Lynn Austin Made Me Feel Like I Was There
Return to Me opens with Daniel being summoned by King Belshazzar to read the writing on the wall right before Babylon fell to the Medes and the Persians. Then the story fast forwards to when King Cyrus decreed that the exiled Jews could return to Jerusalem to rebuild their temple. Lynn Austin made me feel as if I was there experiencing everything that the characters (Iddo, Zechariah, Dinah, and Yael) encountered.
Iddo, Zechariah's grandfather, remembers Jerusalem before exile, but most of his memories are not good. He has nightmares about the Babylonian's invasion, and being forced to leave his home. But when he read the King Cyrus' decree allowing the Jews to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple he is determined that his family will be among the first to go. Following God's will and fellowshipping with Him is of utmost importance to Iddo, this makes him seem pompous and out-of-touch; and resulted in his family and friends feeling alienated to the point that they chose to stay in Babylon.
Dinah, Zechariah's grandmother, has lived in Babylon all her life, and is quite content living with her entire family surrounding her. Her heart broke for what she was leaving behind. As a result she allowed bitterness toward her husband to take root.
Yeal grew-up next door to Iddo and Dinah, and has just lost her mother to a long illness. Her father hired a Babylonian sorceress to cure his wife, but instead she swayed Yael to embrace astrology and fortune telling. Yael is a headstrong young lady who refuses to accept a God who would allow her mother to die.
Finally there's Zechariah, Iddo and Dinah's grandson. At the start of the story he's a 12-year-old boy, and the only family member willing to accompany his grandparents to Jerusalem, thinking his parents will be coming soon. It didn't take me long to realize who his character was based on. Now, as I read the book of Zechariah, I have a fresh perspective, knowing that what God had called him to wasn't easy, but even still he obeyed. I enjoyed seeing what he might have been like, and watching him learn to balance the duty he was born into and making his own decisions.
I think each of us can relate to the characters in this book, and understand why they think and act as they do, but like they were learning, we are learning too. God's way is always best.
As I read Return to Me by Lynn Austin, I had a renewed zeal for reading my Bible, especially the prophetic books. It is so easy to get side tracked by the things I encounter in daily life, but I know how very important it is to be in God's word.
I am looking forward to Lynn's next installment of The Restoration Chronicles, where I hope to catch up with these characters, and meet new ones.
About the Book:
From the Acclaimed Author of Chronicles of the Kings
After decades of exile, the prophesies are coming true–King Cyrus has declared the Jews may return to Jerusalem. Iddo, a priest, is sure this is a sign of God’s renewed favor. For too long they’ve remained in Babylon, and many, including Iddo’s sons, are losing the faith that sets them apart. And so only a few choose to leave everything to return–return to their home and their God.
Nothing about their journey to the Promised Land is easy. As hardships mount, even the faithful, like Iddo’s beloved wife, Dinah, question the sacrifice of following God’s leading. Zechariah, Iddo’s oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather’s ancient beliefs and the family they left behind. But one life-changing encounter with the Holy One gives him insight that will change Zechariah–and history–forever.
Bestselling author Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She is an eight-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels, as well as a popular speaker at retreats and conventions. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and live near Chicago.
Lynn Austin is celebrating the release of Return to Me, the first book in her new Biblical fiction series, The Restoration Chronicles, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a Facebook Author Chat party.
One winner will receive:
- A Kindle Fire HDX
- Return to Me by Lynn Austin
Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 22nd!