A wonderful Biblical fiction novel!
This is the first book by Austin I've read, and I loved it! I felt pulled into the Bible as real events played out before my mind's eye: King Cyrus releasing the Jews to return to Jerusalem, the struggle to rebuild the temple, and the prophets Haggai and Zachariah encouraging the Israelites to follow His instruction. Austin did an amazing job.
Return to Me follows Iddo and his family through their transition from Babylon to Jerusalem, and we also watch Zachariah grow into a man of God. With every seemingly impossible situation, I couldn't figure out how Austin would wrap up the book. I felt many of the obstacles, namely the pagan-star reading that her characters Yael and Dinah faced, were accurate to the times, though that didn't make it any easier to read.
Somewhere after the halfway point, time jumped a little too frequently for me, leaving me dizzy trying to figure out how much time had passed and what had occurred in that time. But really, that's my only complaint.
If you're seeking an accurate Biblical fiction novel, you ought to give Return to Me a try. This book should be read by older teens because of content (paganism, sacrificing of animals, etc.) I thoroughly enjoyed this one, I can't wait for the next!
I received this book from Bethany House in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!
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