This is the second book in Austin’s Restoration Chronicles series, which vividly portrays the fictional lives of several Jews and Gentiles based on the Old Testament books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. My father-in-law and I both read this book and were intrigued by the details and emotions that Austin captured in her retelling. The fear and doubt, love and faith are evident throughout the book.
Ezra is a scholar who is quickly thrust into a position of leadership for which he has no desire. He learns many things about himself, about God, and about relating with others through his fervent studying of the Torah after Haman’s evil plan is set into motion. The Jews pray for deliverance while the Gentiles torment them and plan their attack. For several months, the Jews lived with anxious, heavy hearts because their future seemed hopeless.
Austin offers different perspectives by writing from several characters’ point of view. She alternates between characters, so the reader must wait to find out what will happen next. I was spellbound by the interwoven stories of the main characters. This retelling of Old Testament information is rich and suspenseful. Austin is a master story-teller, who is able to include romance and suspense in a book about God’s faithfulness to his people.
This is a must-read for any Christian, but it would also appeal to those who love history and historical fiction. I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.