played an important part in Abraham’s story and for generations to come.
“So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army rose up and returned to the land of the Philistines. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned many days in the land of the Philistines.”Genesis 21:32-34.
I must admit, It was hard to put this book down. Just ask my husband! I found the story to be engaging. It got me thinking, it held my attention and enlightened me. I also found it eye-opening and insightful. It’s important to remember that this is a fictional novel, but it’s based on what we read about in the Bible.
Through the author’s words, it helped me to understand more about what life would have been like during that time period and, as we follow the story of Dismas, what it would have been like for someone who lived during it, from a different perspective.
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I especially love that the author has included at the end of the book, a selection of discussion questions for each chapter. It’s a great way to further engage with the book and the Bible. I think these questions are also particularly great for someone who is new to faith, or who is wanting to learn more about faith and being a Christian, and to learn more about Jesus.
The story shares the rawness and sadness that grief brings, but also how God brings healing and peace. The love of God is shown beautifully throughout this book, but it also shows the true and harsh reality of what sin can bring, especially in a world that has fallen away from God. We read about ‘the fall’ in Genesis, but we see how there is hope and there is forgiveness, that we have a loving Father who loves and cares about us. When we ask for forgiveness, repent of our sins and turn to God, we can spend eternity with our Father in Heaven.
Do you want to know a secret? This is actually the first Biblical fiction novel I have read! It’s actually been a genre that I have wanted to try reading for a long time. I’m really looking forward to reading more in this genre, and I’m excited to read more works by the author.
You can purchase a copy of this book here.
I was very kindly sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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