By Donna Landis Oh, the book of Job. You know THAT one. The beginning is very interesting with all of that dialogue between God and Satan and the end is great when everything that has taken away from Job is restored. But the middle is ripe with complaining, suffering, questioning, and wondering about God. Yet this is the setting for Mesu Andrews’ debut novel, Love Amid the Ashes, a Christian romance novel. Can you believe it?
Believe it. However unusual the setting and the main characters of Job and Dinah (daughter of Jacob), several love stories are told. The foremost love story is that of God’s forgiving and redeeming love for His people. Our Father God is the true hero of Love Amid the Ashes. He is the strong and silent (for much of the story) One to love.
Andrews skillfully weaves the bittersweet story of Dinah with that of the suffering Job. Fortunately an ancestral chart accompanies the novel to help keep track of the characters and their lineages, which are important as the story unfolds. Each chapter begins with Scripture which enables the reader to understand how the fictional and biblical narratives fit together. This spurred me on to see how Andrews would develop the characters and the story line. I wept for Dinah. I suffered with Job. I could truly envision the lives of these characters.
Mesu Andrews suffers from several conditions which bring chronic pain. I, too, have conditions which include chronic pain. She and I know suffering. We all, as humans, know pain of some sort. The problems of pain, suffering, and the why of it are addressed in the book of Job and in Love Amid the Ashes.
If you prefer light Christian romance, this isn’t your book, but it should be. You will be challenged to check the Bible often and compare it with the content in Love Amid the Ashes. If you want to be challenged in your faith and fall in love with an almighty God, read this book. I couldn’t put it down and I can’t stop talking about it.
Available March 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR AMY’S INTERVIEW WITH MESU ANDREWS!
Donna Landis is a retired teacher (over 30 years of teaching kindergarteners was enough). She has one daughter, Amy, who is the head honcho of Backseat Writer. She lives in Pennsylvania and owns a cute dog named Katie.
*Thanks to Revell for my review copy of this book!*