Between the Savior and the Sea is a new book by Bob Rice who is a musician, speaker, and Assistant Professor of Catechetics at Franciscan University of Steubenville. This novel based on the Gospels cover the time between Jesus’ calling of Peter and the resurrection. As such it is not a straight life of Jesus in trying to interweave the four Gospels, but a novel that focuses on Peter in regards to Jesus’ ministry. Some of the events of the Gospel are rearranged in time or left out to concentrate on the story telling.
As a novel I found much of it to be a rich meditation and I really liked the interactions among the Apostles and the portrayal of the political environment of the time and the different groups. Some aspects of the Gospels such as the disciples going out to preach I haven’t thought too much about, but I enjoyed how this was shown. As a novel an there is is much that is not from the Gospels with events and dialog being being mixed with what is known from the Gospels. That being said I did not find any of this added content to be at odds with the Gospel, but enhancing the story quite plausibly with various sub-plots and character interactions. My only quibble with the book is that the dialog is quite modern in phrase and can sometimes be disconcerting. Though writing it in such a way is a valid option considering that attempts to make it sound like historical dialog would be only an approximation and guess on dialog of this time. This novel is also written with a slight touch of humor and one line had me laughing out loud.
I am currently reading Quo Vadis which also focuses on Peter and the two novels are a timely coincidence in that they nicely dovetail together. While “Between the Savior and the Sea” is not the equivalent of the brilliance of Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Quo Vadis it is still a very worthwhile read that tells the story well and might even add some nice imaginative detail in your prayer life.
Disclosure: Bob Rice sent me a copy of his novel and $20 bucks for a favorable review. Well not really, but he did send me a copy of his novel.