Carol Wallace, the great, great granddaughter of Lew Wallace, the author of Ben Hur, A Tale of the Christ, has taken the classic novel with its old fashioned prose and breathed new life into it for today.
Betrayed by his childhood friend and falsely accused of attempting to murder the Roman governor, Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish nobleman, is sentenced to the galley ships and vows to seek revenge against the Romans and his former friend Messala. But a chance encounter with a carpenter from Nazareth sets Judah on a different path.
“When Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince alive during Jesus Christ’s lifetime, is wrongly accused of attempting to assassinate the Roman governor of Jerusalem by his childhood friend Messala, the Romans enslave him and capture his mother and sister. While working in the galley of a battleship, Ben-Hur saves the life of a Roman tribune, Arrius, who decides to adopt the former prince, change his name to Young Arrius, take him to Rome, and train the boy in the Roman ways, including the popular sport of chariot racing. While searching for what may have happened to his family, Ben-Hur takes advantage of an opportunity to challenge Messala to a chariot race. After establishing himself as a fierce competitor, Ben-Hur is persuaded to train an army that will support the rightful king of the Jews–who some believe to be a man from Nazareth. Unbeknownst to Ben-Hur, the true savior has different plans. Wallace (“To Marry an English Lord”)–the great-great-granddaughter of the author of the original “Ben-Hur,” Lew Wallace–has done a fine job of revising the text for modern readers. The narrative assumes some Biblical knowledge, as Ben-Hur comes into contact with characters from well-known Bible stories, including a wise man and Jesus himself. Patches of awkward dialogue contrast the lyrical, cinematic descriptions of Ben-Hur’s struggles and triumphs. The epic novel, spanning about 12 years of Ben-Hur’s life, will be relished not only by fans of Christian fiction, but any reader who craves historical accounts of high adventure, action, and drama” – Publishers Weekly