A compelling read: My review of "Keepers of the Covenant" by Lynn Austin

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about the book....

In Their Darkest Hour, Where Would Hope Be Found?

In one life-changing moment, the lives of the exiles in Babylon are thrown into despair when a decree from the king's palace calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire in less than one year.

Ezra, a quiet but brilliant scholar, soon finds himself called upon to become the leader of his people. Forced to rally an army when all his training has been in the Torah, he struggles to bring hope in a time of utter despair, when dreams of the future--of family and love--seem impossible.

In Keepers of the Covenant, acclaimed novelist Lynn Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God's unwavering love for His people.  

my review....

The second novel in "The Restoration Chronicles" series is a truly compelling read, bringing the historical figures in the Bible to life in a new way. The novel follows a number of different characters on their difficult journeys, weaving the various plot lines together into a unified whole. You will live and breathe alongside these characters as they face what seems to be certain death, as with Ezra or Devorah, or despair over the mistreatment they suffer at the hands of those who should love them, as with Amina. What I've come to appreciate about Austin's Biblical fiction is that it is all too easy to skim over a story in the Old Testament and not have a true understanding of what the people in the Bible experienced, but this novel and others she's written definitely change that! For example, I've never really thought about the thoughts and feelings of the average Jew who lived through Esther's time, and viewing that event through these character's eyes gave me a much deeper appreciation for what God did. Austin has done a wonderful job at capturing the mindset and culture of the day, exposing the racism and the oppression that the people suffered, the depth of the division between the Jews and the people they lived among. I loved getting to know all the different characters, and seeing them grow in courage and in purpose in their lives. Their stories portrayed God's grace and his provision in a powerful way. I can truly say that I will be reading this book again in the future as it made me think deeply about God's nature and how both his mercy and judgment are portrayed in the Old Testament.

I greatly enjoyed "Keepers of the Covenant" and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars. I look forward to the third book in the series!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 about the author....

Lynn Austin
Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She is an eight-time Christy Award winner and an inaugural inductee into the Christy Award Hall of Fame, as well as a popular speaker at retreats, conventions, women's groups, and book clubs. She lives with her husband in Michigan. Learn more at www.lynnaustin.org.

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