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Sisters of Lazarus: Beauty Unveiled is about Mary and Martha and their struggles with issues of self-worth. The author often wondered why the sisters were at odds and the book opens with Mary tiptoeing into the house as she returns from market with a hand-mirror for herself instead of saffron for Martha.Beyond re-telling the Bible story, the book also shows that a woman'sSisters of Lazarus: Beauty Unveiled is about Mary and Martha and their struggles with issues of self-worth. The author often wondered why the sisters were at odds and the book opens with Mary tiptoeing into the house as she returns from market with a hand-mirror for herself instead of saffron for Martha.Beyond re-telling the Bible story, the book also shows that a woman's value to God does not lie in appearance or the value which we place on skills, accomplishments, possessions, or intellect....

Title : Beauty Unveiled
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 21160944
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 227 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Beauty Unveiled Reviews

  • Cindy Navarro
    2018-08-15 14:10

    Sisters of Lazarus: Beauty Unveiled by Paula K. Parker is more than just a story about the two sisters, Mary and Martha, we know from the Bible. Anyone who has been raised on "Christianese" has heard someone described as a Mary or a Martha and made assumptions on their work ethic based solely on one word. This book goes beyond the few facts we know from Scripture and weaves a spellbinding tale that is sure to change the readers perspective.Author Paula K. Parker was curious about why the sisters were so different and has told a story that infuses life into these women, their family, and their friends. The elder sister, Martha, is described as a plain woman who believes her only value is in her accomplishments. She is a hard-worker and takes pride in all she does. Mary has no apparent skills, and believes that her beauty is all she has to offer. When their brother, Lazarus, offers hospitality to Jesus and his disciples, the sisters learn that neither works nor outward beauty is the reason they are valuable to God.This beautifully told story quickly draws you in and the characters spring to life in a way that makes a familiar story fresh. I have even taken part in Bible studies on these 2 women, but have never considered them through much more than the 'working for God' vs 'listening to God' angle. More than just a photograph of their lives though, Paula creates a rich tapestry that is beautiful and functional. The research put into the time period and the characteristics of the people portrayed is outstanding. The veil truly is lifted to enable the reader to see the beauty of both women as well as the failures and faults. Seeing the transformations in their lives through the encounters they have with Jesus not only caused me to have a richer understanding of what life was possibly like for these two women, but to also think about what I consider of value in me and how God sees me.Although historical fiction is not always my favorite genre, this story was told within the realm of possibility without attempting to distort facts that are found in Scripture. Fact and fiction were interwoven in a manner that highlight what was happening through characters you care about. Several things made me pause and think, which is a sign of a good book (or film) for me. But the line that hit me the most forcibly was said by one of the people whom Jesus healed . When others were celebrating him and his healing, he said, "I did nothing except look for Jesus". Wow! That is a simple, but profound statement that reminded me that only one thing is truly important...and, for the first time, I gained a better understanding of Jesus' words about Mary. I definitely recommend Sisters of Lazarus: Beauty Unveiled.Disclaimer: I did receive a free download of the book from the publisher, through NetGalley.com, in order to write this review. I was only asked for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Mita
    2018-07-26 15:53

    Get ready to be transported into another time and place - Paula Parker unfurled a vibrant, breathing, dusty world of Jewish life and culture normally expounded upon monotonously by many-degreed scholars, but she did it in such a way that I not only learned a few fascinating historical nuggets, I also truly began to feel the character's hopes and fears in a visceral way. There I was, wanting to help in the kitchen, or tagging along with the sisters to the marketplace, or gasping with indignation at an injustice. I could almost taste and smell and feel what it might have been like to live in that time period, in that culture.Parker really did her research and it paid off big time. The detail with which she describes the native clothing styles, the daily routines, and the social and religious customs of the Jews of that time period gave me a deeper insight into many significant events of Scripture as well as the character and possible motives of each person involved in the story. Each foray into a fictional version of a recorded biblical event was not just merely plausible, but was completely believable. Events I didn't consciously tie together were connected in such a way that they made so much more sense in the flow of the narrative... more than once I found myself saying, "Wow!" or talking to (and sometimes fussing at) the characters right out loud.The cultural concept of beauty and femininity was so different in the days of Jesus than it is now, but the struggle to understand true beauty and embrace who God has created you to be is a timeless struggle that transcends the centuries. In Sisters of Lazarus, each sister must wrestle with the perception of beauty they see in their own lives, just as many of us do throughout our modern lives until we are either crushed in spirit or until we find unshakeable peace.I highly recommend this wonderful story as an essential addition to your library, and even if you are not a fan of biblical fiction, I'd wager this book will make you one. I had a very hard time putting it down.

  • Mike Parker
    2018-08-10 12:51

    Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved stories from antiquity. The Iliad and the Odyssey, Edith Hamilton's Mythology, stories of Romulus and Remus, Thor and Loki and the frost giants, Athens and Sparta - they were my favs. I think one of the reasons I loved those tales was, they didn't pull any punches. Helen and Paris were portrayed as flesh and blood lovers, Menelaus was a raging cuckolded husband, Odysseus was a crafty and cunning warrior. To my young mind they were real.Contrast that with the flannel board Bible stories I heard in Sunday School. Noah and the ark were made of felt. David might have slain Goliath, but I don't remember any blood being spilled. Adam and Eve were always strategically placed to cover their unmentionables. In short, those magnificent tales from the ancient middle east were reduced to two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs, devoid of passion, emotion, danger or suspense. No wonder it was more fun to read about the 300 Spartans than the 12 Disciples.Perhaps that is one reason I enjoyed Sister of Lazarus: Beauty Unveiled so much. Author Paula K. Parker took the familiar Biblical characters of Lazarus, the man Jesus raised from the dead, along with his two sisters Mary and Martha, off the flannel board and dressed them in flesh and bone. She set them in a real world of sweat and dust and political unrest and religious zeal. And she didn't try to preach. Instead, she simply told a story of what might have been.Even though Lazarus and his sisters are among the most prominent New Testament characters after Jesus and his disciples, there really isn't that much detail about their lives recorded in scripture. And even though I have a bachelor's degree in Bible, I can't say I'm all that familiar with everyday life in Judea during the time of the Caesars. That's where Ms. Parker's narrative really shines. She talks about the marketplace, the daily routine, the customs and fashions and local gossip of the day as if she actually experienced it. And the family dynamics of this First Century Jewish family are as real and intricate as any modern family.Martha is a natural manager but she is nothing to look at, and she knows it. Mary is a natural beauty, but she can't boil water without burning it, and she knows it. Sparks fly between the two more often than not, and poor Lazarus is stuck in the middle with the job of peacemaker, and he knows it. They are a functional, if somewhat dysfunctional, family - just like most modern families - that pull together during the hard times, rejoice together doing the good times and fuss and feud the rest of the time.Contemporary sermons tend to focus on the event of Mary sitting at Jesus' feet while Martha served, getting her nose bent out of shape in the process. Those sermons typically end with the question: "Are you a Mary, or a Martha?" with the obvious indication that being Martha is bad while being Mary is good. Ms. Parker's tale sets that notion on its head, although I won't spoil the scene for you. It's too much fun to read for yourself.Bottom line: Sisters of Lazarus: Beauty Unveiled is classic Biblical fiction, right up there with The Robe, Quo Vadis, Two From Galilee and Ben-Hur.

  • Paula Vince
    2018-08-05 14:54

    This is an authentic tale by a lady who obviously loves Bible history and story telling. It's not the sort of book that keeps you riveted with twists and turns, as it's based on the familiar Bible stories featuring Lazarus and his two sisters, so therefore we know what to expect. For example, when we see the girls begging Jesus to come and heal their sick brother, we already know he's going to tarry until Lazarus is actually dead, so we don't have to stay glued to the pages. Writing this in the first paragraph isn't even a plot spoiler. Having said that, there are a few nice little, surprising embellishments. Mary's wager with her friend, Leah, about finding a husband, and the history between Martha and her betrothed, Simon, was entirely made-up, as was their relationship to Nicodemus, but it's fun to imagine that it might have been this way.The characters tend to be larger than life, and maybe a little overstated, which may also add a bit of fun to the story. For example, the trio's Uncle Joktan and his son, Abel, are typical pompous Pharisees. Judas might not have come across quite so sleazy in reality, but we're willing to go with it. The sisters themselves are presented like chalk and cheese. Mary is very beautiful, but a bit vain and coquettish, while Martha is plain and very domestic. That first glimpse of them we have in the Bible may have been a particularly hectic, off-day for Martha, but this story has the girls at cross-purposes like that often. Still, that's exactly how it might have been for all we know.I think the point is well made that, for all their apparent differences, the sisters are pretty much the same where it counts. Both are driven by low-self esteem and pride over what they see as their best assets.Having Jesus as a character in a novel is a pretty bold move, when you think about it. In this story, it's interesting to see him from the point of view of people who start off not realising who he really is. I liked the way he came across. And it's great to see, first hand as it were, the wonderful impact his healings make on the loved-ones of those who were sick. That's one of the great things about writing stories as a novel. These are people like us, and not just ancient folk in the pages of scripture.It's a book to convict in an amusing way, peppered with a bit of comedy. I liked it when Nicodemus and Lazarus were testing out the chairs which Lazarus bought on his merchant journeys, and they decided that being seated so high off the ground would take a bit of getting used to.The way the household customs of women were woven within the story was also something I appreciated. For example, the baking of bread, with all its fiddliness and trickery. These household chores are made to sound like works of art, and it may good for us modern readers to see how our, "Let's get it out of the way" attitude may leave a bit to be desired. It's a very spicy, fragrant sort of story as we get the benefit of the exotic spices and fruit, such as cumin, saffron, dates, raisons and honey.I received this book from Net Galley and Authentic Media in return for an honest review.

  • Cheryl
    2018-07-26 14:46

    This book is about some of the life events of Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus, from the Bible. This is one of my rare fictional book reviews. It is billed as historical fiction and I believe that to be accurate—it was in fact historical. I enjoyed the way the author wove in biblically accurate stories almost seemlessly into the fictional story line.Also woven into the story line is the person of Jesus and his salvation message. This also seemed biblically accurate to me, only told from the viewpoint of Mary and Martha.Some of the actual details included annoyed me just a bit but that is only because I never imagined the persons of Mary and Martha to have the particular character qualities that this book portrayed them to have. Since we don’t know what they were really like and their characters were still believable here and this book was fiction after all, I got over it quickly enough.There were some interesting life lessons included in this book, the main one being about the meaning of true beauty. Well done, too.Overall I found this book to be a very enjoyable read and since the actual details that came from the Bible seemed accurate to me (although I may have missed a detail or two) it is well worth the read. If you are a fan of Christian historical fiction you will most likely love this book. If you like Christian fiction in general you will at least like this book. Even if you rarely read fiction, this might be a good one for you to try out!To purchase your own copy of this book go here: Sisters of Lazarus: Beauty UnveiledDisclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author herself. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”(c) 2013 Cheryl Cope

  • Deb
    2018-08-15 17:59

    The book Sisters Of Lazarus by Paula Parker is a look at Martha and Mary in a way that shows the struggles of life they might have had. This is an interesting look into the lives of Martha, Mary, Lazarus and also the Jewish traditions and life. It gives the authors idea on what Martha and Mary might have been like. She takes what we know from the Bible and takes it a step further to make both of the sisters more real. They have some of the same struggles and concerns that we have in being accepted. Martha is the one who struggles with how she looks, but she is dependable and the one who is the caregiver for her brother and sister. Mary is the free spirit, who is beautiful and knows it. She is carefree and the one who is more likely to do something on a whim. Paula Parker tries through her fiction account to explain why each sister is the way they are and you can understand more why when Mary uses the expensive perfume and pours it on Jesus' head, how this might be misunderstood by the practical Martha. Or why Martha would be upset with Mary for not helping her prepare the meal for Jesus and the disciples. I think that this book is a way to get to know the sisters through fiction but also it helps to look at the Mary and Martha in the Bible differently with more understanding. I was pleasantly surprised by this book and enjoyed reading it and while reading this book I read about the Sisters from the Bible too which was fantastic. The book is worth taking time to read.I was given an ebook from NetGallery to read and give an honest review. The opinion's are all mine

  • Stacy Palm
    2018-08-13 13:58

    This was a book with a beautiful message that is very relevant to our society today. This novel is based off the biblical story of Martha and Mary, Lazarus' sisters. Most everyone knows the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead, but not so many people know the story of his sisters. The story puts emphases on defining ones self worth, whether it be the beauty we possess, the skills we excel at, or the position we hold in society; do any of these things matter to our spiritual well being? This book was well written and refers to scripture. I enjoyed this book, as it flowed easily and the characters were brought to life in a wonderful way. I would encourage (especially young teens) to read this book even if they are not familiar with the scripture. I think a lot of people, Christian and non-Christian alike, can gain insight from this tale.

  • Tamra LeValley
    2018-07-25 14:59

    What a wonderful Christian Fiction!Two sisters who lived lives with different views. Martha and Mary were the same coin but different sides. Their love for each other overcame the differences because of their love for Christ.I could not put this book down. Although it is a wonderful piece of fiction it was still written with words and wisdom from the Bible. I appreciated how the author wrote each sister and yet kept them connected to each other. The story line was straight out of the bible yet it had a personal spin to it that was captivating.

  • Andi
    2018-08-01 19:50

    This is not your every day story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. It shows a typical sister relationship, one is prettier than the other, one is better at domestics than the other. Listening to them reminded me of my three girls who fought over clothes, the bathroom, and any thing else that they could think of. The difference here is that Jesus comes on the scene and changes everything.I have read a good number of biblical fiction, and Paula is now a new fave. Recommended!

  • Michelle Kidwell
    2018-07-19 16:49

    Sisters of LazarusBeauty UnveiledPaula K. ParkerCopyright 2013In Sisters Of Lazarus we are given a fictionalized account of Lazarus sisters Mary and Martha.  This book deals with the issues of self worth Mary and Martha dealt with.  Sisters of Lazarus Beauty Unveiled show just how different these sisters were how at odds they were but more than that it is a reminder that the Lord does  not judge by physical appearance but by the persons spirit.Five out of five stars.Happy Reading

  • Teri Beck
    2018-07-27 19:11

    There's so much to like about this novel. First, it is a faithful retelling of the Biblical narrative of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Additionally enjoyable is the expanded novelization that includes additional characters and subplots that remain consistent with the Scriptural account, yet flesh out these well-known Biblical figures to include a rich inner life. Mary and Martha struggle with ideas of beauty and self-worth that would have been common to women of their time, yet resonate equally with a modern reader.The author's careful research is evident in the many cultural references woven into the fabric of the novel. Readers are treated to imagery that appeals to all five senses in descriptions of food preparation, clothing fabric and color, rich architectual and home decor details. References to Jewish holidays, customs, and calendar months provide an authentic foundation of the events of the novel.I am looking forward to reading the next Sisters of Lazarus.

  • Kristi
    2018-08-08 21:04

    I had several mixed feelings about this book while I was reading it. However, I am so glad I continued through to the end. The ending was just how it should have been.I have a deep and abiding love for the scriptures and the women found within. Reading adaptations about what these women may have experienced firsthand is a cherished moment for me. However, I do not like when an author will take well known and well loved characters and form them into someone who is selfish and vain and prideful. I understand that people are not perfect and they do have sins, but I cannot condone that much of a sinful nature. To see Mary portrayed in such a way left me with a bad feeling while I was reading it. I feared for where the author would lead such a storyline.However, the author proved to truly understand the gospel and in the end created a beautiful piece of work that described the development of self worth for both Mary and Martha.I also have to commend the author for her abilities to create characters that appear to be fully selfish and self-centered. One of the fairytale books I wrote, I tried to write three characters who were "evil step-sisters" and I did not have the ability to maintain that kind of personality. It is not in my nature to know how to write someone in such a way. I still cannot fully agree that people are like that - especially since I don't want to consider Judas Iscariot as evil. Yet, having characters like Judas and the uncle with these negative qualities were able to balance the story world.There was a great use of storytelling and character use throughout this whole story. The linking of different biblical characters together, the blooming romances, the healings, etc. All of these qualities made me love the story so much more. It is definitely a book I would recommend to others, but I would first have to warn them about the portrayal of Mary and tell them to hold out and watch the change in her character.

  • Ginny B
    2018-08-12 17:11

    A unique perspective on the lives of Mary and Martha and how their encounters with Jesus affected their lives. Parker takes these Biblical women, Lazarus, the disciples and Jesus off the pages of the Bible and weaves them into full and complete pictures of people. While I admit that I am unfamiliar with apocryphal tellings of these events, and therefore can not say how much of this story is from Parker's own imagination and how much may have come from those tellings, I can say that she envisions for us fully formed, well rounded women. These are women that have faced troubles, that have sin in their lives, that are REAL. That is what makes this such a wonderful story.

  • Kimberly
    2018-08-10 18:53

    I wasn't sure if I was going to like this or not when I first started. Had my doubts the way at first because of the way Mary and Martha were being presented. But I am glad I stuck it out as it turned out to be a beautiful story! Based on biblical history I knew what was going to take place. My favorite quote from the book was by Simon the leper "I did nothing except look for Jesus."

  • Diane Vollmar,
    2018-07-31 20:59

    One of the best books I have read.The story of Mary and Martha had always intrigued me. This fictional telling of their lives will be with me for a long time. I enjoy "could of been" stories about real life people. SISTERS OF LAZARUS was a joyful gift. Thank you Paula Parker.

  • Corinne
    2018-08-11 17:58

    Good fictional story line based on some sketchy information. However not too well written or edited.

  • Paula Parker
    2018-07-23 20:47