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Sunday, November 15, 2015

"On This Foundation" by Lynn Austin

As always, Austin does not disappoint with her historical Biblical fiction.  In this story, readers follow Nehemiah as he leaves his Persian home to rebuild Jerusalem's walls.  He faces both political and spiritual oppression as even those closest to him betray him.  Struggles for power and wealth collide as Nehemiah urges landowners to forgive debts, free bondsmen, and stop charging interest.  Austin doesn't just give Nehemiah's perspective.  She also gives the point-of-view of Nava.   Nava is a bondswoman who must serve six years to help her father pay off debt.  Nava wants to marry Dan but must work as a servant.  Tensions arise when the son of Nava's master sets his sight on Nava and is infatuated with her.  Then there is the perspective of Chana.  Chana is the daughter of a Jerusalem leader.  She is one of the few women working on rebuilding the wall--a man's job.  Furthermore, she is engaged to a wealthy landowner.  The lives of rich and poor are told, and there is the notion of faith woven throughout.  How can one pray when they are sold as a servant?  How can one pray when they are separated from the love of their life?  How can one pray when their sincere attempts to rebuild are thwarted?  Readers will enjoy this lively story that makes the Bible come alive.

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