Title: In the Shadow of Jezebel
Author: Mesu Andrews
Israel and Judah’s history is complex, intriguing, filled with good and bad kings, as well as a people were faithful one minute and unfaithful the next. Mesu Andrews chose a character out of the Old Testament whose very name brings to mind evil, but who was at times beguiling too. Mesu does an excellent job viewing a period of the past by having a chart as a visual aid to help readers understand what’s going on before beginning the book.
Before the chart, Mesu writes a personal note to readers followed by a list of characters in this particular book, explaining to her audience those who were real and those who were fictional. At the beginning of each chapter, Scripture is shared to remind readers what the Bible reveals while giving readers a chance to read the complete passages from the Word for themselves.
As I began reading, I was trying to find my way in an ancient time where customs and people are vastly different from present day. I found the story really begins to pick up after wading through the first few chapters, while being reminded again of the history of God’s chosen people. Israel and Judah had once been a united kingdom until Solomon’s death. After that, the history of the land and people grow in complexity and division.
This biblical novel reminds me of a couple of points that I would like to share from my perspective. While reading the tale, I am reminded that mankind needs to look and depend upon Yahweh daily. Another observation is that the wars and conflicts that assaulted the nation then and now are first and foremost spiritual wars. Last but not least, we all face a choice to follow Yeshua or not as well as realizing our choice affects more than ourselves; it can and does affect nations.
There are many accurate portraits the author paints of the real people who lived long ago, but don’t let the historical time frame keep you from learning more about a time, nation and her people. Jezebel is not a positive name to be associated with. Her place in history is not a shining example, but we can learn what not to do from her by living for God each day. Along with that, we see a part of the Old Testament come alive through fiction. To learn more about the many characters in the story who once lived, go back to the Bible and unearth the treasures in the pages of His Word.
What a compelling, heart-grabbing story told with wisdom and love!
My rating is 5+ stars.
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