Levi is a man beset by problems. While he is wealthy, his riches are always being threatened in many different ways. As a Tax Collector for the Roman Empire, he is shunned by his fellow Jews as being ritually impure, and so all Jews want to cheat him out of tax money. Being shunned deeply wounds Levi, because he had once dreamed of being a Rabbi. He had studied in Jerusalem under the great teacher, Gamaliel, but was out shone by a fellow student, whom he hated, Paul. Compounding things, Levi also knows that the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate, is soon to come to visit him, probably with the intention of charging him much more money to purchase the tax contracts for the toll booth at Capernaum. His brother, James, who is a fisherman, with his partner, Peter, keeps nagging him to come and listen to an itinerant preacher, Jesus, whose message is that the wealthy should give all their riches to the poor. Finally, his wife, Miriam, who loves to spend money on luxury items and dreams of visiting Rome, probably married him only for his wealth and may have a roving eye. Meanwhile, there are bandits, led by Iscariot, in
the desert threatening the caravans hauling spices, silk, and other precious luxury goods, which produce the enormous tolls at Levi’s toll booth. When his best friend, a Greek merchant named Maes, arrives in Capernaum with his huge caravan, which arrival should have solved most of Levi’s problems, everything in Levi’s life comes apart. What can put Levi’s life together again?
About the Author:
William D. McEachern lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida with his wife. He is a father and a grandfather. Mr. McEachern matriculated fromDuke University, earned his Law Degree from Fordham University School of Law, and a Master’s in Law Degree in Taxation from New York University School of Law. He has practiced law for 41 years, but now devotes almost full time to being a historian, writing novels of historical fiction and lecturing on historical topics. An avid reader of history, he thoroughly researches and travels extensively to lend authenticity and realism to his works. Returning to the world of Casting Lots, Mr. McEachern before writing The Life of Levi re-examined in depth numerous translations of the Gospel of Matthew, the latest archaeology of the Sea of Galilee region, including Capernaum, and visited numerous places in the Ancient Roman Empire and museums pertaining thereto. Mr. McEachern’s first novel, Casting Lots, which was the life story of the Centurion who presided over the Crucifixion, and which garnered excellent reviews, is continued in The Life of Levi. Mr. McEachern’s last two
novels, New Caledonia: A Song of America and Caledonia Lost: The Fall of the Confederacy were both selected as Finalists for the Best Historical Fiction for the Year 2017 and 2018. Caledonia Lost: The Fall of the Confederacy is also rated 4 stars out of 4 stars by the Online Book Club.