Shadow of the Storm

Shadow of the StormShadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette
Series: Out of Egypt #2
Genres: Historical
Published by Bethany House on Bethany House
Pages: 352

 

Publisher’s Summary:

Having escaped Egypt with the other Hebrews during the Exodus, Shira is now living in freedom at the foot of Mt. Sinai, upon which rests the fiery glowing Cloud containing the shekinah glory of God. When the people disobey Yahweh and build a golden idol, the ensuing chaos gives Shira an unexpected opportunity to learn the arts of midwifery. Although her mother wishes for her to continue in the family weaving trade, Shira’s gifts shine brightest when she assists with deliveries. In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart’s calling to become an apprentice midwife.

When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira’s people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she’s denied herself and embrace who she truly is?

Set during the tumultuous time of Israel’s beginning as a unified nation, Shadow of the Storm brings the life of the Hebrew tribes into sharp relief. Through the eyes of Shira, a woman still fighting the battles of her past, readers see these events firsthand through engrossing first-person narration. Shira’s insecurities make her a realistic, relatable character. My heart was stirred and found kinship with her; doubts and fears keep her from fully embracing her desire to be a midwife. Despite having a natural talent for it, her self-doubt and mistakes keep her from moving forward.

There are times where it feels like books were placed in my life exactly when I needed it. The story takes on a personal level, and I see myself in the character so strongly, that I know that the timing is no accident.

There are times where it feels like books were placed in my life exactly when I needed it. The story takes on a personal level, and I see myself in the character so strongly, that I know that the timing is no accident. This was completely and entirely my experience while reading Shadow of the Storm and discovering Shira’s story. It was a joy to see Kiya, Eben and Jumo again. The friendship between Shira and Kiya is definitely a highlight of the story, and I’m glad that the familial relationships didn’t get lost in the plot or any romantic elements. Ayal is an intriguing character – despite not knowing his true intentions and a shaky beginning, I found myself wanting his character to be constant.

The friendship between Shira and Kiya is definitely a highlight of the story, and I’m glad that the familial relationships didn’t get lost in the plot or any romantic elements.

Dvorah is one character that served a dual purpose for me. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about the addition of another character’s perspective, but as the story continues, Cossette does something that not many authors accomplish – make an unlikable, deplorable character provoke empathy within me. I found myself reacting strongly to Dvorah’s decisions – and by strongly, I distinctly remember saying out loud to my husband that I wanted to punch her in the face. Um, oops? Seriously though, any read that elicits such an emotion from me is a winner in my book.

In addition to providing a superb antagonist, Dvorah brought in an outsider perspective as well. I had honestly never really thought of how wild it would have been for so many people, from so many different backgrounds, would have functioned as a whole, while traveling through the desert. I suppose I never thought about the fact that, with the Hebrew tribes, some groups might have just been “tagging along,” for lack of a better phrase, because it was better than the life they left behind. Just because they were following Moses out of Egypt didn’t mean they left their prejudices and ingrained beliefs behind, nor did it mean that their beliefs aligned with the Hebrews. These differences and the issues that arose from them are fascinating and add a great element to the story.

I had honestly never really thought of how wild it would have been for so many people, from so many different backgrounds, would have functioned as a whole, while traveling through the desert.

This powerful story has everything I look for in a novel. I was held riveted by the plot, Shira’s character, and the tender romance. Most importantly, this is a faith-affirming story that reminds reader of how God uses trials and setbacks to bolster faith and keep our eyes set on Him. This is one of my favorite books of 2016, and I am so looking forward to book 3 in the Out from Egypt series, Wings of the Wind. I highly recommend Shadow of the Storm to readers who enjoy Biblical fiction and an immersive first-person narrative.

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