From Publishers Weekly
Christy Award Hall of Fame member Austin (Chronicles of the Kings series) resumes her fictional tour through biblical history with book one of the Restoration Chronicles, which follows the sojourn of the exiled Israelites in Babylon and their return to Jerusalem. Elderly Iddo can't understand the spiritual complacency of his sons, who would rather stay in Babylon than heed God's call. But his grandson Zechariah proves to be a devout, apt student of the Torah, helping to rebuild the Temple when they arrive in Judea and growing into his priestly destiny. But spiritual lethargy isn't a problem just for those who stayed behind. The long fight to reestablish a foothold in Judea grows wearisome for many who have returned. Pagan neighbors oppose the Israelites economically and entice them spiritually. Iddo, Zechariah, and several family members experience personal crises as they try to answer the main question of the story: what does God truly want from his people—obedience or faith? Secondary characters, mostly women, provide strong subplots, and Austin shines a bright light on ancient Jewish life and lands. Biblical fiction fans will cheer her latest offering, which bolsters this challenging genre. (Oct.)
From the Back Cover
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.
"Austin shines a bright light on ancient Jewish life and lands. Biblical fiction fans will cheer her latest offering, which bolsters this challenging genre." --Publishers Weekly
"Biblical fiction enthusiasts can rejoice at the new series from Austin... Lively characters enmeshed in Jewish tradition provide an Old Testament drama that is sure to garner readership." --RT Book Reviews
"Eight-time Christy Award-winning author Austin launches a powerful new historical series that brings the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah to life. This work is sure to attract fans of Francine Rivers's biblical series." --Library Journal