Jewel of the Nile

Reviewed by:

Julie-Allyson Ieron, author/Bible teacher/worship minister



Jewel of the Nile


Tessa Afshar




June 2021




386 pages


Set in the days of the Roman Empire in cities mentioned in the book of Acts, Jewel of the Nile is a gripping adventure story of redemption and acceptance, that highlights God’s absolute faithfulness. I love the way Tessa Afshar weaves vibrantly imaginative characters into stories also populated by actual biblical people whose names and life stories are familiar.

Tessa explains why she created Cheriline, who is half Cushite and half Roman: “A young lady wrote to tell me that she loved my books. But, as an African American, she wondered if I ever planned to have a character who looked like her … But where was I going to find a heroine that fit the bill in the New Testament?” As she poured over the Scriptures, Tessa lit upon the perfect setting. You’ll just have to dig in to find out how she achieved this goal. I’d never want to spoil a fabulous read for you by giving away the mystery too soon.

The author is especially skillful in illustrating true-to-life application of biblical wisdom. Here’s one quote that resonated with me. Tessa places it in the mouth of hero, Theo, in one of his early discussions with heroine Chariline : “Day after day, the world went on around me as before. But I had come to the end of the age in my life. The age of dreams. The age of hopes. The age of belonging. It had all come tumbling around me. And I needed the always of God in the midst of those endings. I needed to learn that Yeshua does not abandon. He does not walk away. He does not leave and forsake.”

What a timely truth, packaged and illustrated through this memorable story! Every page holds more of the same. That alone makes this jewel worth our reading time.


Rating (1 to 5):


Suggested Audience:

Lovers of fiction, especially biblical fiction, of all ages

Christian Impact:

This haunting story illustrates the Bible’s direct application to real life, across the millennia. It also brings alive the places and cultures of the New Testament world. Well researched, it’s an intelligent and fascinating read.

Other Notes:

I loved this story. You will too. As will readers of all ages, whose skin colors range across the rainbow of God’s beautifully created ethnicities. Heartily recommended.

Jewel of the Nile

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