In this captivating retelling of a classic biblical story, Jesus shocks the town of Bethany with Lazarus’s resurrection from the dead, leading Martha—a seemingly perfect woman trapped by the secrets of her past—to hope and a new life.
Everyone in Bethany admires Martha—the perfect Jewish woman. She feeds and clothes her loved ones, looks after the family farm, and meticulously follows every precept of the Pharisees’ strict laws. But Martha is hiding a secret. At her sister’s marriage feast, she gave her heart and her innocence to a young musician who promised to return and marry her, but instead betrayed her love and abandoned her.
Seven years later, only two people in Bethany know of Martha’s secret sin: her brother, Lazarus, and Simon, the righteous Pharisee to whom Martha is betrothed. When Lazarus falls ill, Martha is faced with a choice: send for Jesus to save her dying brother—risking the wrath of Simon who threatens to betray her—or deny Jesus’ healing power and remain trapped in her tomb of secrecy and lies.
Meanwhile, on the shores of Galilee, Isa roams the wilderness, tortured by demons and knowing only that someone is waiting for him. When he is healed by Jesus, he finds that seven years have passed since his descent into madness. Isa journeys home to Bethany only to find he is too late to win back Martha’s love.
When Martha risks all to heal Lazarus, will Jesus arrive in time, or will he—like Isa—come too late?
Stephanie Landsem writes historical fiction because she loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she’s explored ancient ruins, medieval castles, and majestic cathedrals around the world. Stephanie is equally happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four children, and three fat cats. When she’s not writing, she’s feeding the ravenous horde, avoiding housework, and dreaming about her next adventure—whether it be in person or on the page.
"A vivid retelling of a Bible story we've all heard but perhaps never completely understood in all its facets until now. With a main character human enough for us all to identify with, The Tomb is a poignant tale of secrets too long guarded, the tenacity of love, and the freeing power of grace."
– Tosca Lee, New York Times bestselling author of Iscariot
“The Tomb by author Stephanie Landsem brings the story of Martha, the over-anxious sister of Mary and Lazarus, into a dramatic and unexpected light. Often when we read the biblical story, we don't stop to think about who these people were, what they thought, how they lived, especially when we are unfamiliar with the culture of the day. The Tomb gives us a rich glimpse into that culture and into the lives of these characters, their hopes, their joys, their fears. You will never see Martha quite the same way again. An intriguing, fascinating read.”
– Jill Eileen Smith, bestselling author of the Wives of King David series
“Stephanie Landsem delivers a fascinating perspective on Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Gripping yet tender, The Tomb weaves these Bethany siblings into the lives of supporting Gospel characters, beckoning readers to that poignant moment when the Son of God wept. Satisfying. Inspiring. Beautiful.”
– Mesu Andrews, award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes
“Stephanie Landsem has a gift for telling stories of eternal significance through the eyes of ordinary people. Powerful and tender, The Tomb carries us from the shadow of the valley of death to the glory of the resurrection, while keeping the hopes and dreams of its characters relevant to today's readers.”
– Regina Jennings, author of A Most Inconvenient Marriage and Caught in the Middle
“Once I picked up The Tomb I couldn’t put it down. Landsem’s novel about Martha is not only a riveting page-turner; it’s a profound and uplifting story about people transformed by faith.”
– Rebecca Kanner, author of Sinners and the Sea
"Powerful and moving, Landsem grabs hold of the soul and never lets go. As compelling a portrait of mercy as I have ever read. Don't miss this one!"
– Siri Mitchell, author of The Messenger
“In Stephanie Landsem’s latest novel, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus are real enough to invite you into their Bethany home, sit you before the fire, and fill your belly with barley stew and warm bread. The Tomb is an enthralling tale, impeccably researched, full of delightful characters. As women, we have always been told to emulate Mary, the sister who chose to worship at Jesus’ feet. But Landsem’s Martha has much to teach us, about love, loyalty, honor, faith—and the true measure of a family.”
– Carole Towriss, author of In the Shadow of the Sinai
“Once again, Stephanie Landsem weaves a masterful tale of danger, intrigue, and love as she draws from the familiar story of two sisters, Mary and Martha, and their brother, Lazarus. Landsem pulls the reader into unexpected corners of history as this humble family does their best to figure out who Jesus really is and what his radical message means for them. She pulls from scripture and traditions passed down through the centuries to explore the human experience behind these beloved characters, breathing new life into the story in clever and surprising ways.”
– Laura Sobiech, author of Fly a Little Higher
“Landsem creates a beautiful tapestry of familiar New Testament stories, woven together with fresh insight into what it looked like to walk alongside Jesus, encountering both the mundane and the mysterious in the man who brought the kingdom even to small villages.”
– Tracy Higley, author of The Queen’s Handmaid
“Triumphant! Landsem’s words resound with hope and healing, with freedom from the chains which bind us all.”