Saturday, October 19, 2013

Return to Me

Book Review

Return to Me by Lynn Austin is a powerful story. It is the first volume in a new series Restoration Chronicles. The book traces the story that begins in 539 BC when the prophet Daniel is summoned to read the message written on the wall for Babylonian King Belshazzar. The message predicted the fall of the Babylonian Empire. After the fall, Persian King Cyrus was the new ruler and he, fulfilling prophecy, let the Jewish people return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple of God. The story ends with the dedication of the new temple.

The book sent me back to study the scriptures – Ezra, Zechariah, (a central character in the story) and 2 Chronicles. I found that the scripture and the prophecies are fascinating; but Austin’s account made them come alive. I could imagine the grief Dinah, Iddo the priest’s wife felt. She had been born in Babylon and had married and had children in Babylon. It was her world, everything that was familiar. Now her husband was asking her to give all this up. None of their adult children chose to go, so Dinah had to leave her children and grandchildren. Only one grandson, young Zechariah went with his grandparents to Jerusalem. This book gave me an understanding that when the remnant left Babylon to return to Jerusalem they had to leave family, friends and everything that was familiar. I could feel the danger this remnant faced, being newcomers and being the minority.  Austin takes what I always thought were interesting passages from the Bible and with skillful writing, brings them to life.

I also was struck by the themes of the Almighty One: “Walk with me”, “Return to me.” In addition to making the story live, Austin gives the reader a chance to understand how much God wants us to have a relationship with Him. She shows this through Zachariah’s life. We are introduced to him when he was a serious 12-year-old student of the Torah. The author carefully shapes his character, showing his struggle to understand, believing in the God of the Torah, but having many unanswered questions. His journey and struggles through adolescence, into adulthood, and becoming an inspiring prophet, not only made a fascinating story but also made me realize anew what it meant to trust God.

This is a lengthy book, definitely worth taking the time to read. I recommend it. I am also looking forward to volume 2. I received this book from the publisher in return for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Buy the Book for $9.16

About the Book

From the Acclaimed Author of Chronicles of the Kings

After decades of exile, the prophesies are coming true---King Cyrus has declared the Jews may return to Jerusalem. Iddo, a priest, is sure this is a sign of God's renewed favor. For too long they've remained in Babylon, and many, including Iddo's sons, are losing the faith that sets them apart. And so only a few choose to leave everything to return---return to their home and their God.

Nothing about their journey to the Promised Land is easy. As hardships mount, even the faithful, like Iddo's beloved wife, Dinah, question the sacrifice of following God's leading. Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather's ancient beliefs and the family they left behind. But one life-changing encounter with the Holy One gives him insight that will change Zechariah---and history---forever.

Bringing the Old Testament to vibrant life, Return to Me tells the compelling story of two men living by faith in the midst of doubt, the women who love them, and the faithful remnant struggling to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home.

About the Author

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.

You can find out more about Lynn at

Give Away 


Lynn Austin is celebrating the release of Return to Me, the first book in her new Biblical fiction series, The Restoration Chronicles, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a Facebook Author Chat party.
  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Return to Me by Lynn Austin
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 22nd. Winner will be announced at the "Return To Me" Facebook Author Chat Party on October 22nd. Connect with Lynn and friends for an evening of book chat, biblical trivia, prizes, and get an exclusive look at the next book in Lynn's Restoration Chronicles series!

So grab your copy of Return to Me and join Lynn on the evening of October 22nd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 22nd!

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