5 Minutes for Books — The Centurion’s Wife

by Jennifer Donovan

Today one of the members of the 5 Minutes for Books’ team of reviewers will be offering up our weekly book review here at 5 Minutes for Mom. Lauren is a wife, a mother of two, and an avid reader. She blogs at Baseballs and Bows.

On Thursday, we start a new year. To me, it seems that each year passes faster and faster. I am no longer a child who feels like time stands still. Instead, I just want to shout, “Slow down!” I know that our world has many problems, but I am thankful to be alive at this time, and I look forward to the coming year. I hope you do too.

PhotobucketAlthough I am glad to live here and now, I enjoy reading historical fiction. I am always up for a good story, no matter the setting; but I do appreciate learning how others lived in the past. In their latest novel, The Centurion’s Wife, Davis Bunn and Janette Oke explore the days following the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus through the lives of Leah, a servant in Pilate’s household, and Alban, a Roman centurion.

I enjoyed this book. I am familiar with the Biblical account of these events, and it was fascinating to consider the thoughts and actions of the Jewish leaders, the Roman officials, and the followers of Christ through the eyes of these fictional characters. I appreciate fictional accounts of Biblical events because I find myself wanting to reread the stories in my Bible, and novels of this type help me to gain a better understanding of the everyday lives of the Biblical characters I have read about so many times. Of course, I do encourage you to read the accounts in your Bible. Even the most well-written narrative is not the equivalent of God’s word (and I am sure the authors would ask you to do the same).

The Centurion’s Wife is the first book in the Acts of Faith series. While reading it, I couldn’t help but think of Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion
series, which is also set in the first century during the early years of Christianity. In my opinion, the characters in the Mark of the Lion
stories are more compelling (so far), but both series are historically fascinating. If you enjoyed the Mark of the Lion series, I recommend The Centurion’s Wife to you. I look forward to following Leah and Alban in future books. While Davis Bunn is new to me, I have enjoyed Janette Oke’s books in the past, and I am excited to see how the story unfolds as Mrs. Oke explores a Biblical setting for the first time.

If you would like to win a copy of this book (U.S. or Canadian shipping addresses) from Bethany House, please leave a comment. We’ll post the winner in next week’s column.

Due to legal restrictions, this promotion is not available in Arizona or Quebec. Please see our site’s Terms and Conditions of Use for a complete list of our Contest and Giveaway Rules.



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 203 comments }

1 Alicia December 29, 2008 at 10:12 am

Definitely

2 Amber December 29, 2008 at 11:00 am

I was just reading the reviews on this last week. Looks interesting – I loved the Mark of the Lion series!

3 Amber December 29, 2008 at 11:00 am

I am subscribed to your feed.

4 Amber December 29, 2008 at 11:00 am

I have your button linked on my blog.

5 Mama Zen December 29, 2008 at 11:13 am

This sounds wonderful!

6 Mama Zen December 29, 2008 at 11:13 am

I subscribe to the newsletter.

7 Angela C. December 29, 2008 at 11:27 am

I would love to win. I loved the Mark of the Lion series and would like to read this version.

accoupons at gmail dot com

8 Kristi December 29, 2008 at 11:49 am

Hello,

Great review – I love books that are in a series! Please sign me up for the giveaway!

Kristi

9 Michael Capp December 29, 2008 at 12:22 pm

I’d love to win!

10 emily December 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm

This sounds really interesting. Like you, I enjoy historical fiction quite a bit.

11 Denise December 29, 2008 at 12:29 pm

This sounds really interesting. Count me in!

12 Kris December 29, 2008 at 12:34 pm

A cold winter day and a good book, sounds like a great combination. Please sign me up!

13 Debby December 29, 2008 at 12:36 pm

I love historical fiction. Sounds like a good read.

14 Brandy December 29, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Ahhh, this book is on my Amazon wishlist! I’ve been wanting it for awhile now. Pick me, pick me! :-D

15 Nise' December 29, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Loved Mark of the Lion series and historical fiction. Thank you for the opportunity.

16 John Rasmussen December 29, 2008 at 1:11 pm

sign me up

17 Cassidy December 29, 2008 at 1:13 pm

I would love to read this. It sounds wonderful.

18 C. clemens December 29, 2008 at 1:14 pm

enter me please thankssss

19 Deborah Wellenstein December 29, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Thank you for this giveaway!

20 Melissa December 29, 2008 at 1:26 pm

This book sounds so good!

21 Jenn S. December 29, 2008 at 1:42 pm

This book sounds really interesting. Would love the chance to read it. Thanks!

22 Teresa December 29, 2008 at 2:02 pm

My kind of book-would love to read this.

23 Baba December 29, 2008 at 2:14 pm

I would love to read this! Thanks so much for the chance!

24 Stacie December 29, 2008 at 2:17 pm

I’d love to win! Thank you!

25 Terra Heck December 29, 2008 at 2:19 pm

I’d like to read this book.

26 Shirley Stubbe December 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

I love historical romances.

27 Shannon Baas December 29, 2008 at 2:28 pm

I love to read. Please enter me.

28 Sherry B. December 29, 2008 at 2:40 pm

I would love to read this! I am one of those “history buffs” who always wonders how the people surrounding a main character might have been affected by the actions of the person that we are learning about. This is right up my alley!

29 Linda Peters December 29, 2008 at 2:58 pm

would love to read this, thanks

30 Christine December 29, 2008 at 3:02 pm

Looks like a great read!

31 Kathy Scott December 29, 2008 at 3:28 pm

I love to read and this looks like a good read.

32 Sandy December 29, 2008 at 3:51 pm

looks interesting

33 Sandy December 29, 2008 at 3:51 pm

subscriber

34 Kristy December 29, 2008 at 3:52 pm

I would love to read this book!

35 Linda White December 29, 2008 at 4:22 pm

i love Jannette oakes

36 karen c. December 29, 2008 at 4:29 pm

I love good historical fiction.

37 susan varney December 29, 2008 at 4:35 pm

love to have this one

38 Krista December 29, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Ooo, I’ve read books they collaborated on before and they are good!

39 Sarah December 29, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Great review! I now want to read a book that I probably would have never looked at before.

40 Richelle F December 29, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Looks interesting!

41 Richelle F December 29, 2008 at 4:54 pm

I’m subscribed to your feed.

42 Junglewife December 29, 2008 at 5:03 pm

I saw this on 5 Minutes for Books and thought it looked very good – I’d love to win!

43 Janette December 29, 2008 at 5:11 pm

I love Janette Oke’s work. She’s also the only other person I’ve heard of who has the same name as I do!

44 Deidre December 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm

Ditto, what everybody else said! LOL

Deidre

45 Deb December 29, 2008 at 6:01 pm

I’d love to win a copy of this book because I love biblical fiction.

46 Deb December 29, 2008 at 6:02 pm

I’m subscribed to your feed, too! Pls enter my name!

47 Anne December 29, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Sounds like a great read! I’d love to win and then pass it on!

Thanks

48 Jodi December 29, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Hi Jennifer,
I write a blog entitled An American Mom in Tuscany: Jordan’s Cochlear Implant Story http://rallycapsdotnet.blogspot.com. I am also the co-author of the book RALLY CAPS which features a character with a cochlear implant just like my son Jordan. I would appreciate it if you could add this book to your list of books to review and if you would like me to send you a copy, email me at jodi@rallycaps.net
You can read more about the book at http://www.rallycaps.net
Thank you,
Jodi

49 Ann Fantom December 29, 2008 at 6:18 pm

I would love to win this! Please enter me

50 Susan Smith December 29, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Sounds like a good book

51 Mikki December 29, 2008 at 6:23 pm

This looks like a great book! Count me in!

52 Sheila December 29, 2008 at 7:09 pm

I love historical fiction and Janette Oke is one of my favorite authors!

53 Just Mom December 29, 2008 at 7:19 pm

I’d love to win – count me in!

54 Lindsey December 29, 2008 at 7:42 pm

I have been really wanting to read this, and the Mark of the Lion series is my very favorite! Thanks for the giveaway, I would LOVE to win! :-)

55 Angela December 29, 2008 at 7:51 pm

I love historical fiction…this seems like a great read.

56 Pat December 29, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Thank ou for introducing me to this series. Seems to me it leads to more charitable and loving lives.

Thanks for the contest and best wishes for a prosperous 2009.

57 Aisling December 29, 2008 at 8:45 pm

I enjoy reading fictionalized accounts of actual events also. It’s so interesting to see how a writer can flesh out details of long ago lives. Norah Lofts and Jean Plaidy were excellent practioners of that sort of writing and I miss them. This sounds like a good book and I’d love to win a copy.

58 Rhonda Struthers December 29, 2008 at 8:55 pm

I would like to read this. Please enter me.

59 christopher h December 29, 2008 at 9:10 pm

sounds like a really good read

60 Kathy Amos December 29, 2008 at 9:33 pm

This looks great

61 Katherine Frazier December 29, 2008 at 9:44 pm

sounds like a good read.

62 The Gang's All Here! December 29, 2008 at 9:55 pm

A good NEW! book on a cold winter’s night would be so appreciated!

63 Amy W December 29, 2008 at 9:58 pm

I would love to read this!

chrisandamyward(at)comcast(dot)net

64 jenna December 29, 2008 at 10:21 pm

Sounds like a great book. I would love to read it. Thanks!

65 Shilah December 29, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Oh, I love Janette Oke’s books! This sounds like another great one.

66 Linda December 29, 2008 at 11:10 pm

This looks like a great book to read this coming
January in Canada.I am a subscriber.

67 Kim December 29, 2008 at 11:13 pm

I’d love to read this!

68 Kari December 29, 2008 at 11:16 pm

LOVE IT……WOW, cannot wait to READ this one!!! I love historical fiction with a smidge of romance! Yeehaw!!! :D thanks girls!

69 Rebekah December 29, 2008 at 11:18 pm

This looks like a wonderful book! I would love to win it – and if I don’t, I’ll be looking for it at the library :)

70 Marcia Freeman December 29, 2008 at 11:42 pm

What a great way to start 2009. I would love to win.

71 Samantha R December 30, 2008 at 12:01 am

This sounds like a great book!

72 Debbie B December 30, 2008 at 12:07 am

i need a new book to read!

73 Serena December 30, 2008 at 12:49 am

I’ve always enjoyed Janette Oke’s books. Historical fiction is my favorite!

74 Melonie (Momma & More) December 30, 2008 at 1:23 am

Janette Oke is one of my favorite authors! Please enter me in this drawing. I don’t see most of the new releases here on base since we don’t have a regular book store and the book area in the PX/BXs is fairly limited in space. I hadn’t heard about this until you posted this review – it sounds amazing!!!!

75 Miss Heidi December 30, 2008 at 1:58 am

I love to read. Thanks.
Heidi
sweet_soul_sistermi@yahoo.com

76 Jackie December 30, 2008 at 2:08 am

I loved reading the Francine Rivers books, so I know I would enjoy this. Thank you!

77 Carol Lawrence December 30, 2008 at 5:52 am

Interesting book,hope I win.

78 maryzell roberts December 30, 2008 at 6:47 am

I study God’s word to us every day. I’d love to read this book. Maybe this centurion corresponds to Cornelius. I’s sure like to see.

79 maryzell roberts December 30, 2008 at 6:48 am

I study God’s word to us every day. I’d love to read this book. Maybe this centurion corresponds to Cornelius. I’d sure like to see.

80 Susan December 30, 2008 at 7:47 am

Sounds like a great book – I’d love a copy!!

Susan

81 Vickie Couturier December 30, 2008 at 8:10 am

I love historicals too they are my favorite to read,so please count me in,thanks

82 david basile December 30, 2008 at 9:38 am

a book my wife would enjoy

83 michele anne jaquays December 30, 2008 at 9:41 am

would like to win this

84 FPresley December 30, 2008 at 9:54 am

Intriguing title…I love historical romance and there are few good ones written about this time period.

85 Vicky Boackle December 30, 2008 at 9:55 am

this looks so good.

86 Jodi December 30, 2008 at 9:58 am

Sounds like a good read! Enter me please!

87 Susan C December 30, 2008 at 10:29 am

I love historical fiction, it makes the facts come alive for me!
smchester at gmail dot com

88 Alexia December 30, 2008 at 10:31 am

I love anything Janette Oke has her writing in – I would love to win!

89 Carol G December 30, 2008 at 10:40 am

If it is written well, can be a good educational tool about the time as well as a good story.

90 Carol G December 30, 2008 at 10:43 am

I have subscribed

91 Linda Howard December 30, 2008 at 11:00 am

Please enter me. I would love to read this book. Thanks!

92 Wanda December 30, 2008 at 11:05 am

I heart Janette Oke! My BFF turned me on to her good stuff several years back. I just love her!
So this is exciting to have a chance to win!
Thanks.

93 Christine Jensen December 30, 2008 at 11:45 am

I would love to win a copy of this book!

94 Christine Jensen December 30, 2008 at 11:45 am

I also am a newsletter subscriber (if that helps with this giveaway)

95 Karen Gonyea December 30, 2008 at 11:46 am

Count me in please :)

96 Zoly December 30, 2008 at 11:53 am

This is a good one.

97 Anita December 30, 2008 at 1:54 pm

I’m always up for a good read!

98 Vicki Wurgler December 30, 2008 at 2:09 pm

I would love to read this book

99 sito December 30, 2008 at 2:58 pm

I’ve heard about this book and the reviews I’ve read have been good. I’d love to own a copy. Thanks for the giveaway.

100 Melanie December 30, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Ever since reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “The Firebrand” I’ve fallen for historical fiction – having a story and characters makes getting a grasp of the time period so much easier and more interesting! This story sounds intriguing…and they don’t have this title at our library. : )

101 Marie December 30, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Would love a chance to read this!

102 Susan Heim December 30, 2008 at 3:22 pm

I would love to win this. One of my all-time favorite books is “The Red Tent,” another Biblically based novel. This book sounds excellent, too.

103 Andrea December 30, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

104 Angela J December 30, 2008 at 4:15 pm

I can use another good book to read.

105 Carolyn Nedrow December 30, 2008 at 4:23 pm

I love to read good books!
cjnedrow@gmail.com

106 Carolyn Nedrow December 30, 2008 at 4:26 pm

I am a subscriber!
cjnedrow@gmail.com

107 Sarah December 30, 2008 at 4:45 pm

enter me!

108 Sally December 30, 2008 at 4:53 pm

I love Francine Rivers & have read most of Janette Oke’s books – how awesome there’s a series that’s a bit of both worlds! Yeah!

109 DeeAnn S December 30, 2008 at 5:27 pm

A book I’d like to have. Thanks.

110 MaryAnn December 30, 2008 at 5:28 pm

I love historical fiction–especially Biblica fiction– and I LOVED the Mark of the Lion series. I can’t wait to read this.

111 Sweetpeas December 30, 2008 at 5:34 pm

I love these authors!! Count me in!

112 Cherie J December 30, 2008 at 6:05 pm

This book is on my wish list already so I know I would love to win it. Thanks for the chance.

113 Mike Weisberg December 30, 2008 at 6:21 pm

I want to win

114 gracieo December 30, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Sounds like a wonderful book. A lazy weekend with a good book is what I call relaxing. Crossing my fingers.

115 Shelley K December 30, 2008 at 7:42 pm

I LOVE historical fiction books and this one looks like a good one.

Thanks for a great giveaway.

116 Shelley K December 30, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Subscriber :)

117 veronica sandberg December 30, 2008 at 8:51 pm

want to win this

118 Catherine copeland December 30, 2008 at 9:24 pm

I’m so very excited about this giveaway

119 Melissa December 30, 2008 at 9:36 pm

I love both of these writers. This book sounds great!

120 Ruby December 30, 2008 at 10:04 pm

This books looks interesting. I would love to win this!

121 Anita Yancey December 30, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Sounds like a good read. Please enter me.

122 Zoe Lee December 30, 2008 at 10:18 pm

I would love to read this..thanks for the contest.

123 Heather S December 31, 2008 at 12:03 am

Sounds good. I really enoyed Francine Rivers series, so if this is half as good, I’m sure I’d like it too! Thanks for entering me.

Lalycairn (at) gmail.com

124 Alli December 31, 2008 at 12:37 am

I’d love this! Thanks!

125 Julie Donahue December 31, 2008 at 1:09 am

I love Jenette Oke and T Davis Bunn!

126 Julie Donahue December 31, 2008 at 1:10 am

I have your button.

127 Julie Donahue December 31, 2008 at 1:11 am

I subscribe

128 Andria December 31, 2008 at 9:16 am

I would love this. Looks like a great book. Thanks for the chance.

129 Lisa Fosses December 31, 2008 at 10:02 am

I COULD USE A NEW BOOK TO READ

130 Andria December 31, 2008 at 12:24 pm

I would love a chance to win. Thank you.

131 christin December 31, 2008 at 1:33 pm

this looks great! thanks!

132 staceyk December 31, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Looks like a great read! Thanks!

133 djp December 31, 2008 at 2:10 pm

need a new read for night time

134 Renee G December 31, 2008 at 9:35 pm

I’d love to read a copy of this.

135 Courtney from Mommie Blogs December 31, 2008 at 10:03 pm

I’d really like a copy and to actually read a book again. I finally have evenings free to read away :)

136 Kim Smith December 31, 2008 at 11:15 pm

This is a book I would love to read.

137 mindy December 31, 2008 at 11:26 pm

looks sensational thanks

138 Rachael January 1, 2009 at 4:11 am

I want to win! I like historical fiction and it sounds like it could be an interesting book.

139 Susan S. January 1, 2009 at 9:35 am

This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for spotlighting it!

140 Jennifer Barr January 1, 2009 at 10:49 am

sounds good :)

141 Jill Miller January 1, 2009 at 11:02 am

Sounds like a good book! I’d love to win it!

142 Jen January 1, 2009 at 1:59 pm

The review makes me want to pick up the book and I truly enjoy historical fiction.

143 Jen January 1, 2009 at 2:00 pm

I subscribe to your feed via email.

144 Jen January 1, 2009 at 2:00 pm

I subscribe to our newsletter.

145 Jen January 1, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Your button is on my blog.

146 Leslie January 1, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Would love to read.

147 Jane K January 1, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I would like to read this book.

148 Jennifer Hedden January 1, 2009 at 8:41 pm

enter me

149 Kristinia - Loving Heart Mommy January 1, 2009 at 11:43 pm

We’ve heard alot about this book, count me in!

150 valerie mabrey January 2, 2009 at 12:53 am

count me in to win

151 Noelia Gutierrez January 2, 2009 at 2:01 am

would love this, I love to read.

152 Bobv January 2, 2009 at 3:03 am

Great prize, enter me please.

153 Jason Nickolay January 2, 2009 at 12:29 pm

This sounds like a very interesting book, I hope to win

154 Sandra Riley January 2, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Thanks for the giveaway!

155 Sandra F. January 2, 2009 at 6:05 pm

sounds like a great read! thanks :O)

156 Sheila Pepe January 2, 2009 at 8:56 pm

I would like to win this book! It sounds very interesting!

157 Karen P January 2, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Great contest, please enter me.

158 Delores January 2, 2009 at 10:22 pm

please enter me!

159 romero January 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm

would love to be entered.

160 Mary Otis January 3, 2009 at 12:32 am

Historical novels are definitely my favorites,
those touching on Biblical Times in particular.
Would love to have THE CENTURION’WIFE in my library.

161 April January 3, 2009 at 12:41 am

thank you for the contest

162 Carrie Baird January 3, 2009 at 2:02 am

I would love to read this! Thanks for the chance to win!

163 Jane Anne January 3, 2009 at 2:24 am

Would love to win this one!

164 Erma January 3, 2009 at 8:35 am

I would love the chance to win, thanks.

165 Adrienne Gordon January 3, 2009 at 11:00 am

looks interesting

166 Janice Wright January 3, 2009 at 11:22 am

I need some new reading material. Thanks for the giveaway!

167 salina munson January 3, 2009 at 12:03 pm

i am an avid reader and am always looking for my next book. thanks for tjhe chance to win!

168 Amy Tucker January 3, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Great blog and book. Please add me:

amyinkamloops @ gmail. com

Have an awesome day!

Amy

169 sarah b January 3, 2009 at 12:27 pm

ive read some other oke books and loved them

170 Gina Stratos January 3, 2009 at 2:03 pm

I’d love to win
gkstratos@yahoo.com

171 Cassandra January 3, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Please enter me–thanks!

172 Cassandra January 3, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Subscribed to feed–thanks!

173 John Deal January 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I’d really like to win this.

174 Kathy D January 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

my mother loves Janette Oke

175 Ed Nemmers January 3, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Happy New Year!

176 Marion B January 3, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Please enter me!

177 Joyce Jacobs January 3, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Thanks for sponsoring this giveaway.

178 Steve January 3, 2009 at 6:26 pm

It sounds like a great book!

179 Melissa P January 3, 2009 at 6:56 pm

I love Janette Oke and haven’t read this book.

180 Doreen January 3, 2009 at 8:18 pm

I would love a chance to win.

181 Karrie January 3, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Sounds really good

182 Jean F January 3, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Thank you for holding such a great giveaway!

183 Hesper F January 3, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I love Janette Oke’s books. Winning this would be fantastic!

184 Tamara Burks January 3, 2009 at 9:14 pm

This looks like an interesting book.

185 Marilyn Brenden January 3, 2009 at 9:23 pm

I would like to win this book. I enjoy everything Janette Oke writes.

186 Geri Nyland January 3, 2009 at 10:10 pm

I have just gotten into reading again since my son is a little older now and he lets me…lol… This looks like a great book!

187 Kathy S January 3, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Love historical fiction! Please enter me into this contest.

188 Mindie W January 4, 2009 at 12:11 am

Love this author! hope to win

Thanks

189 Francine Anchondo January 4, 2009 at 12:30 am

Thanks for the giveaway

190 Cheryl F. January 4, 2009 at 1:06 am

I’d love to read this :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

191 Sherri Siler January 4, 2009 at 1:22 am

Looks like a great book.

192 Melanie Miller January 4, 2009 at 1:32 am

great to sit down with a good book like this on a colds winter night!

193 Chrysa January 4, 2009 at 1:51 am

Looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

194 Lara Aleff January 4, 2009 at 2:56 am

I’d love to read this book!

195 Candace McCarthy January 4, 2009 at 2:57 am

this book sounds great.

196 sharon January 4, 2009 at 4:06 am

Sounds like a good read. Thanks!

197 Jeanine P January 4, 2009 at 5:14 am

Nice prize! I would love to win! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

198 Candie L January 4, 2009 at 9:41 am

I think it sounds very interesting and would definately give me a new persepective. Thanks

199 Christina Brunetti January 4, 2009 at 11:00 am

Love to have this.

Thanks,

200 dorothy l January 4, 2009 at 11:45 am

of course I would love to win

201 Roseann Kies January 4, 2009 at 12:31 pm

I’d love to read this book! Thanks!

202 kathy pease January 4, 2009 at 12:39 pm

PLEASE COUNT ME IN ON THIS AWESOME GIVEAWAY :)

203 Amy Griffin January 4, 2009 at 1:36 pm

She is a great author, I would love to win in.

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