Eudocia's Vision - historical fiction by Oskar Marrano

Eudocia's Vision - historical fiction by Oskar Marrano
https://www.amazon.com/Eudocias-Vision-Oskar-Marrano-ebook/dp/B01L5NCHVA

"The 'Temple Scroll' was one of numerous documents describing the life of saintly societies of priests whose daily routines and religious practices embodied an ideal of holiness.  It was written by members of an ancient monastic sect living in the Judean desert.  The idea of writing those documents was originally suggested to the leader of this sect, sometime during the sixth century, by a Byzantine woman named Eudocia.  The story of this ancient document, and of the search for it in modern times, unfolds through its interaction with the story of a love affair involving a young Jewish woman from Jerusalem's Orthodox community, Naomi, and a British officer, Captain Gareth O'Reilly, who serves in Palestine during the period of British rule in this country, in the years immediately preceding World War II.
     
Naomi, who wishes to avoid an arranged marriage, leaves her family and hides for some time in some monasteries in Jerusalem.  In this way both Naomi and Gareth O'Reilly become acquainted with the story of the Temple Scroll, which is the focus of intense interest by individuals from the religious, monastic establishment as well as from the scholarly, academic world.  Among those involved in the search for the scroll is a religious clan whose members – all inmates of monasteries in Jerusalem - entertain ideas derived from certain ancient Gnostic traditions and engage, among other things, in illegal trade with ancient and forged documents.  A series of killings apparently related to the search for the scroll, and to illegal dealings with ancient documents more generally, is investigated by the British police in Jerusalem.   One of the victims of these killings is a Jewish scholar closely related to Jerusalem's Orthodox community who is also engaged in the search for Naomi on behalf of this community.  Fearing that he may be suspected to be implicated in this murder case, Gareth O'Reilly deserts his unit in the British military police and the two lovers leave Jerusalem and embark on a journey, in an attempt to flee Palestine and cross the northern border into French-dominated Lebanon.  In an interesting way, this journey takes them in the footsteps of the Temple Scroll, until at some stage of their journey, Naomi learns the truth about the fate of this ancient document.

In a world on the brink of a catastrophe, religious ideals of election and holiness contrast with a reality of violence and moral degradation.

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