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Where We Belong
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Out of print
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111 of 208 people found this review helpful:
A new book from my favourite author!
Reviewed by Lauren on 20 October 2017 (Format reviewed: Hardcover
With her remarkable turn of phrase and vivid descriptions, Lynn Austin’s books are very hard to put down. Few authors have the ability to bring history to life as she does. Her characters become friends with whom readers can relate and empathise. As these characters navigate their way through the twists and turns of the story, the reader is challenged and encouraged by the way in which they live out or wrestle with their Christian faith.
I was given a digital version of ‘Where We Belong’ to read and review. I must confess, it is the first time I’ve read a complete book on Kindle, and I won’t hurry to do so again. I found it difficult to get lost in the tablet as I do the pages of a book!
Inspired by a true story, ‘Where We Belong’ takes readers on a journey through time as two sisters, Rebecca and Flora, take adventures across the globe. It is a story of struggle; resisting pressure from others to conform to expectation and the rules of propriety, and striving to discover God’s purpose in and will for their lives. The story is set in ‘present day’ 1890, and narrates through recollections of the lives of these and other characters. The changing timeframes and vast scope of life experience therein limited the extent to which I felt I knew the characters compared to a dozen other Lynn Austin books I’ve read, and there were some events about which I’d have like to read a lot more. However, I really enjoyed the book. I empathised with the characters, ‘lived’ the ups and downs of their experiences and lost myself in the scenes of their adventures! Having had the opportunity to travel to some of the places the sisters visit, I was transported to another time and place – I could smell the markets of Cairo, and I could taste the desert sand, waking up in a flimsy tent in the middle of nowhere!
Lynn Austin is an outstanding author. With her powerful descriptions and personable characters, she takes her readers on a journey. However, my favourite aspect of her writing is the way she weaves scripture and discipleship into the story. ‘Where We Belong’ contains a plethora of food for thought, but the strongest messages are about faith. Flora poses the question, “This is where we belong, isn't it? On the path that leads to serving God? Isn't that the essence of faith - walking forward, trusting what you can't see?" As the book unfolds, the two sisters ‘live out’ their faith as they seek to serve God.
The real-life sisters who inspired the novel had a motto which Lynn Austin borrowed, “God knows when the end of our days will be. We have nothing to fear.” In today’s uncertain world, we need to be reminded of and encouraged by that!
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