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Jerusalem Rising: Adah's Journey (Tribes of Israel) Kindle Edition
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This is my second opportunity to read the writings of Author Britton and I look forward to more.
Seventeen-year-old Adah is the daughter of Shallum, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem. When she accompanies her blind mother on a walk during a sleepless night, they find the governor weeping over the destruction of his fathers’ city. His vision of rebuilding the wall encourages her to vow her support, however she can help.
She insists her family will repair a section of wall. Her father’s name cannot be banished from the annals of workmanship and sacrifice because he has only two daughters.
Adah is a Biblical superwoman. She is not afraid to speak up in front of all Jerusalem, whether warning about scheming enemies or defending the poor citizens who must sell their children into bondage to survive. She doesn’t hesitate to upbraid priests or condemn a false prophetess. Despite having trouble trusting God these days, she takes to heart Nehemiah’s words, “Be strong and courageous and do God’s work.”
At times it seems she is the only dedicated (or brave enough) person in Jerusalem willing to follow Nehemiah’s lead. Jerusalem Rising is a rollicking good tale of Old Testament days.
Author Britton deserves praise for achieving such an intensely appealing novel, but I’ve no doubt I’d hear from Adah if I snubbed her with my accolades. Adah is the seventeen-year-old daughter of Shallum and is the central character who reveals her independent thinking and initiative in the opening scenes. Her confidence is shaken many times throughout the travails and challenges within the novel, but her recoveries are always credible and consistent. In fact, each setback stiffens her spine to face ensuing battles.
Those opening scenes set the stage effectively. Adah and her twin sister Judith loyally tend to their blind mother while developing individual talents. Judith’s gift is for cooking and baking, and Adah is gifted with her mother’s talent for identifying and blending fragrances. Both young women honor and support their father, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem. The earliest pages reveal the treachery of the co-ruler and his sinister sons. Adah’s friendship with neighbor Othniel is a relationship that grows and becomes much more as the story unfolds. Their developing romance is gradual but almost immediately the true heart of the visiting governor, Adah’s daring and sensitivity, and the significance of Jerusalem’s wall move to center stage and become players in an escalating drama.
Before readers dismiss Adah’s bold initiatives and individual actions as modern sensibilities imposed on the past, there are more than enough references to the expected socio-cultural reactions to Adah’s unexpected, even shocking moves. Adah’s nature is internally consistent as further reading provides subtle revelations of her mother’s core values and courage. She and Judith are their mother’s daughters and each rises to challenges with courage despite understandable hesitations.
As with historical novels, some events unfold as expected: neighboring tribes wage attacks during Jerusalem’s vulnerable times, drought and taxes curse residents with devastating effects on the community and on Adah personally, and power struggles do not favor the innocent or good-hearted. Also, historically, the wall around Jerusalem will be rebuilt.
The resolutions to this complex and compelling novel are satisfying, gratifying, and not entirely predictable. Each member of Adah’s family has grown and changed, justice is served, and the future for Adah, Othniel, and the community as a whole feels bright. Even though Adah felt fully in charge of this story, my praise goes to Britton for making Adah such a memorable and admirable character. I highly recommend JERUSALEM RISING; Adah’s Journey.
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Adah makes perfume.Read more