Book Review: Love Amid The Ashes

10 Sep

734077_w185Readers often think of Job sitting on the ash heap, his life in shambles. But how did he get there? What was Job’s life like before tragedy struck? What did he think as his world came crashing down around him? And what was life like after God restored his wealth, health, and family?

Through painstaking research and a writer’s creative mind, Mesu Andrews weaves an emotional and stirring account of this well-known story told through the eyes of the women who loved him. Drawing together the account of Job with those of Esau’s tribe and Jacob’s daughter Dinah, Love Amid the Ashes breathes life, romance, and passion into the classic biblical story of suffering and steadfast faith.

WelcomeSlide1Mesu Andrews’ deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for her readers. She and her husband, Roy, enjoyed fourteen years of pastoral ministry before moving to the Pacific Northwest to pursue the next step in God’s calling. They enjoy visiting their two married daughters and a growing tribe of grandkids. Their Rottweiler-pitbull, Bouzer, snuggles at Mesu’s feet while she writes, and both enjoy the cozy warmth of a fire on rainy Northwest days. Mesu loves movies, waterfalls, and travel.

Biblical fiction is her favorite genre to read and write. Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes (Revell, 2011), won the 2012 ECPA Book of the Year in the Debut Author Category. Love’s Sacred Song (Revell, 2012), the Song of Solomon story, received a 4 ½ star rating from RT Reviews. And Love in a Broken Vessel (Revell), the story of Hosea and Gomer, is available now and received a 4 ½ star TOP PICK rating from RT Reviews. The Shadow of Jezebel is scheduled for release in March 2014.

My Impressions:

I was looking for something a little different when I chose Love Amid The Ashes by Mesu Andrews. It is always a risk when a book is about a Biblical character — the Biblical account can be lost or obliterated. And by placing Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, in the middle of Job’s story seemed like a big risk. Well, I am happy to say that despite my first misgivings, I really liked Love Amid The Ashes.

The action of the novel begins 20 years after the massacre of Shechem by Jacob’s sons. Dinah has lived a life of shame, but has been sheltered by her grandfather, Isaac. Now Isaac is dead and Job, the grandson of Esau, has vowed to give Dinah a home with his oldest son. On the eve of arriving in Uz, the testing of Job begins. Both characters face loss, betrayal, shame and finally restitution.

It is very apparent that Mesu Andrews undertook painstaking research in writing Love Amid The Ashes. The culture and customs of the time come to life. The Biblical characters included in the book are true to their characters and are fleshed out in a very satisfying way. Jacob and Esau are still at odds with each other and are true to their deceptive and blustery personalities. Job is a righteous man in all ways and still very human. His trials are depicted in a way that is both believable and inspirational. The theme of God’s grace in restitution is powerfully portrayed. In the afterword, Andrews explains her process for fictionalizing the Biblical account – a plus for the reader.

If you like fiction based on the Bible, Love Amid The Ashes is definitely a book you need to check out.

Recommended.

(I purchased this book for my Kindle. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase Love Amid The Ashes, click on the image below.

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