Where We Belong Audio CD – 15 February 2018
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Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
- Publisher : Recorded Books, Inc.; Unabridged edition (15 February 2018)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 1 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1664463526
- ISBN-13 : 978-1664463523
- Customer Reviews:
About the Author
Lynn Austin is an award-winning author of historical fiction novels. Five of her books, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, and Until We Reach Home, received Christy Awards for Excellence in Christian Fiction. Her novel Hidden Places was also made into a movie for the Hallmark channel, receiving an Emmy Award nomination in 2006. She received her BA from Southern Connecticut State University and studied biblical backgrounds and Archeology at Southwestern Theological Seminary. A former teacher who now writes and speaks full time, she currently lives outside of Chicago.
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Top reviews from Australia
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Sisters Rebecca and Flora most certainly had the faith and the courage! They firmly believe that ‘To whom much has been given, much will be required’ and they have spent their lives living out this belief. Flora has devoted herself to caring for society’s less fortunate, particularly establishing and teaching in local Sunday Schools so that children who are forced to work from a young age get the benefit of an education AND hearing the gospel. Rebecca firmly believes God’s purpose for her is searching for lost biblical documents and writing books that counter the faulty teaching of so-called scientists like Charles Darwin. It’s a purpose well served by her incurable thirst for adventure!
At the opening of this novel, all of these aspects of Rebecca’s life have converged into a very personal quest to convince the man she loves that God is real. Hence she and Flora are making their way across the Sinai Desert in order to locate Biblical documents that will prove the reliability of the Bible to Rebecca’s beloved skeptic. How’s that for commitment?! But as important as this journey is, it actually constitutes the smaller part of this book.
The larger part looks back over the sisters’ lives, starting in their teens and filling in the thirty years that have led them to this point, initially from Rebecca’s point of view (the first third of the novel) and then from Flora’s (the second third of the novel). The final third of the novel fills in the background story for their two companions on the journey: Soren Petersen (an orphaned teen they have taken in as a butler) and Kate Rafferty (a street urchin they took in to train as a lady’s maid after she tried to steal from them). While this may sound like a disjointed way to present their story, there was a very logical flow to the narrative, and it wasn’t long before I was completely hooked into the story and following Rebecca and Flora’s experiences, both past and present, with avid interest.
At least part of my interest was because I could so easily relate to Rebecca in particular. I’m a total bluestocking, and I often felt out of place for it when I was growing up (and sometimes still do). But it was also inspiring to watch these sisters apply their faith at each stage of their lives, both in the little things and in the life-altering ones.
If you're already a fan of Lynn Austin's writing, you likely need no encouragement to pick up this book, but if you haven't yet discovered her gift for weaving a compelling, faith-filled story, then this is a great place to start.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This had not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
I was also intrigued because I could relate to Rebecca’s thoughts about the desolate nature of the Sinai between Cairo and St Catherines. Her journey took seven days by camel. In comparison, mine took seven hours by minibus, but that was quite long enough to feel for the stubborn Israelites, condemned to spend forty years in the heat and dust.
It's one thing to learn a language and another thing to understand the people who speak it.But then Where We Belong left the Sinai in 1890, and travelled back to 1860 Chicago—and I wasn’t impressed. It was still Rebecca’s story, but now Rebecca was a pampered teenager in the days before the Civil War (which I knew was coming, even though she didn’t). Fortunately, it soon became apparent that Rebecca was no ordinary Victorian-era teenager, and nor was her sister, Flora.
The novel followed Rebecca and Flora from their teenage years in Chicago through to showing why they are travelling to the Sinai in 1890 with only a couple of young servants for protection. The most fascinating thing is that Rebecca and Flora are based on real-life adventurers, Agnes and Margaret Smith, born in Scotland in 1843.
This explains one of the strengths of the novel—the feeling of historical authenticity that can only be gained by extensive research (and then leaving out most of the detail of that research). The other strength was related, and that was the Christian element. Rebecca and Flora (like the real-life Agnes and Margaret) were women of deep faith. They were intelligent women who had the strength of character to choose to follow God, not society, and who had endless compassion for the poor.
I’m a history fan, and I loved it from the first line to the last. (I don’t think I stopped in between). Lynn Austin has yet to write a novel I haven’t enjoyed, but I do think this is her best yet. Recommended for Christian historical fiction fans, especially those who enjoy authors such as Elizabeth Camden and Jody Hedlund.
Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Top reviews from other countries
This book is about two sisters and essentially their life journey together. They primary focus is on the pivotal points in life that changed them and led them to new adventures.
I received this book from Bethany House publishers to read and review it. I will honestly say that it is a great honor to be able to do this, however, I was a bit distracted by life when the book arrived. I was not initially into reading this book. I’ve read Lynn Austin’s books before and have greatly enjoyed them but again I was not in the reading mood as I was a bit overwhelmed by my own life. I was quickly pulled into the book. I was taken away from my life problems not to be temporarily distracted, but to be thoughtful about myself. I came away from reading this book inspired and changed.
Again, I will ask, do you know where you belong? If you are looking for a book that you can enjoy and learn from this is a book to consider reading (as well as any of Lynn Austin’s books). Lynn has a way with words as well as a heart for God.