Cossette, Connilyn. To Dwell Among Cedars. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2020.
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Summary from author
Eight years ago, when the Philistines stole and then surrendered the ark of the covenant back to the Israelites, Eliora in desperation left her Philistine homeland to follow it to the community of Kiryat Yearim. Though lovingly enfolded into a Levite family that guards the ark, she can’t stop feeling out of place. But many in the tribe find their village an unfit resting place, that the sacred vessel should be in the hands of priests who mean to restore the Holy of Holies in a new location. Ronen, a Levite musician, has been sent by his uncle to secretly accomplish this, under the guise of gathering to worship for the festivals. But, he never expected that the Philistine girl he rescued years ago would now be part of the very family he’s tasked to deceive. As Ronen’s attempts to charm Eliora lead them in unexpected directions, betrayal leaves Eliora terrified of her family’s rejection and Ronen questioning his beliefs. Ultimately, Eliora and Ronen must battle their fears to help Israel find its future under the leadership of Samuel, the last judge before the era of the kings begins.
Biblical Fiction is one of my favorite genre. I especially love it when an author takes a seemingly small event and creates a story surrounding that event. Connilyn Cossette has once again successfully taken an event without a very long mention in Scripture and turned it into a wonderful story. She has researched the time period using both Biblical and secular sources. She has created characters that readers will believe to be real people in the time period.
Arisa follows the directions of her Hebrew nanny who has been a slave in their Philistine family her whole life. She takes her younger brother Lukio and flees for her life when things in her cousin’s household turn ugly for her. What follows in To Dwell Among Cedars is a beautiful story of adoption. It is also a story of accepting who we are because God accepts us as we are. Forgiveness also plays a huge part in the conclusion of this story – does love really overcome wrongs?
The book has an ending which is both hopeful/joyful and concerning/sad. I look forward to reading Between the Wild Branches to find out what happens next, especially with Lukio.
While To Dwell Among Cedars is adult Biblical fiction, I would not hesitate to add it to a K-12 Christian school library. It is appropriate for grades 8 and up.I am a member of Connilyn Cossette’s Launch Team. I received a complimentary copy of To Dwell Among Cedars. This is my honest review.
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