Iscariot by Tosca Lee

IscariotWhy did Judas betray Jesus?  I’ve always wondered and apparently Lee has as well.  In her notes, Lee states that writing this novel was an intellectual and spiritual quest to discover the life of Judas based on the belief that we all err in ways that make sense to us.

The historical context Lee created for this story is fascinating:  the Roman occupation, the failed rebellions of others naming themselves Messiah, the different factions within the Temple.  While rich in historical ambiance, this is very much an introspective work.  Major events from the gospels are included but the focus of the story is on Judas’ personal journey and his perceptions of what’s happening around him.  In the life Lee imagines for Judas, much of his time with Jesus is spent struggling to reconcile his faith in this radical young leader with his deep faith in Jewish law.  In addition, the Judas Lee imagines wants Jesus to liberate his people from Rome, not realizing until too late that Christ’s mission was much different.  Lee provides a convincing account of a man struggling to overcome a painful past, a man who cares deeply about the laws of his people, a man who desperately wants to do the right thing.

Even knowing how Judas’ story would end, I was so immersed in Lee’s telling of it that I could not put this book down.  Looking forward to reading Havah: the story of Eve and Demon.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    April said,

    This is the kind of book I love! Historical fiction based on real people! (at least that many people think are real!)

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