Love Amid the Ashes is a debut novel written by Mesu Andrews. I have always been drawn to the passages regarding Job in the bible and this novel adds new dimension to those passages of pain, loss, and spiritual strength in the face of dire adversity. My family has had its share of hard times over the last five years … but nothing compared to what Job experienced. I have always wondered how he endured such pain and suffering and maintained any sanity, much less how he managed to profess his love and trust for God’s greater plan for his life amidst the chaos, the painful sores, and with his closest friends openly doubting his good character. (Obviously, Job did something wrong to earn God’s wrath, right?)
But as we all know … bad things do happen to good people, and good things also happen to those who are wicked. Much of this story is told through the eyes of a female character named Dinah. A woman whose past is just as misunderstood as Job, which allows her to assist him in his time of need. His very lengthy, and horrifying time of need.
Mesu Andrews has done a great job weaving several character stories into one strong tale about faith and love amidst hardship. One we could all learn and find encouragement from.
Book Cover Review
I am often drawn to books by their covers and this book was no exception. The piercing eyes of the woman on the top portion of the cover are haunting and sad. They draw you in even before you read the novel’s title. You know from the title that this is likely a love story … and with a man appearing at the bottom of the cover you assume he is likely the love interest? The backgrounds of both portions of the cover suggest desert land, but the lower portion is completely dead and very hot with a stormy horizon. The upper portion actually has blue sky and some green vegetation – so obviously a little better circumstances. I will say that those details didn’t stand out at first, but after reading the novel I found them to be very prophetic.
I also love the use of pattern tile in the border around the title. Ornate fabrics play a part in the romance between Job and his wife and what befalls them. The ornate tiles help to echo a sense of sturdy elegance that they had come to take for granted after many years together. But it all comes tumbling down. Yet as we all know, what God has torn apart … he can also rebuild!
* This book was provided to me for review by the publisher (Revell) under no guarantee of a good review. A Press Release provided by Revell is below.
How Could Job Explain to His Wife That The Life They Once Knew Was Gone?
“No, not my children! El Shaddai, Al-Uzza, by the gods, not my babies!”
“Come, wife,” said Job with a sudden and unexplained calm. “Only one God can help us.”
Drawing characters directly from the Bible and others from historical texts, Mesu Andrews, author of Love Amid the Ashes (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3407-7, March 2011, $14.99) weaves new threads into Job’s story, creating a novel that breathes new life into an ancient tale of suffering and redemption. Andrews began her research at Multnomah University and expanded her studies to include rabbinic traditions, giving readers of Love Amid the Ashes a unique understanding of Hebrew customs during Biblical times.
Most imagine Job sitting on the ash heap, his life in shambles. But how did he get there? What was Job’s life like before tragedy struck? What did he think as his world came crashing down around him? And what was life like after God restored his wealth, health, and family?
Andrews tells the story through the eyes of the women in Job’s life. Drawing together the account of Job with those of Esau’s tribe and Jacob’s daughter Dinah, Love Amid the Ashes breathes life, romance, and passion into the classic biblical story of suffering and steadfast faith.
“Mesu Andrews has skillfully brought the Old Testament story of Job to life in Love Amid the Ashes. You will be moved to tears as the characters reflect the mysterious role suffering plays in our faith. If you enjoy a story that includes a powerful plot, romantic passion, and biblical truth, read this book!” says Carol Kent, speaker and author of Between a Rock and a Grace Place
Mesu Andrews is an active speaker who has devoted herself to passionate and intense study of Scripture. Harnessing her deep understanding and love for God’s Word, Andrews brings the biblical world alive for her readers in this debut novel. She lives in Washington.
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life. They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.