Sunday, November 22, 2015

"on this foundation" by lynn austin

Over the past couple years, I've enjoyed reading Lynn Austin's Restoration Chronicles, and I was especially excited for On This Foundation, as it's Nehemiah's story. Nehemiah has been special to me ever since I selected the book of Nehemiah for a project in my Old Testament class at Grace. I really enjoyed reading this fictionalization of Nehemiah's story.

Stone by Stone, the Wall Will Rise Once More Around God's City

When news reaches him that Jerusalem's wall is shattered and its gates burned with fire, a distraught Nehemiah seeks God's guidance in fasting and prayer. Granted an unexpected leave from his duty as cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes, Nehemiah sets out for Jerusalem to rebuild the city wall--never anticipating all the dangers that await him on his arrival.

The leaders of the surrounding nations become his fierce enemies, plotting to assassinate him and stop the wall's reconstruction forever. A drought, meanwhile, has left the country impoverished, with many families resorting to selling their children as bondservants just to keep from starving. 

Capturing the rebuilding of the wall through the eyes of a number of characters, On This Foundation is the powerful conclusion to The Restoration Chronicles. This exploration of faith in the midst of oppression offers hope that, in spite of appearances, the gracious hand of God is upon those who believe.

On This Foundation details Nehemiah's journey from being cupbearer to King Artaxerxes to becoming governor of Judah and rebuilding Jerusalem's wall. But Nehemiah isn't the only focus of the book. Perhaps even more fascinating are the stories of Nava, a young woman who becomes a bondservant to the wealthy Malkijah to help pay off her family's debts, and Chana, the woman Malkijah hopes to marry. Something that I've noticed as I've read this series is that Austin is able to craft very engaging side stories—something that's essential for a tome of more than 400 pages!

I must say that On This Foundation didn't go where I expected (aside from the building of the wall), something I greatly appreciated. In fact, I spent about three quarters of the novel wondering, along with Chana, if Malkijah was someone to be trusted or feared. The way his story turned out (along with the stories of Chana and Nava) was a powerful lesson in trusting God. I always appreciate when authors incorporate biblical lessons without forcing them into the plot!

If you're a fan of biblical fiction—or good historical fiction—then I suggest you pick up this series right away. And now that it's finished, you won't have to wait a year between installments! 5 stars.

Buy the novel.
Read my reviews of the other Restoration Chronicles: Return to Me (4.5 stars) and Keepers of the Covenant (5 stars).

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.

Find Lynn online: website, Facebook

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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