Cover image for Jerusalem vigil
Jerusalem vigil
Thoene, Bodie, 1951-
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Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 2000.
Physical Description:
322 pages ; 25 cm.
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In the first volume of a series chronicling the birth of the state of Israel, the lives of a diverse array of characters collide and intertwine as the British prepare to withdraw from Jerusalem in 1948.

Author Notes

Bodie Thoene, has a Ph.D. in creative writing, & with Brock Thoene, is the author of thirty-three novels that include the best-selling series "The Zion Chronicles" & "The Zion Covenant." Together they have won eight Evangelical Christian Publishers Gold Medallion awards. The Thoenes live in Nevada & London, England.

(Publisher Provided) With more than two dozen novels carrying the byline of Bodie Theone or Brock and Bodie Thoene (pronounced Tay-nee), with more than six million copies in print, and with eight Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion awards, for over a decade this husband-and-wife writing team has captivated the hearts and illuminated the minds of their enthusiastic readers.

The Thoenes have earned Ph.D.'s in creative writing and in history. Bodie's storytelling gifts are supported by Brock's careful research and historical perspective. The resulting novels both inspire and educate, broadening readers' awareness of understanding important slices of history. Their critically acclaimed collaborations will stand as the benchmark in their category for years to come.

The Zion Covenant series comprises six novels covering events in Europe leading up to World War II; the five books in The Zion Chronicles describe the events surrounding Israel's statehood in 1948; the three books of The Shiloh Legacy provide an American perspective on the war.

The Thoenes made their home in Glenbrook, Nevada, but traveled frequently as they researched historical and geographical settings for their novels. They had three grown children and enjoyed grandparenting.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The perennially popular Thoenes, long a fixture in Christian publishing, cross over to a mainstream commercial house with this compelling, Michener-like tale of Israel in 1948. As the British pull out and David Ben-Gurion consolidates power, Arab forces attempt to rout Jews from the Holy City, while the poorly armed, nascent Jewish army, composed of almost every nationality, schemes to break through Arab defenses and bring aid to their starving compatriots. Meanwhile, a great convoy, besieged at every turn by snipers and Egyptian jets, struggles to bring food and weapons from the coast. Though the Thoenes are highly partisan and their Israelis are all in varying degrees noble, they manage at least a credible job of portraying the various factions of Egyptians, Syrians, and Jordanians, even quoting from the Koran at times. They are the most adept in evoking the desperation of Jewish immigrants, vividly rendering the wartime sufferings of Poles, Germans, Italians, and English, the sum of which all but force Israel into existence. Lori and Jacob Kalner, who have been apart for most of their eight-year marriage because of Jacob's German internment, are representative. They have been ashore only a few hours when the Israeli army dragoons Jacob into the service and impresses Lori as a nurse. Though the Thoenes seldom can match the seamless, irresistible prose of Michener at his best, they have his ability to synthesize great dollops of history around appealing, though broadly drawn characters. They've turned in a rousing performance in this opener for the Zion Legacy series. --John Mort

Publisher's Weekly Review

In their first attempt at crossing over to mainstream audiences, these award-winning evangelical Christian novelists (the Zion Chronicles series) fashion a rather formulaic tale of bloody battle in which Jews and Christians of unsurpassed bravery and goodness fight evil Arab Muslims who oppose the nation of Israel and the internationalization of Jerusalem. The initial entry in a series, the novel chronicles five days in May 1948 and introduces dozens of characters who experience warfare at both a physical and spiritual level. Whether taking up arms or working as medics, members of the Jewish Diaspora and assorted Christians experience angelic protection, spiritual revelation and assurance that God has chosen them to fulfill the biblical prophecies quoted at length at the beginnings of several chapters. With the exception of two brothers, who are given full, complicated personalities, Arab Muslims are depicted as sadistic, demon-possessed Nazi prot‚g‚s who gleefully slaughter Jews, children, puppies and nuns. The Muslim troops brag about the holiness of their jihad and their courage in battle, but their actions expose them as cowardly, effeminate and completely at odds with the will of Allah as it is described in the novel's only quotation from the Koran. A few innocent Arab Muslim children and Arab-appeasing Jews and Christians complicate the plot. But even the most complexly developed characters are burdened with stiff, ungainly dialogue. The authors do deliver moments of genuine suspense and horror, but these scenes are often outweighed by tired action-film cliches and attempts at lighthearted esprit de corps that fall flat. Devotees of spiritual historical/adventure novels may find this worth the read, but those who seek fresh and nuanced fiction about this chapter in Middle East history may not anticipate the Zion Legacy's next four installments, due to be published at the rate of two per year. 12-city author tour. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

First came the "Zion Chronicles," then the "Zion Covenant" series. Now the Thoenes launch an explosive new series that begins with the creation of Israel's statehood in 1948. For five brutal days, Arabs and Jews fought to establish territorial lines following the British withdrawal from Jerusalem. Men, women, and children were slaughtered on the basis of where they lived, how they dressed, who they worshiped. As Moshe Sachar leads a band of Jewish freedom fighters into the deadly streets of Jeru-salem, his wife Rachel greets the first boatload of Jewish immigrants who've come to fight or die in their new homeland. This remarkable adventure based on historical fact is required for all collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/99.] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.