Review: Return to Me by Lynn Austin

November 1, 2013

Title: Return to Me
Author: Lynn Austin
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 459
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0898-0
Publication Date: October 1st, 2013

From the Acclaimed Author of Chronicles of the Kings
After decades of exile, the prophesies are coming true—King Cyrus has declared the Jews may return to Jerusalem. Iddo, a priest, is sure this is a sign of God's renewed favor. For too long they've remained in Babylon, and many, including Iddo's sons, are losing the faith that sets them apart. And so only a few choose to leave everything to return—return to their home and their God.

Nothing about their journey to the Promised Land is easy. As hardships mount, even the faithful, like Iddo's beloved wife, Dinah, question the sacrifice of following God's leading. Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather's ancient beliefs and the family they left behind. But one life-changing encounter with the Holy One gives him insight that will change Zechariah—and history—forever.

Bringing the Old Testament to vibrant life, Return to Me tells the compelling story of two men living by faith in the midst of doubt, the women who love them, and the faithful remnant struggling to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home.
My goodness! Return To Me was such a phenomenal read. The one word that comes to mind for this book is, EPIC! There is so much involved with this story. The historical detail that is shown is just amazing. The details applied in the story really capture the imagination and make it pop. The Biblical knowledge is wonderful with how the scriptures were brought into the story. Then there is the character development. There is a realness to each and everyone. I wanted to celebrate during the victories, cry during the heartaches, and slap a couple of the characters upside their head for their poor decisions.

Iddo, a priest from the tribe of Levi is sure that his people will be able to leave Babylon soon. The time that the prophets had mentioned was coming to an end. However, Iddo is one of the few that believe it and seem to want it. Since their exile, the Jewish people seem content to reside in Babylon with it's people, mixing their faith with that of idol worship. Iddo finds he must even argue with his own family over if their time to return is coming up. His family is content to stay where they are at.

One day, the assembly has been called, Iddo a his neighbors all go, and by proclamation of King Cyrus, the Jewish people are free to go back to Jerusalem! Iddo is thrilled. He feels called to go right away so he can start rebuilding the temple. However, his children want to stay. Reluctantly, Iddo's wife joins him for the long travel to Jerusalem, along with their eldest grandson, leaving the rest of their family behind. It's a long and tiring journey, but that wasn't the hardest part of returning. Even with a royal edict to rebuild, Iddo and his companions are met by advisories, the Samaritans, who have claimed the land for themselves, as it was abandoned in their eyes. The Samaritans have no qualms in resorting to brutality toward the Jewish community.

Return To Me is a moving story. There is so much offered up in it's message, it is a book I had to slowly read through to be able to absorber what I was reading. Questions were asked that made me think. One that stuck out to me the most is, Do you serve God out of fear and installment of ritual or do you serve for a close relationship. For how you observe it affects you the most.

Forgiveness and Hope were the backbone of the story and it was a good reminder of things to remember.
Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Bestselling author Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She is an eight-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels, as well as a popular speaker at retreats and conventions. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and live near Chicago. Learn more at

I won a copy of the book from Bethany House Publishers and I was not required to give a postive review.

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