Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Through the Bethany House Blogger Review program, I recently received a copy of Lynn Austin's newest book, On This Foundation, in exchange for a review. I decided to branch out a little bit from my usual Regency period fiction to an Old Testament Biblical fiction piece. I loved reading Francine Rivers's Mark of the Lion series, so I was hopeful that maybe I could make it through this.
I got busy with a few church responsibilities and required reading that went along with them, and the first time I picked On This Foundation up, it didn't seem like light reading. So I put it down. And then a week later, I picked it back up, determined to try again to make good on my promise of a review. I'm so glad I did, because I enjoyed it so much!
If you're familiar with the Bible, this book is a telling of Nehemiah's story--how he was called by God to go and rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. It covers his appointment as Governor of Judah by King Artaxerxes, people who stood in his was, and his commitment to honoring God in his efforts to begin the work to restore the holy city.
Keep in mind that while the story of Nehemiah was true and well-tended in this work, it is indeed a piece of historical fiction. There are a few peripheral characters surrounding Nehemiah who are fictional. Their stories are interwoven with not only what the Jewish people were suffering during that time, but how Nehemiah's strategies impacted them as he came on the scene.
When I finished, I told my husband I thought he would enjoy it. It appeals to both men and women, especially followers of Jesus Christ and those who love to read God's Word. You probably already know the story, but this is an interesting telling of it. In particular, these people were living in a time where Queen Esther's "for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14) moment was so recent, and there were several reminders of that throughout the book. It was a great challenge for me personally. With world events as they are, Christ-followers the world over will be facing those moments for themselves.
If you're looking for a book to cuddle up with over the holidays, this would make a great one! This is the third in Lynn Austin's The Restoration Chronicles series. Now time to check out the others!