Mesu Andrews’ Summer Reading List

 

CainCain: The Story of the First Murder and the Birth of an Unstoppable Evil by Brennan McPherson
Series:  The Fall of Man
Publisher: Broadstreet Publishing
Publication Date: May 1, 2016

What is it about?
Inflamed by jealousy and on the brink of madness, Cain—firstborn among men—brutally beats his twin brother, Abel, to death. As the family struggles to believe God hasn’t abandoned them, Cain flees into the wilderness with the growing fear that murdering his brother might have birthed an unstoppable evil. Soon, all of life balances upon one perilous question: is the monster inside Cain the gateway to godhead or the end of mankind?

Cain is a daring, atmospheric novel–the first in a new biblical fiction series based on Genesis 1-11—drawn with visionary scope, literary depth, and immense respect for the biblical text.

Mesu’s Thoughts:  This is Brennan’s debut novel, and I’m always looking for new biblical fiction favorites. The story of Cain intrigues me too. I’m anxious to explore more about the first act of evil that devolved into such a pit that our God grieved enough to eventually destroy the Creation He so tenderly fashioned.

 

Land of SilenceLand of Silence by Tessa Afshar
Publisher: Tyndale Publishing
Publication Date: May 1, 2016
 

What is it about?
Before Christ called her daughter . . .

Before she stole healing by touching the hem of his garment . . .

Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father’s textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left.

No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body . . . and soul?

Mesu’s Thoughts:  I’ve loved every one of Tessa’s books, and I plan to read every book she writes! Truly, she’s one of my favorite biblical fiction authors (and a dear friend). I’ve been anxiously awaiting for this story since she first signed the contract, so this is one I’ll savor every word as I read it!

 

Shadow of the MountainShadow of the Mountain: Exodus by Cliff Graham
Series: Shadow of the Mountain
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: May 3, 2015

What is it about?
Caleb and Joshua Roar to Life in this High-Impact Old Testament Saga

Two men were brave enough to tell the truth about what awaited the Hebrews in Canaan. This is their story. From the slave pits of Egypt to the efforts of an eighty-five-year-old Caleb as he drives out the last of the giants, Shadow of the Mountain is a vivid portrait of two of God’s chosen champions, and a meditation on masculine mentorship and the challenges and blessings of growing older.

For the sake of his new God and his loyalty to his friend Joshua, Caleb will not spend his twilight years resting, but taking the battle to the enemies of God’s people until his dying breath. From his early days as a mercenary for Pharaoh in Egypt watching the Hebrews suffer under the yoke of slavery, all the way through a desperate fight with giants in the dark forests of the hill country, this is a story filled with epic battles, gritty intensity, and supernatural events that made Graham’s Lion of War series a hit.

Mesu’s Thoughts:  I read Graham’s first Lion of War book and felt it was more so written for a male audience. However, since I just wrote Miriam, I’d love to see what he does with “the rest of the story,” taking the Israelites from the Red Sea (where my book left them) to the Promised Land!

 

CountedWiththeStars_ideas.inddCounted With the Stars by Connilyn Cossette
Series:  Out From Egypt
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
 

What is it about?
A Story of Love, Desperation, and Hope During a Great Biblical Epoch

Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she’s only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she’s ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?

Mesu’s Thoughts:  Connilyn is another debut novelist that I’ve heard fantastic things about. I can’t wait to read her spin on the same story I portrayed in Miriam! I love reading biblical fiction for this reason. God’s Word remains the same, but authors’ imaginations can tell the same story from so many different perspectives—just as ten different people read the same Scripture passage and the Spirit interprets it to their individual needs. It’s fascinating!

 

Take This CupTake This Cup by Brock and Bodie Thoene
Series:  The Jerusalem Chronicles
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication Date: March 25, 2014

What is it about?
Woven into the fabric of prophecy, a young boy named Nehemiah must choose to embrace his destiny as cupbearer to the King of Kings. 

When Nehemiah, the child of Jewish exiles, begins hearing whispers and experiencing portentous visions, it quickly becomes clear to his father and his rabbi that the young cupbearer is meant for a higher purpose . . . but what? Certain that the Messiah is alive at that very moment, the family waits for the boy’s destiny to be revealed. 

From the ancient site of the Garden of Eden, Nehemiah undertakes a perilous journey. The caravan route is full of danger, hardship, and mystery—all of it linked to what Nehemiah has in his keeping.

In due time, his path becomes clear. It leads to Jerusalem, to a wealthy Pharisee named Joseph of Arimathea . . . and to Jesus of Nazareth.

Mesu’s Thoughts:  I read the first in this series, Jesus Wept, and loved it. The Thoene’s familiarity with the geography, archaeology, and history of Israel really sets apart their biblical fiction. Since this is second in the series of three, it’s my pit-stop before Behold the Man, #3 in this series that just released March 2016. THAT one will be next on my list!

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