Thursday, October 10, 2013

Return to Me by Lynn Austin

From the publisher: 
After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo's prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God's chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain. 

Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather's ancient beliefs and the comfort and success his father enjoys in Babylon. But he soon begins to hear the voice of God, encouraging him to return to the land given to his forefathers. 

Bringing to life the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Return to Me tells the compelling story of Iddo and Zechariah, the women who love them, and the faithful followers who struggle to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home.

I was excited to review this book by Lynn Austin.  I enjoy the smaller books of the Old Testament and was glad to see a Biblical fiction book written about the time of Zechariah and going back to rebuild the temple after the exile in Babylon.

My favorite aspect of the book was the way that Lynn Austin dealt with the characters belief in God and His laws.  Iddo especially struggles with the reasons that he serves God.  Is it out of fear or love?  Obligation or devotion?  This is a theme that affects many characters, why do they do what they do?  I found this very relevant and interesting for us today because some people do not know why they serve God.  And a theme that Lynn Austin brings out is that it must be from love.  

The majority of the story spans a few years and then near the end there are a few large gaps in time.  Some readers might not enjoy this but it was necessary for the completion of the story.  

Lynn Austin writes with details about Babylon, Jerusalem, and the surrounding areas with detail and historical accuracy that will impress readers.

I enjoyed this book and will look for more books by her.

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

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