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Where We Belong – Lynn Austin

where we belongI discovered the joy of reading Lynn’s historical fiction with her Restoration Chronicles and found that she writes with a deep passion for Biblical History, especially when she sets her accounts in the Holy Land.  With her latest novel – Where We Belong – she has done it again.

This time though, we weave from the characters present day in 1892 searching for a manuscript in the Sinai Desert to the essential events in retrospective – showing us how they came to be in that place at that time.  The unlikely group that includes sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes, unconventional and determined for their day; Soren Petersen, their young butler who first met Flora at the orphanage he was brought to and Kate Raffrety, a young woman who survived on the streets of Chicago.

It is their memories that lead us to this point where we first meet them.  The back stories are adventuresome, mischievous and sometimes downright dangerous.  But always, the sisters maintain God as their center, and live out their desire to follow the calling He placed on their lives.

I found myself once again longing to travel in the Holy Land, not a first experience with Lynn and her books.  She brings history to life – not just in the desert, but also in the Work Houses and fire that devastated Chicago in the 1870’s.  She transport the reader with her word pictures to the very events she is describing.

I found that the back and forth between “present day” and memories made it necessary to read this book at a slower pace than I am used to – but in this case, it wasn’t a bad thing.  Thank you to Graf Martin Communications and Baker Books for the provision of the copy that allowed for this independent review.

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