Saturday, October 31, 2015

On This Foundation by Lynne Austin

Stone by Stone, the Wall Will Rise Once More Around God's City

When news reaches him that Jerusalem's wall is shattered and its gates burned with fire, a distraught Nehemiah seeks God's guidance in fasting and prayer. Granted an unexpected leave from his duty as cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes, Nehemiah sets out for Jerusalem to rebuild the city wall--never anticipating all the dangers that await him on his arrival.

The leaders of the surrounding nations become his fierce enemies, plotting to assassinate him and stop the wall's reconstruction forever. A drought, meanwhile, has left the country impoverished, with many families resorting to selling their children as bondservants just to keep from starving.

Capturing the rebuilding of the wall through the eyes of a number of characters, On This Foundation is the powerful conclusion to The Restoration Chronicles. This exploration of faith in the midst of oppression offers hope that, in spite of appearances, the gracious hand of God is upon those who believe.

My review:
   I used to dislike Biblical fiction, and I think the reason I did was that what I read years ago were mostly romance stories set in Bible times. In more recent years, some authors have come along who study the Bible and do the stories they tell justice. Lynn Austin is one of those authors. This is her second Biblical fiction series, and every book has been top notch. There is some romance, but it isn't the main focus.

  This novel is the third book in The Restoration Chronicles. Every novel in the series is set during the time period of the captivity of Israel. This one takes up the story of Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. Even being raised in the church, Christian school, and Bible college; my knowledge of Nehemiah pretty much was: he was cup-bearer to the king in captivity, the king sent him back to Jerusalem so he could work on the city, he rebuilt the walls, and bad guys tried to stop him.

  Lynn Austin has taken up her pen (or keyboard) and brought the biblical tale to life and filled in some of the gaps with her imagination. This isn't a light fluff novel that you can read in an hour. It comes in at 466 pages and is far from fluff. Not doing the biblical narrative any injustice at all, she takes literary license and tells the story of Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the walls in a way that really opened up the story to me in a new way. There are people and things from the Bible all throughout the book along with people and things added by the author, and it all adds up to make for a great read. I found the book a fascinating and easy read, though it does have depth and meaning that too much Christian fiction has.

  It is obvious that these books have taken a lot of work, study, and I am guessing also prayer.... and it shows. Lynn Austin has another book she can be proud of.

About the author:

   Lynn Austin has sold more than one and a half million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full-time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home in western Michigan. Learn more at

On This Foundation is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.