The familiar story of Lazarus found in the Gospels is told from the perspective of the man himself. Lazarus is the one speaking to us, the readers, describing the tumultuous political and religious climate of Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, (as well as the underlying strain in his own life and family) and telling of the Stranger Who is causing such a stir: Jesus. Of course, we already know that Lazarus dies and is resurrected, but "hearing" Lazarus describe how it happened and how he felt, in his own words, was pretty amazing.
Knowing that Bodie and Brock Thoene are excellent authors, I was excited to review this book. True to their style When Jesus Wept was obviously well-researched and written straight from the heart. The Thoene's attention to detail and their ability to make the reader see, smell, and feel the surroundings described in the book is unrivaled by any other author. I was impressed with how they tied in Scripture and actual happenings with fictional characters and events in such a unique way. I found the subplot of Patrick the slave one of the most heartwarming elements of the book. The description of Jesus forgiving Mary and of her transformation were touching, and the Lazarus household's battle with locusts in their vineyards was quite suspenseful.
I did find the book a little dry in places and hard to get into, and didn't really start to enjoy it until I was about halfway through. I didn't truly connect with this book as much as I had hoped, but I did find it though-provoking. It isn't the kind of book one reads and promptly forgets.
In my opinion, though beautifully written and true to the Thoene style, When Jesus Wept is not a favorite. I prefer their series, The Zion Chronicles.