"The apocryphal Book of Judith is considered by some to be fiction, its actual historical truth in doubt," Publishers Weekly says. "But the chutzpah of its heroine and its message of fidelity to God arouse both admiration and inspiration. Moise (Love is the Thread: A Knitting Friendship), a folklore specialist, evokes the heroine's side of this ancient parable. Extensive research into the period when events in the story of Judith occurred, around 350-100 BCE, allows her to include abundant detail regarding the customs, clothing, and domestic arrangements of Hebrew villagers; behaviors of Assyrian warriors; and, in particular, perceptions and treatment of women. Faithful widow Judith, grieving and childless, befriends the Assyrian defector Achior, whose message from Nebuchadnezzar's general, Holofernes, to Judith's village of Bethulia is 'Surrender or die.' As Holofernes lays siege to the village, Judith receives visions from God and pleas from her friends to help save the village. In danger of rape and death, she overcomes fear through faith and ritual, with the support of her maid, Abra; Achior; and the general's slave. Her defeat of Holofernes forms the satisfying climax of this occasionally slow-moving but always well-imaged novel."