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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Revell blog tour stop for Love Amid the Ashes by Mesu Andrews. Plus book review!

Love Amid the Ashes: A Novel

Contact: Donna Hausler, Publicity Assistant

How Could Job Explain to His Wife That The Life They Once Knew Was Gone?

“No, not my children! El Shaddai, Al-Uzza, by the gods, not my babies!”
“Come, wife,” said Job with a sudden and unexplained calm. 
“Only one God can help us.”

About the book:

Drawing characters directly from the Bible and others from historical texts, Mesu Andrews, author of Love Amid the Ashes (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3407-7, March 2011, $14.99) weaves new threads into Job’s story, creating a novel that breathes new life into an ancient tale of suffering and redemption. Andrews began her research at Multnomah University and expanded her studies to include rabbinic traditions, giving readers of Love Amid the Ashes a unique understanding of Hebrew customs during Biblical times.

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.

My review:

The premise for this book was fantastic. The delivery of it, however, was fairly convoluted.

This is a tough review for me to write because I really wanted to love this book. There were parts of the story that I really liked, and then there were parts that I found myself skimming through (closer to the end.) I really loved the beginning when Job's plan was for Dinah to marry his son. It seemed like he and Dinah were overly fond of each other, though. Not sure how I felt about that, so the verdict is still out on that one. I also loved the rehashing and remembering of Dinah's experience with the Prince of Shechem. That was very well done. I felt the horror of it all. I also felt like I was there and suffered along with her. The disdain she received from others for twenty years and being despised was sad, but well done and believably presented in the story. Then things in this novel got a bit muddied for me.

There were too many players and points of view for me to really connect with the majority of the characters like I wanted to. I wasn't fond of Dinah's relationship with the Cushite servant. It seemed like their relationship was not typical for the time period, plus their friendship seemed a bit juvenile. I also felt like they pulled me out of the story and the time period on a regular basis.

There was simply too much content involving Dinah and the other girl, the Cushite. I loved the tension between Sayyid and Sitis. His obsession with her was creepy, but very well done. Job's suffering was well done, too. His wife's issues were well presented. I felt like I understood her. At the same time I wasn't particularly fond of how things turned out for Job with his new family because it seemed wrong after all that happened in the first three quarters of the book. In short, I wasn't feeling the love.

The author's strength as a writer (in my opinion) is writing gut-wrenching scenes. Those were awesome. But the other things like dialog, friendships, and relationships in the story didn't work for me. The book seemed overly long and it meandered a lot. I had a hard time tracking with it and was tempted to skim many times. I wish I could say more good things but I really struggled with this book. It took me longer than most books to read. I'm sure the author is a fabulous person. Her writing style just isn't for me. But that doesn't mean it won't highly regarded by other readers.

Love Amid the Ashes was published by Revell and released in March 2011. This book was provided for review by Revell's publicity department for the purpose of this blog tour. The opinion expressed in this post is entirely my own.

About the author:

Mesu Andrews is an active speaker who has devoted herself to passionate and intense study of Scripture. Harnessing her deep understanding and love for God's Word, Andrews brings the biblical world alive for her readers in this debut novel. She lives in Washington.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

For more information, visit

1 comment:

Charity said...

Thanks for your review on this book. I posted my review this morning of it and had a hard time with it as well. I wanted to like it but there were some things that kind of turned me off. I guess the time period might be different too which might be some of it. But thanks for your honest review.

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