My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Return to Me", book #1 in series The Restoration Chronicles by Lynn Austin
Lynn brings the old Testament to vibrant life as she tells the story of the exile to Babylon for the jews of Jerusalem and their return to build God's temple..
Iddo has had nighmares of the exile and what he saw as a child when his family was lost to him. In exile he married his beautiful Dinah and they had sons that grew up away from the temple and their beloved lands, many though taught of the God of their father had grown distant in a distant land, one grandson Zechariah whom all called Zaki showed much promise in his love of the Lord and was put to studying the Torah at a young age. He loved his grandfather, there seem to be a special bond between the two throughout this story.
Iddo was a strict man leaning on the rules of God more then his Love and it worried Dinah, I felt she helped him see God is Love and though laws need to be kept -compassion and love must be there too.
Zaki was fond of a young girl named Yael who was fearless it seemed, she lost her Mother at a young age and as her mother was dying even a seer was used to help her, Yael became enamored by the woman and was taught some of her ways to read the stars. Yael grew up growing away from God and leaning towards the way of the world. Zaki cared for her always and tried to show her how she was dabbling in something that could get her stoned were the jews to know she was doing it.
Will God remain true to Zaki as he befriends this girl who is not a true believer?
After an exile of almost 70 yrs the jews were told they could go back to Jerusalem and would be given the treasures of Gold that has been taken from them so they could build God's temple. Many had become conplacent living in Babylon and didn't want to go, even Iddo's sons. Zaki was given the choice to make if he wanted to go with his grandfather or stay. He had a vision on the day of his bar mitzmah and chose to go knowing in his heart that God wanted this.
Zaki spent much of his youth studying the Torah and he and Yael grew apart.
When they returned to the lands of Jerusalem they had many problems with the samaritans and were unable to build the temple for many years. Their hearts remained true to God though and they knew one day it would be built.
Dinah worked as a midwife and saved life of a young samaritan girls baby when they would have let it die,the child had a crippled foot and girls were not that important to the samaritans. Dinah took it home with her and adopted the baby loving her and helping her grow into a beautiful young lady.
I felt like I was walking the streets of old through this book and the ways of our past generations became close for me. I am thankful that Lynn has done so much research and made this story come to life.
I received this book from the Bookclub network and Bethany Publishing to read and review, thank you.
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