Wednesday, October 9, 2013

*Return to Me* Biblical Fiction by Lynn Austin

Return to Me (The Restoration Chronicles #1)

This book begins with God's call ringing out: Return to Me. 
The captors of the Jewish people in Babylon are suddenly moved to release them, sending the Jews home to Jerusalem to rebuild God's temple.

This book also begins with torn hearts, as God's call requires them to leave behind a world they now know to return to a purpose and legacy they have almost lost sight of.

This book does a lot to impress the history of this time period on you.
When I read about characters such as Iddo and Zerubabel in the Bible, they were often just names to me, but a story like this helps them become people again in my mind.

Our main characters are Zaki {Zechariah} and Yael, who grow from childhood to maturity over the course of this book. Their friendship and relationship is both a wonderful and tragic one, and they are a microcosmic example of their generation of Jews: surrounded by the lure of paganism yet commanded to worship in the purity of holiness. They make choices, some good, some bad. We wonder what we would have done and see ourselves in them.

The time and place and people of Return to Me are described richly, and I thought about them after I closed the book each day.

I was left thinking about what it would have been like to be a young woman like Yael who must decide whether to follow paganism or the God who gives her breath.

Or a young man like Zaki, born and trained for the priesthood; a recipient of great responsibility and
stunning revelation.

Or an old woman given the chance to leave the city where the Jews were prisoners and return to the land God had given her people...but she must leave her children and grandchildren who are comfortable where they are.

Or an old man, who sees the hopes he has cherished all these years coming true and clearly hears God;s call Return to Me.

One more thing stood out to me:
As you witness the continual stream of sacrifices throughout this story, it becomes clear that no amount of bulls, rams, or lambs, no amount of animal blood could have cleansed us and saved us.
Jesus Christ died once for all, and is now seated at the right hand of His Father. Praise God for freeing us from the cycle of sin offerings!

Thank you Litfuse for sending me my copy of this book. Looking very much forward to Volume Two in the Restoration Chronicles.

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.
It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.
Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother, and daughter concerning the change in women's roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve's Daughters.
Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for featuring my book and for the lovely review! Blessings to you, Lynn.