Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
We show our faith in God when we keep moving forward even when our prayers aren’t being answered… to keep believing that God is good even when it doesn’t seem that way.
I’ve read more than one biblical fiction novel and have seen at least three different films about the Jews under ancient Persian rule and the origin of Purim. All of those novels and films were primarily concerned with the story of Queen Esther, so it was nice to read an account from another angle, primarily that of the Jewish leader Ezra, and to read more about the aftermath following the well-known Thirteenth of Adar.
In Keepers of the Covenant, author Lynn Austin does a great job of illustrating the likelihood that, even with the Purim celebration, not everything may be all joy and gladness for every Jew after the bloodshed. And how can Ezra succeed in turning his people back to the law of God when many of them now view it as archaic? What about Ezra’s hatred toward Babylonians and other Gentiles–is it justified?
I found the relationship between Amina and Hodaya to be simple and touching, and Reuben’s journey, though rough at times, is well developed. He and his kippah brought tears to my eyes.
While some of the story’s repetition is needful and effective, there are a number of places where the writing is merely redundant, parts when there isn’t any new light being shed on ideas as the narrator rehashes the characters’ same thoughts or the characters (unintentionally?) repeat themselves in dialogue.
Yet, most importantly, this novel’s message about God’s goodness, justice, and grace comes through strong and clear.
If only we had eyes to see how God can weave all the broken strands of our life into something beautiful.
Keepers of the Covenant is second in The Restoration Chronicles series.