Love Amid the Ashes by Mesu Andrews is a fictional account of the life of Job just prior to and during the time he experienced great suffering.
The biblical account begins with a dialogue between God and the devil. Satan challenges God that Job, a very wealthy, righteous and devout man, will rebel against God if he suffers enough. Thus begins the sufferings of Job. Of course, Job never knew that he was the object of a challenge between the devil and God.
In her debut novel, Mesu Andrews, has coupled her deep research through rabbinical and ancient Jewish writings with her creative fictional imaginings as to what went on in Job’s life prior to the suffering and during it.
Dinah, the daughter of the patriarch, Jacob, is commanded by her dying grandfather Isaac to travel with Job and his caravan to Job's home, to marry his son. But before she can meet her intended, all of Job’s adult children are wiped out in a horrible accident which is one of the first incidents of suffering for him. As his world falls apart, Dinah is drawn more and more to the integrity of Job, especially in the days of grief, illness, and confusion, and she finds herself in a position to help him physically and emotionally get through the ordeal.
I do not read a lot of biblical fiction, but was intrigued to see how Andrews treats this captivating story of Job. She does an admirable job by weaving fictional characters and actual people mentioned in the Bible together. However, even with a family tree diagram at the beginning of the story, I sometimes became confused over who was who, especially at the beginning of the story when so many characters were introduced all at once.
I recommend this book to anyone, but caution those who have not read the Old Testament to be careful not to confuse what is fictional and what is true. It would be very easy to do that unless you are well familiar with the book of Job and the patriarchal period of time.
As a student of the Bible, I thoroughly enjoyed the way Andrews wove his words as recorded in the Bible into the dialogue, displaying his incredible faith in God, questioning but never faltering.
Love Amid the Ashes is a tension-packed story including intrigue, jealousy, romance that will be enjoyed by any fan of biblical fiction. You can purchase it on line or at your favorite brick and motor store.
About the author: 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.