Christianbook.com Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Bethany House Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1

Bethany House Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1

After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo's prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God's chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain.

Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather's ancient beliefs and the comfort and success his father enjoys in Babylon. But he soon begins to hear the voice of God, encouraging him to return to the land given to his forefathers.

Average Customer Rating:
4.707 out of 5
4.7
 out of 
5
(41 Reviews) 41
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (41 reviews)
5 stars
33
4 stars
4
3 stars
4
2 stars
0
1 star
0
39 out of 4195%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Review 1 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Biblical - Back to Jerusualem

Date:February 7, 2014
Customer Avatar
Anonymous
Location:GA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
This is a very long book. It is historical and Biblical fiction. Lynn Austin is a very good writer.
She follows the Jews as they leave Babylon and journey to Jerusalem. Just as today people make decisions and live with the consequences of those choices. They are either good or bad.
Are sacrifices made out of duty or love? What will happen on this journey? Will love and forgiveness enter into lives? Why?
Read the book.
Since I usually do not read Biblical fiction, this was quite a story and very long.
It was given to me by Bookfun.org for review and my honest opinion.
CBD has a good price for this book.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great book

Date:December 30, 2013
Customer Avatar
Teri
Location:Holly, MI
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
After reading the outstanding Kings Chronicle series I've been anxiously awaiting another series from Lynn Austin. This book starts out a bit slow, but stay with it... it's a great book. There are many points and lessons to ponder. It is very relatable and applicable for all Christians. Highly recommended.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

One of Lynn's absolute best!!!

Date:December 17, 2013
Customer Avatar
Cynthia Cross
Location:Alabama
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I can't say enough about this book. I've read all of Lynn's books and I believe this one is probably very top of the list. Leaves me thinking about it and the lessons in it all through the day. Can't wait for more.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Gripping Fiction!

Date:December 14, 2013
Customer Avatar
Jean
Location:West Palm Beach, FL
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
What an unbelievably gifted author!!!! There are not enough glowing descriptive words to describe Lynn Austin! That is how much I enjoyed this book! I had previously read just one other Lynn Austin book, "While We're Far Apart", which is one of those books that "stay in your memory bank" forever, so I was looking forward to this book, even though I knew it was going to be quite different. I was so pleased with the writing style and how the characters became so real to me. I would think about them after I put the book down for the day. The book caused me to go into my research books and bring these characters further to life in scripturally. It was so enjoyable to follow Zechariah ("Zaki") from boyhood to manhood with just the appropriate touches of childish desires as he grows into manhood to become God's prophet. We are stirred to love him and we hurt for him and we celebrate when we see how God has "groomed" him for his position in God's history. I can't express how real it felt when God actually "spoke" to Zaki, and I felt transported to that time and place. You can bet that I am going to try to acquire as many books as possible of this author into my "To Be Read" inventory. I urge all readers to pick up this book. They will not be disappointed!
I received this book from the author through bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

return review

Date:December 8, 2013
Customer Avatar
beckie
Age:35-44
Gender:female
"Return to Me" by Lynn Austin is the first in the Restoration Chronicles series. This book gives a fictional retelling of the return of the Jews to Jerusalem after the Babylonians exiled them to Babylonia. The story follows Iddo, Dinah, their grandson, Zaki, and their neighbors. Yael is Zaki's friend, the neighbors daughter. She is a moon goddess worshiper. Babylonia is overtaken; and the new rulers release the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Many didn't want to return, due to having been exiled for 70 years, many either never lived elsewhere or had no connection to Jerusalem. Those that could remember (Iddo) desperately wanted to return. When arriving they rise to the task of restoring the city, temple, and lives.
I am a big Lynn Austin fan. I love her writing. This novel took much longer than normal for me to "get into". Part I just couldn't seem to pull me in. Part II is where I started to really come to care about the characters. Austin really starts to develop Iddo and make the reader care. He suffers from Post traumatic stress and is a deeply faithful man. Austin also starts to pull the reader into the character of Yael. I love how she does her own thing (though wrong) and is so stubborn. She is not a cut out character. Though slow in the beginning this book is well worth the read. I received this book for free in exchange for a review from Bethany House Publishing.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Biblically accurate, but not culturally accurate

Date:November 30, 2013
Customer Avatar
RMStrong
Location:Oregon
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Writing historical fiction can be tricky. Because the book contains actual historical events, authors assume the risk that some readers will take every word written to be true. No matter how much research is done, an element of fiction can seep its way into a reader’s mind as fact (for example: pirates did not actually make prisoners walk the plank, nor did they bury treasure and mark their maps with an X). With regular historical fiction this has little lasting effect, when writing biblical historical fiction, the weightiness of the task should spur the author on to extensive research—not just on the biblical front to get the narrative, but also into the culture of the time period.
I received Return to Me by Lynn Austin from the publisher specifically for review. The story begins in the ancient city of Babylon. The Jewish people have been conquered and in exile for close to seventy years. When the Persians take over the city, King Cyrus allowed—even encouraged the Jews to return and rebuild God’s temple in Jerusalem. The book follows the lives of one of the families returning, Iddo, his wife Dinah, his grandson Zechariah, and “Zaki’s” friend Yael. Spanning more than twenty years, Return to Me takes us through the first few decades back in Jerusalem.
Return to Me is an enjoyable-enough story. It follows the biblical timeline well enough and gives good insight into the tensions and temptations that the returning Jews faced, especially in regard to their Samaritan neighbors. The characters are believable and likable. Each chapter is told from one of the four main characters’ points of view. It is sometimes difficult to remember who is who—the children both call their parents “Abba” and “Mama”—but it does not usually detract from the story.
My main issue with the book, though, is while the author did her scriptural research and consulted some commentaries, according to the acknowledgements at the end of the book, there seemed to be very little research done on Jewish culture of the time. All of the Jews in the story seem to be modern Jews going about modern lives.
The author has Zechariah going to yeshiva in Babylon. While there is no historical evidence of the Jewish religious schools in Babylon, it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility that the teachers and other elders may have set up some semblance of the religious school during that time in exile. However, there is not a yeshiva mentioned in history for at least 400 years after the exiles returned to Jerusalem. Still, that can be mostly overlooked. Unfortunately, that is not where the historical discrepancies stop.
Zechariah spends much of his time in the yeshiva studying for his bar mitzvah—the day when he would read the Torah in the house of assembly and officially become a man in the eyes of the community. He reads the Torah, and then they return to their communal family home to a very large banquet and party for friends and neighbors—which is how bar mitzvahs are celebrated in today’s culture. During their times of study, the men of the community also wear a kippah (yarmulke or a skull cap). These are both horribly period inappropriate—by nearly 1000 years, perhaps longer.
Instead of looking for husbands for daughters when they come of age in the Jewish culture (at age 12, or when puberty hits), teenage—and older—daughters are encouraged to wait until they are older to marry. For example, Yael comes of age during the migration from Babylon to Jerusalem, but her father waits more than ten years to marry her off. The mother of a 16-year-old girl holds off a marriage because she’s “much too young,” when, in fact, for the time and culture, she’s bordering on “old maid” status.
Austin may have simply been trying to equate what the modern reader knows about bar mitzvahs and current Jewish culture to her ancient characters. However, if that is the case, then it should have been stated at the end of the book in the acknowledgements, the author’s note, or a note from the editor. I was able to find out the above-mentioned three things were not period appropriate in less than five minutes on the Internet. As it stands, it gives the feel that the author may have decided that reading the Bible and commentaries on the text was the only research that needed to be done to write an accurate biblical historical fiction which, in my opinion, is lazy storytelling.
Austin, for reasons unmentioned, also decides to exclude Nehemiah and his rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem in her narrative. While it is not crucial to her story, and I understand why she might have chosen to leave it out for the purposes of space and word count, the security of Jerusalem—even after the wall was supposed to have been built—is mentioned many times, making me wonder why such a miracle was left out. Large spaces of time—years, even a decade at one point—are skipped over in the book, during which the wall could have been built and Nehemiah return to his job as cup bearer to King Artaxerxes. This, however, would not leave the city completely undefended as is implied in the last few chapters.
For avid readers of and researchers into biblical culture and the biblical narrative’s cultural history, I would recommend against this book. The errors—while not earth-shattering—are mentioned continually and will leave the reader with the feeling that the author did not do her due diligence in her research for the book. For those who are not distracted by historically-inaccurate historical fiction, the book is well-written and the story well-told.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Brings the Bible to life!

Date:November 26, 2013
Customer Avatar
Rosie
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Reading through the life of Bibical characters makes it more personal. I could see how they struggled with doing the will of God, but never wavered in their faith.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Best Biblical Fiction

Date:November 17, 2013
Customer Avatar
ruthhill74
Location:Yelm, WA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Let me say from the outset that this is easily the best Biblical fiction book I have ever read. I am only familiar with the story of the return from exile and the rebuilding of the temple from the Biblical narrative, and I had forgotten many of the details. It is a story we often gloss over, and I have never studied it in great detail. This insightful, well-researched, and expertly written book captures the story, but it goes beyond that. The reader will be invited to make an emotional connection with the story and the extraordinary characters the author has woven into the fabric of this tale.
There are two themes that unquestionably captured my attention in this book. First of all, the tension surrounding the Jews not wanting to leave Babylon is a dramatic illustration of the Christian walk and our reluctance to leave the world behind. I was thoroughly touched at the depiction of the Samaritans, and I almost found myself in tears as I read about their horrendous acts. But I then realized that we Christians do the same thing. We won't give up the world that we have grown accustomed to in exchange for the life God wants us to have.
The second theme truly blessed me. All too often, we look at the Old Testament and see laws, rules, and a God who is just waiting for us to break one so He can chastise us. That seems to be the Old Testament Jewish mindset. However, this book features an Old Testament Jew who finds what God has promised all along--forgiveness, mercy, and love. Not to give anything away, this character realizes he cannot keep the law, and he realizes that it is only through God that he can be saved. I was so inspired to read that a Jew discovered the secret of salvation even before Christ came, and this was an alluring portion of the story.
This is history, and it never comes across as being preachy. How can it when one of the main characters practices sorcery quite profoundly? It is realistically written, and it stays true to the Biblical account in spite of the obvious fictional insertions.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Return to me

Date:November 13, 2013
Customer Avatar
Jessica
Location:indiana
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Return to my by Lynn Austin is yet another wonderful book by an author I have come to know and enjoy. Having read the Chronicles of the Kings previously I was familiar with her historical fiction based on scripture. This time Lynn Austin tackles the parts of Kings, Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah and Daniel. She follows the journey of God’s people back to Jerusalem with the family of Zechariah, know by many in his family as simply Zaki. You will be drawn into the tales of God’s people and the struggle as they try to rebuild the temple. Follow the life of a young man called to be a prophet for the Holy One.
I was not disappointed again in this author’s work. I find the stories of the Old Testament so much more memorable and easy to understand when written as a piece of fiction. Seeing the stories come to vibrant life makes them appear real and solidifies the truths that God is teaching. I look forward to more works along this line, certainly from this author.
I received this book as part of the Bethany House blogger review program. My opinion is my own.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 25, 2013
Customer Avatar
debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo's prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God's chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain.
Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather's ancient beliefs and the comfort and success his father enjoys in Babylon. But he soon begins to hear the voice of God, encouraging him to return to the land given to his forefathers.
Bringing to life the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Return to Me tells the compelling story of Iddo and Zechariah, the women who love them, and the faithful followers who struggle to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home.
My Review:
I must admit that I didn't know a lot about the Jew's return from exile to Jerusalem. I've read the Biblical account, and I know all the basic details. But Austin brings this period in Biblical history to life with her engaging style of writing, draws you in to the people and places, and created a story that makes you feel as if it could have happened. While there are many character studies, it is easy to keep pace with the story. You will instantly be transported to a world and place where history was made every day. If you love Biblical history, then you will be amazed at the richness of this novel, it's people, and the words by Austin that make it all happen. I do recommend this to mature readers only, because some of the themes in this novel portrays the behavior of the Babylonians and Samaritans of that time period and are not for young eyes.
This book was provided by the publisher through Litfuse Nest for free in exchange for an honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 9, 2013
Customer Avatar
msandy
Location:Petal, MS
Return to Me
BY: Lynn Austin
This is a great fiction tale of prophesies coming true. This is the story of one family's tale of the trials and tribulations of their return to Jerusalem from years of exile in Babylon. Hundreds of families are traveling back to Jerusalem fill God's promise and rebuild His temple. Lynn has given her characters great depth and given us a clear picture of what life would have been like Old Testament times. This amazing story is extremely detailed and rich in Old Testament history. The message to God's people so long ago is the same today as it was then. We should love deeply, forgive freely, and follow God heart and soul and to trust Him in all things and he will protect us. If we do these things we will be blessed. I received this book free from Bethany House for my honest review.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great book

Date:November 8, 2013
Customer Avatar
joeym11
Location:Indiana
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Return to Me
By: Lynn Austin
Return to Me is a Biblical and fiction historical story about the return of the Jews to Jerusalem. King Cyrus was allowing them to leave and to come back to their homeland. Permission was also given to rebuild the temple. God’s chosen people the Jews. Story told of two men living by faith in midst of everyone’s doubt, the women who love them and are faithful struggling to rebuild their lives in being obedient to God. Reading it bought the stories back in my mind. I think it was well written by Lynn Austin. First I have read by her. I would say very close to God’s word. If you like Biblical Fiction it is the book for you.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An awesome Biblical fiction novel!

Date:November 7, 2013
Customer Avatar
Debbie Wilder
Location:Salinas, CA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
I received a free copy of this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
After decades of exile, the prophesies are coming true – King Cyrus has declared that the Jews may return to Jerusalem. There are a handful of the returnees who remember the final siege and destruction of Jerusalem. Most of them though were born in exile. Will what they have been taught about the Almighty One give them the strength and the courage to follow and trust Him?
Iddo and his wife Dinah are one of the families that are returning. Iddo has been looking forward to this day since he was taken into captivity as a boy. He is from the priestly lineage and has studied the Torah his whole life preparing to minister in the temple. The only problem is that as a captive of Babylon there has never been a temple to minister in. Dinah was born in captivity and all she knows is life in Babylon. The emotional conflict that develops between these two is so well crafted that my heart ached for both of them as they tried to navigate the path that they are set on.
I am amazed at the incredible amount of research that had to have been done in preparation to write this fantastic fictional account of Biblical history. There are numerous characters who are at different points in their belief of God. Each of them is well fleshed out and presented. Their relationships with each other are very easy to understand. They have very clear points of contention with each other as well as very deep connections.
This story paints a very clear picture of what life was like trying to please God under the Abrahamic covenant and the law given to Moses. It made me very glad that I live now, under the new covenant of grace and mercy. Where our right standing with God comes through faith in Jesus Christ and the free gift we are offered by His death and resurrection.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Book

Date:November 5, 2013
Customer Avatar
deanna13
Location:Jonesboro, LA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Return to Me by Lynn Austin is a great Biblical and historical story about the return of the Jews to Jerusalem when King Cyrus of Babylon permitted them to leave and return to their homeland. He also gave them permission to rebuild the temple and promised to help with the expenses of rebuilding. Iddo is a priest who has been praying for years for the return of the Jews to Jerusalem but his family has grown comfortable in Babylon and have strayed from God. At the beginning of the story Iddo comes off as rather pompous and determined to get his own way in all matters. His wife asked Iddo how she could believe in God’s love when all he ever emphasized was God’s laws and wrath and did not talk about the love and forgiveness of God.. Iddo’s oldest grandson, Zechariah, is torn between staying in Babylon with his parents and their comfortable way of life and the beliefs of his grandfather. After hearing God’s voice, Zechariah decides to return to Jerusalem. The rebuilding of the temple is begun but is constantly beset with problems. Many of the problems are caused by the Samaritans who resent the return of the Jews. King Cyrus dies and his son orders the rebuilding to stop. After many years the prophet Haggai comes on the scene and encourages the people to again start the rebuilding of the temple. Shortly after Haggai comes to Jerusalem, Zechariah is called to be a prophet. Dinah, Iddo’s wife, and Yael, a young girl when the story begins, play a large role in the story.
The author did an excellent job with all elements of the story, Just for my own information I checked several things in the Bible and it is very evident that Lynn Austin did her research before writing this book. The story came to life for me and I was transported back to Jerusalem along with all the characters. In the description of the journey from Babylon to Jerusalem, I was trudging right along with the travelers. All the scenes in the story were very well written and I felt a part of each one and was living the story right along with the main characters. All the characters came to life and I felt as if I knew everyone of them personally, even some of them as good friends. If you are familiar with the Bible then you know how the story ends but reading the story as written by the author makes for a most enjoyable read.
I highly recommend this book to everyone that enjoys a great historical story set in Biblical times.
Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 15 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 19, 2013
Customer Avatar
debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo's prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God's chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain.
Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather's ancient beliefs and the comfort and success his father enjoys in Babylon. But he soon begins to hear the voice of God, encouraging him to return to the land given to his forefathers.
Bringing to life the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Return to Me tells the compelling story of Iddo and Zechariah, the women who love them, and the faithful followers who struggle to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home.
My Review:
I must admit that I didn't know a lot about the Jew's return from exile to Jerusalem. I've read the Biblical account, and I know all the basic details. But Austin brings this period in Biblical history to life with her engaging style of writing, draws you in to the people and places, and created a story that makes you feel as if it could have happened. While there are many character studies, it is easy to keep pace with the story. You will instantly be transported to a world and place where history was made every day. If you love Biblical history, then you will be amazed at the richness of this novel, it's people, and the words by Austin that make it all happen. I do recommend this to mature readers only, because some of the themes in this novel portrays the behavior of the Babylonians and Samaritans of that time period and are not for young eyes.
This book was provided by the publisher through Litfuse Nest for free in exchange for an honest review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 16 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

fulfilling God's promise to Israel

Date:November 4, 2013
Customer Avatar
Kathleen
Location:Missouri
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Monday, November 4, 2013
Return to Me by Lynn Austin, ©2013
The Restoration Chronicles, Book 1
"Return to me," declares the Lord Almighty, "and I will return to you." --Zechariah 1:3
The writing on the wall... Daniel is summoned to read the inscription written there on the wall of the palace banquet hall of King Belshazzar, second in line to his father King Nabonidas, and grandson of King Nebuchadnezzar; three generations of pagan kings of Babylon, the doomed kingdom. Daniel tells the king of his coming demise and fall of the Babylon kingdom to the Medes and Persians.
Book 1 of The Restoration Chronicles tells about return of the Jews from captivity in Babylon, fulfilling God's promise to Israel to bring them back to their Promised Land, and the Second Temple being built. Seventy years have passed. Being content with their lives and ones being born there, not all family members left Babylon; separating families. Persian guards go with them to see the remnant returned to Jerusalem. They are accosted by the Samaritans who are living in the area left idle through three generations. The poor of the land were left when the Israelites were taken into captivity by the Babylonians. They were to be vinedressers and farmers. One part I found interesting was the mention of trees not being there when they exiled, making it unrecognizable as the land left. The influence of the Babylonians drew some away from God. They became indifferent. The rebuilding of the Temple slowed. Lives are restored. The original decree is upheld and the temple is completed. The story is in four sections: Part 1, Babylon; Part 2, Promised Land; Part 3, Jerusalem, and Part 4, The Temple.
Summary: "After years in exile, Iddo and his grandson Zechariah follow God's leading home to Jerusalem, where they struggle to rebuild their lives and God's temple—bringing to life the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah."
--Provided by publisher
***Thank you to Book Fun ~ The Book Club Network Inc. and Bethany House Publishers for sending me a copy of Lynn Austin's Return to Me to review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 17 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Historic Biblical Account of the Prophet Zachariah

Date:November 1, 2013
Customer Avatar
Patsdream
Location:Huntsville, AL
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
After nearly 70 years in captivity King Cyrus releases the Jews and allows them to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their city and temple. Many of the Jewish citizens chose not to return but to remain in Babylon. Even Iddo's sons don't want to leave what they have established in Babylon. Iddo and his family are Priests and the title is handed down. It takes over three months of travel to reach Jerusalem with its walls crumbled, the walls and roof of the temple are destroyed and everything had been burned. No one tried to restore anything in the 70 years since it fell. Zachariah is the grandson to Iddo and has reached his age of manhood. He feels that God is leading him to leave his parents and siblings and to go with Iddo. This is the first book I've read of Lynn Austin but it won't be my last. She shows the hardships that the returning Jews must suffer, how faith, love and friendships help them through the rebuilding. They are attacked and other tribes try to run them out. No one was living in the ruins but no one wanted them there. This is a well paced plot, the characters are real. "Return to Me" is a long book but it ended all too soon. I was caught and wanted to finish it in one sitting. Took a little longer to read because I was sick. Lynn stays true to the scriptures and brings the characters alive. You feel like they are people that you know and like. There is humor, tragedies, fun times and hard times. Lynn truly shows the conditions and way of life that is true to the Bible. I've heard what a wonderful author that Lynn Austin is and now I have to agree. I do recommend Lynn's books, especially "Return To Me".
I received this book through www.bookfun.org and asked to leave my honest opinion in reviews for this book. Definitely a "KEEPER".
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 18 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Good Biblical Fiction Book

Date:October 28, 2013
Customer Avatar
Kati
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
***I received a copy of this book for free from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
I usually don't like Biblical fiction since there is a lot of fiction involved and not as much Biblical fact. Such is not the case with Lynn Austin's Biblical fiction books. Not only does she tell a good story with rich characters, she includes the actual Word when possible. In the back is a list of all the scripture references.
This book is about the rebuilding of the temple after the 70-year exile is Babylon. The story focuses on Iddo and his grandson Zechariah (who later becomes a prophet of God).
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 19 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

a well written novel

Date:October 27, 2013
Customer Avatar
Marianne
Location:Wanham, Alberta
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Although I like all of Lynn Austin's novels, I really think that her biblical novels are her best niche. In this one, I felt I was walking beside Zaki throughout the story, seeing both Babylon and Jerusalem through his eyes, and with his thoughts and feelings. I have always felt that the story of the Isrealites parallels a Christian's life from being in captivity (in our case to sin) to wandering in the wilderness and eventually arriving the Promised Land. As such, I could see that the distractions the Jewish people faced after they left Babylon to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem are only slightly different in nature to ours today. And as patient and loving as God was then, not forsaking them even when they did not obey (is not slow obedience is no obedience at all?) He will wait for us today.
Well written, as all of Lynn Austin”s novels are, and definitely worth your time. Not a suspense story, yet I kept turning the pages to see how Zaki would respond to the challenges facing him.
This story resonated with me and I found a new appreciation for Biblical novels, God's love for me and for the Jewish nation.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 20 for Return to Me, Restoration Chronicles Series #1
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fantastic Storyteller

Date:October 26, 2013
Customer Avatar
nabagail
Location:Seattle
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
I have read all of Lynn Austin's books and consider her a fantastic storyteller. Every one of Lynn's books are page turners. "Return To Me" is taken from the book of Zechariah in the Old Testament of the Bible. It begins with the exiled community of Israelites in Babylon and those who hold out the hope of returning to the Promised Land. Zechariah is a youth of fourteen when the opportunity to return to Israel occurs. God speaks to him in such a way that he knows he must go with his grandparents and leave his mother and father behind in Babylon.
A three to four month journey ensues. When the pilgrims arrive in Jerusalem they find wreckage, ruin and hostile inhabitants. Surrounded by adversity they are undaunted in their trust that the Sovereign Lord has led them back to Jerusalem and that He will provide and protect. They build dwellings, clean the Temple Mount and rebuild the altar. However, it will be about ten years before they decide to rebuild the Temple. In the meantime, Zechariah dedicates himself to studying scripture. The Lord honors him with the call to be a prophet.
Lynn takes a Bible story fleshes it out and makes it memorable. I received this book as a complimentary copy for review from Bethany House Publishers.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.