Monday, September 30, 2013

Return To Me By Lynn Austin Book Review

/ / Return To Me / /

/ / Review By Madi / /

Book Title: Return To Me
Author: Lynn Austin
Source: The Litfuse Publicity Group
Number Of Pages: 459
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0898-0
Publisher: Bethany House
Year Of Publication: 2013
Madi's Rating: 5 Out Of 5 Stars
/ / Book Description / /
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.
/ / Madi's Book Review / /
 I love Lynn Austin. She has a great writing style. When I found out that she was about to be releasing another book, I was pretty darn excited. I'm so grateful to Bethany House for giving me the opportunity to read and review Return To Me. I had big expectations for this book, and it surpassed them all.
After several decades of being servants in a foreign land (Babylon), the people of Jerusalem are finally free to return home and start rebuilding their city. The most important things to the Jews when they start out on their mission is to rebuild God's temple. They start out completely focused on their mission, but when trials come, they start to crumble under the weight of expectation. When they arrive, they put off the building project to make themselves houses and shelters, then it's put off again because their neighbors destroy part of their supplies, then it is put off yet again when the King receives false information and forbids them to continue. So many things that God's people are letting hinder them from their calling to build God a dwelling place, so many things that are taking their eyes off the prize. Will God's chosen people ever fulfill their destiny?
Iddo is an old man that has been cursed with memories of being forced out of his homeland; Jerusalem. The Babylonians killed his family and forced him to leave the only home he had ever known. When he is released to return home, he is ecstatic.
Dinah (Iddo's wife), was born and raised in Babylon. It's all she knows. When her husband announces his plans to move, Dinah is crushed. What if her sons decide not to go with them? She will not only have to leave everything that she loves, but also everyone she knows. Dinah is a strong woman, but every person has their breaking point.
Zechariah is the eldest grandson of Iddo and Dinah, and he is already showing signs of great worth at the tender young age of thirteen. He is a Levite, and he knows that he is called by God to be a priest for his people. He starts his training early, and becomes a priest at the age of thirty. When Zechariah makes the decision to travel to Jerusalem with his grandparents and leave his father and mother behind, this young boy has no idea what lay ahead. He must face many trials, but God always pulled him through.
This was one of the best books that I have read in a long time. The Biblical history included in this novel was astonishing, and every detail was described so vividly that my imagination lacked nothing. Every character was so easy to relate to, and they were all included equally throughout the story. I usually don't like it when a story has to keep up with several people and what they are up to, but I think that Lynn Austin did a marvelous job bringing each individual to their perfect spot in the story. Everything was just so well blended together that I didn't even mind how many characters I had to keep up with. There was only one thing that I wasn't too terribly fond of in this book.
The only thing that I didn't really care for was how often there was mention of pagan practices. Zechariah's best friend (Yael) was into worshiping the moon and telling fortunes with the stars. Though Yael eventually came to believe in the one true God through Zachariah, there was a good piece of the book focused on the Babylonian habits that she had picked up. Other than that, this book was top notch!
~Madi For The Literary Maidens
Note: I was provided with a copy of this book free of charge by the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not paid to write this review, and all thoughts and sentiments expressed in this post are completely mine and totally unbiased.

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