Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Light on the Hill ~ A Bethany House book review

Connilyn Cossette, Christian fiction, historical fiction, Bethany House publishers

Seven years after the fall of Jericho, Moriyah still struggles with her identity. Just before the city fell she was branded as a prostitute for the temple of Ashtoreth. Although she was innocent of any wrong doing, her innocence being the main reason the High Priestess had ordered her captured and branded, many of the fellow Hebrews she now lives amongst do not believe her to be pure of heart, or body.

Thus continue the struggles of Moriyah, the main character in Connilyn Cossette’s newest book, A Light on the Hill. This is the first book in the new Cities of Refuge series. This book continues the storyline of the Nation of Israel and their settlement of Canaan that marked the close of Mrs. Cossette’s Out From Egypt trilogy. For fans of Biblical or historical fiction this should go on your must-read list. I was once again amazed at the ease with which she brings to life the daily struggles faced by the Nation of Israel as they work to claim the Promised Land. I appreciate the work it must require to understand both the social customs of the day and the delicacy it takes to work a fictional story around the inerrancy of the Scriptures.

While the outward storyline of this book is the settling of the Promised Land and the institution of the cities of refuge to which an accidental murdered could flee for a merciful trial, the themes interwoven in the story go much deeper. While an accidental poisoning is the impetus that sends Moriyah running to a city of refuge, we learn so much more about how the struggles of having an idolatrous brand on her face have affected not only her daily life, but her inner self-worth as well. This brings the book to an entirely new level of depth and recommendation in my sight. In the church so many of our older teen girls and younger women have struggled with finding their true identity in Christ. This book points the reader to finding their identity in who God has made them, not as the world has defined them. As they cry, laugh, and empathize alongside Moriyah’s struggles, my hope is that this fictional book will point them to the healing that only God can give. 

The story of God’s faithfulness to the Nation of Israel is wonderfully portrayed in A Light on the Hill. The redemption of Moriyah’s character - both in her own eyes, and the eyes of the Hebrews around her - is masterfully portrayed with both heartache and grace. When Moriyah learns that God and God alone must be her salvation, the years of fear and shame begin to peel away to reveal a heart filled with hope for the future and greater compassion towards others and their own trials.

I highly recommend A Light on the Hill for readers ages 16 and up, whether they are Christians or not. For those who do not yet have an intimate knowledge of God, it is a gentle introduction to His workings. For those who know Christ, or are searching, this book can be a strong reminder that He alone gives us our true worth, He gives us much grace, and He has a plan for each of us to follow to bring Him glory.

Pick up your own copy of A Light on the Hill from Bethany House or your local bookstore.

Connect with Connilyn Cossette

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