Title: Love Amid The Ashes
Author: Mesu Andrews
First published March 1, 2011
411 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780800734077 (ISBN10: 0800734076)
Many are familiar with the story of Job and his struggles, but few know the life he led before tragedy struck. Mesu Andrews takes readers on a captivating journey through the eyes of the women who loved him.
Love Amid the Ashes weaves together the accounts of Job, Esau’s tribe, and Jacob’s daughter Dinah, to create a powerful and emotional retelling of this classic biblical tale. Andrews’ attention to detail and creative storytelling breathe life, romance, and passion into the story of suffering and steadfast faith.
Get ready to be moved and inspired by this stirring account of love in the midst of tragedy.
About the Author
Mesu Andrews is an award-winning writer whose passion for God’s Word brings the biblical world to life for readers. She resides in North Carolina with her husband Roy and keeps in touch with her readers through engaging blog posts, short stories, and informative newsletters.
For more information, visit her website at MesuAndrews.com.
Her literary journey began with Love Amid the Ashes, a compelling story based on the Book of Job, which won the coveted 2012 ECPA Book of the Year for a Debut Author award. She followed up with Love’s Sacred Song, a creative retelling of the Song of Solomon, and Love in a Broken Vessel, which narrates the story of Hosea and Gomer in biblical Israel.
Andrews’ other notable works include In the Shadow of Jezebel, an inspiring account of Queen Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel, and The Pharaoh’s Daughter, which explores Moses’ early years. Miriam, another one of her creations, introduces readers to the prophetess Yahweh during the ten plagues and the Exodus.
Isaiah’s Daughter, Andrews’ most recent work, is an enchanting tale featuring the captivating daughter of the prophet Isaiah. Its sequel, Isaiah’s Legacy, provides the redemptive end to her life and her son Manasseh’s reign.
By the Waters of Babylon continues the story of the prophets and kings through the exile, while Of Fire and Lions tells the story of Daniel in an engaging way.
Leah’s Story, titled The Reluctant Rival, depicts the life of Leah, Jacob’s neglected wife, and how God used her to change the course of history. Potiphar’s Wife, Andrews’ upcoming book, narrates how Jacob’s favorite son, Joseph, encounters one of the Bible’s most infamous characters, Potiphar’s wife, after being sold into slavery in Egypt.
Love Amid the Ashes by Mesu Andrews is a must-read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction with strong, complex characters and rich, vivid descriptions of another time and place. This engaging novel, published in March 2011, is a beautiful retelling of the biblical story of Job, set in ancient Israel.
Andrews is known for her deft, careful portrayal of historical periods, and Love Amid the Ashes is no exception. From the bustling city of Uz to the barren wilderness where Job’s trials take place, Andrews skillfully captures the setting of this story, immersing readers in a world of camels, tents, and caravans, with all the sights, smells, and sounds that come with them.
The novel’s plot follows the story of two people: Dinah, a young woman whose family is in the caravan that serves as Job’s household, and Job himself, a wealthy man with a wife and children. When disaster strikes and Job loses everything he has, Dinah becomes his servant, and the two of them develop a strong, deep relationship.
While Love Amid the Ashes is a retelling of a biblical story, Andrews does an excellent job of fleshing out the characters and giving them their own distinct personalities and struggles. Job’s faith is tested to the limit, while Dinah must grapple with the challenges that come with serving a man who has lost everything.
The conflict between Job and his wife is particularly well-drawn, with the latter representing the voice of cynicism and despair in the midst of Job’s trials. One of the strengths of Love Amid the Ashes is its subtle exploration of themes relevant to our current times.
The theme of suffering is central to the story, as Job grapples with why he is being punished when he has done nothing wrong. The theme of trust in God is also a recurring motif, as Job struggles to hold onto his faith despite the horrors that befall him.
The novel is also a testament to the resilience of human connection, as Dinah and Job find solace and companionship in each other even in the darkest of times. There are a few minor flaws in the novel, particularly in the pacing of the story.
At times, the narrative moves too slowly, and some readers may find themselves losing interest in the story. However, Andrews’ beautiful, poetic prose more than makes up for any pacing issues; her writing is a joy to read, and she has a real gift for creating powerful images from simple words.
Overall, Love Amid the Ashes is a beautiful, moving novel that will stay with readers long after they finish reading it. Andrews’ expert use of historical detail, strong characterizations, and exploration of universal themes make this novel a standout in the historical fiction genre.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates expertly-crafted storytelling, and award it a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.