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Author Dorothy Valcárcel’s longing to find lasting love—“a love that climbs with you to the mountaintop and doesn’t take off when you hit a valley”—led her to study Jesus’ life. She noticed that Jesus drew women to himself and that, when others abandoned him, the women stayed with him. As she pondered the reason why, she began to notice the way Jesus treated women.

The result: this enlightening book containing portraits of 18 women who interacted with Jesus. In several cases, the Bible tells us very little about the women Valcárcel introduces us to. Take, for example, the widow with two coins whom Jesus observed giving all she had to the temple treasury, and the Canaanite woman living in the region of Tyre and Sidon who begged Jesus to heal her daughter. Others are well known even today—Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene, whom Jesus cured of seven evil spirits and who met her resurrected Lord. All the women Valcárcel highlights faced common challenges to females in their society—they weren’t considered worthy of respect and had no legal standing. Still, in their encounter with Jesus, each was transformed through his attention, love, and power.

Relying on Scripture, historical accounts, her own life-altering struggles, and her vivid imagination, Valcárcel presents insights that are relevant for women today as they walk with Jesus. Each chapter includes tools for reflection, exploration, inspiration, and affirmation. Though the book seems best fitted for personal study, it could also be used in a group setting where participants enjoy a deep level of trust and engagement with each other. (Revell)

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