Bethany House Publishers
After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo's prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God's chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain.
Bringing to life the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Return to Me tells the compelling story of Iddo and Zechariah, the women who love them, and the faithful followers who struggle to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home.
I must admit that I didn't know a lot about the Jew's return from exile to Jerusalem. I've read the Biblical account, and I know all the basic details. But Austin brings this period in Biblical history to life with her engaging style of writing, draws you in to the people and places, and created a story that makes you feel as if it could have happened. While there are many character studies, it is easy to keep pace with the story. You will instantly be transported to a world and place where history was made every day. If you love Biblical history, then you will be amazed at the richness of this novel, it's people, and the words by Austin that make it all happen. I do recommend this to mature readers only, because some of the themes in this novel portrays the behavior of the Babylonians and Samaritans of that time period and are not for young eyes.