When it comes to a novel written by Lynn Austin, it takes about three paragraphs to completely hook into the story. I have read all of her novels and have yet to find one I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. The third in The Restoration Chronicles, On This Foundation, might be my favorite of the series! Although I’ll probably re-read them all just to make sure.
When news that the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire, Nehemiah, Jewish cupbearer to King Artaxerxes in Persia, seeks God’s guidance. After fasting and prayer, he’s given leave to travel to Jerusalem and rebuild the city wall, not 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 halt the work. A drought, meanwhile, has left the country impoverished, 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 a powerful exploration of faith in the midst of oppression, and hope that, in spite of appearances, the gracious hand of God is upon those who believe.
“When the Almighty One gives us a job to do, we can expect two things: both strength and wisdom from God and opposition from His enemies. Be strong and very courageous.”
Once again, through incredible research and her talented hand, Lynn Austin has opened up the stories of the Old Testament in refreshing and captivating ways. I know I’ve said this before, but when a biblical fiction novel stirs in your heart the desire to dive into scripture, you know it’s a job well done. A study of Nehemiah is now high on my list (and if you know of any, please share!).
One thing I have loved in each of these books is the multiple story lines in each novel. Not only because it paints such a bigger picture, but Austin weaves them together with skill. The stories of some of the characters were not what I expected at all, and in complete honesty, at first I was fighting against it. I thought I wasn’t going to be pleased with the end result, but y’all! The way Austin crafted her story revealed more about forgiveness, trust and leaning into God in all circumstances much more than what I thought the novel needed. This is why I didn’t write the book Internet.
I was so incredibly encouraged with God’s truth and I’m sad the series is done, but cannot wait to see what’s next from Lynn!
What biblical story would you love to read a story about?
(Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)