Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review: On This Foundation by Lynn Austin

Having previously read and generally disliked the first of Lynn Austin's "Restoration Chronicles," I was surprised by how much I thoroughly enjoyed the third installment, "On This Foundation." Here we have various lives, including the Bible's Nehemiah, beautifully intertwined into a story of love, obedience, hope and redemption.

Nehemiah travels to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls. In order to do so, he must unite the people and face turmoil stirred up by nearby leaders. That means calling for obedience to God, a purification of the city and its practices. When he calls for the rich men of the community to cancel debts and free bondservants, Nava hopes that will pave the way for her marriage to Dan. Her master, Malkijah, is courting Chava, who still mourns the loss of her previously betrothed love. Chava's journey past her grief mirrors Nava's journey out of bitterness. Both deal with how a loving God could allow pain into their lives.

There are a few character and story traits I did not care for. Nehemiah is portrayed as what modern readers will see as sexist. The beginning of the book could have been scratched in favor of getting right into the action. Austin introduces a new point of view 87 pages in that she proceeds to barely use. I'm not sure what to make of the historical accuracy of the book, but I do know Austin has studied in and visit Jerusalem, and here she provides a fabulous book that I could not put down, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

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