Saturday, March 26, 2011
Book Review: Love Amid the Ashes by Mesu Andrews/4 Stars
Readers 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.
Having been a fan of Biblical fiction for many years now, I was very intrigued to read a story about the life of Job. Job's story in the Bible is not one that I've read very many times because frankly, it's a little sad and depressing, even though it does end well. I have to say that the fictional retelling of Job's story in Love Amid the Ashes really has me wanting to crack open this book in my Bible to get a better appreciation of Job's trials.
I really appreciated the genealogy flow chart at the beginning of the book because without it, I don't know if I'd have ever been able to keep all the characters straight! There are a LOT of characters mentioned at the very beginning of the story, and I admit that I was confused a number of times. However, had all of those characters not been introduced, I wouldn't have gotten a full picture of the people involved in Job's life.
I was also very grateful for the author's note at the end of the book explaining how she developed the story. I never would've thought of Jacob's daughter, Dinah, as being a part of Job's life at all, but thanks to the enormous research done by Ms. Andrews, it very likely may have been a reality. Because of that, I doubt I will ever look at Job's story the same way again.
I highly recommend Love Amid the Ashes for those who enjoy Biblical fiction. Ms. Andrews has challenged my thinking, and has encouraged me to thoroughly re-read the story of Job. I can't wait to see what she has planned for her next novel because as a debut author, she's hit the ball out of the park with Love Amid the Ashes! My rating is 4 stars.
**Many thanks to Revell for providing a copy for review.