ISAIAH'S DAUGHTER : A NOVEL OF PROPHETS AND KINGS
Whips cracked. Soldiers shouted. My feet blistered in a sunbaked wilderness. We kept walking. Walking. Walking...
The Hebrews are a divided nation. Israel in the north -- ten tribes strong -- has bowed to pagan worship. In Judah's two tribes, an evil king mocks King David's legacy while a remnant of Yahweh's faithful cling desperately to their one true God.
Caught in the middle of the warring is an orphaned girl named Ishma -- meaning 'desolation.' Her short life already mirrors the name.
Yet Yahweh's plan for her has only just begun.
Ishma enters the prophet Isaiah's home as a household servant, but her quick mind and lively spirit gain the friendship of Prince Hezekiah. When Isaiah sees their relationship mature, he adopts Ishma, giving her a royal pedigree and a new name. Ishma becomes Hephzibah -- 'delight of the Lord' -- and the desolate captive becomes Judah's queen.
But loving Hezekiah will require more of Hephzibah than she ever imagined. From Ahaz's terrifying reign to the Assyrian threat and Isaiah's own perplexing prophecies -- Zibah remains trapped by fear, facing an uncertain future. Will palace life lead to freedom from her past? Or can she trust everything to the only One who gives life and delivers both a captive heart and a desperate nation?
In her Author's Notes, Mesu Andrews writes, "Because God's Holy Scriptures are His living Word, they have been fulfilled in many ways in many generations and will be fulfilled in ways yet to come." (p 384) That really struck me as profound. Especially when I think about the Old Testament because I've always struggled with...well, that eye for an eye mentality that was prevalent at that time. I'm guilty of dismissing it in favour of the the New Testament. But Andrews and other biblical fiction authors are bringing this part of my Christian history to life in a meaningful way.
Isiah's Daughter is a complex story that highlights the best -- and worst -- in God's chosen people. It's devastating and beautiful; heartbreaking and hopeful. A dramatic saga that's hard to read in places because Andrews doesn't shy away from the less savory aspects of a brutal regime. Vivid imagery and deep characterization bring Isiah and his household to life. This author is a gifted storyteller with a reverent imagination that fictionalizes bible stories while staying true to the words of the prophets. A definite must read for biblical fiction fans or a great introduction to readers new to this genre.
If you would like a chance to win a copy of Isaiah's Daughter, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add an email to your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday April 15 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.