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Return to Me (The Restoration Chronicles #1)
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Return to Me (Restoration Chronicles #1)

4.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,243 Ratings  ·  207 Reviews

After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo's prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God's chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain.
Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn be
Paperback, 459 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Bethany House Publishers
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Dec 18, 2015 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Lynn Austin has been one of my favorite authors for many years. I loved her Chronicles of the Kings series and now she is back with the first book in The Restoration Chronicles titled Return to Me. Austin brings to life the struggles the Jews had returning back to Jerusalem after being in exile. The few who survived the 70 years in exile were excited to return to their home, but for many Babylon was all they knew. They were born there and now they are to pack up all that was familiar and move to ...more
Oct 27, 2013 Marianne rated it it was amazing
Although I like all of Lynn Austin's novels, I really think that her biblical novels are her best niche. In this one, I felt I was walking beside Zaki throughout the story, seeing both Babylon and Jerusalem through his eyes, and with his thoughts and feelings. I have always felt that the story of the Isrealites parallels a Christian's life from being in captivity (in our case to sin) to wandering in the wilderness and eventually arriving the Promised Land. As such, I could see that the distracti ...more
Nov 06, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing
Return to Me is Biblical fiction, and nobody does it better than Lynn Austin. Based on events of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, it's the story of Jewish exiles returning to Jerusalem from Babylon after 70 years in exile. Ezra and Nehemiah are often skipped over because people think they are just history books without any relevance for today. But, in these histories, God's people face challenges similar to the ones we face today. They try to rebuild the temple despite conflicting messages from t ...more
Oct 14, 2013 Brenda rated it it was amazing
"Return To Me" pulls the reader back to Biblical days when the Israelites were leaving Babylon headed back to Jerusalem. The author's rich details not only to place and time but the detail that she provides with the characters and their daily lives really allows this story to come to life. While the main characters of the story were interesting it was the story of the prophet Zechariah that really grabbed me, it was so interesting to see his transformation boyhood to eventually becoming a prophe ...more
Sep 27, 2013 Faith rated it it was amazing
This book begins with God's call ringing out: Return to Me.
The captors of the Jewish people in Babylon are suddenly moved to release them, sending the Jews home to Jerusalem to rebuild God's temple.

This book also begins with torn hearts, as God's call requires them to leave behind a world they now know to return to a purpose and legacy they have almost lost sight of.

This book does a lot to impress the history of this time period on you.
When I read about characters such as Iddo and Zerubabel
Lisa Johnson
Oct 14, 2013 Lisa Johnson rated it really liked it
Title: Return to Me (The Restoration Chronicles)
Author: Lynn Austin
Pages: 455
Year: 2013
Publisher: Bethany House
Lynn Austin is one of my “go to” authors when I want to read good historical fiction stories. This one is no exception. The story begins with Daniel explaining to the Babylonian king the meaning of the writing on the wall by the mysterious hand/finger of God, and the story proceeds from this point forward.
Iddo, his wife, daughter, two sons and their families all live together in Babylon
Oct 04, 2013 Taylor rated it really liked it
Attention: If you would like to win a copy of Lynn Austin's "Return to Me" read this review and follow the instructions in the rafflecopter! More information on my blog:

Return to Me is enchanting, astounding, remarkable and radiant!

Do not feel intimidated by the 459 pages! Lynn Austin has given life to the old Testament books Ezra and Nehemiah where the Israelites are released from Babylon so they can rebuild a temple for God and return to Him and His lo
Oct 03, 2013 Hayden rated it liked it
The strength of this book was probably the fact that you can tell that the author has been to the Holy Land; many of her descriptions were very detailed about Israel and its culture. Though I’d need to re-read the books of Zechariah, Haggai, and Ezra before saying whether or not it was accurate to the Biblical accounts, nothing stood out as being grossly inaccurate. (And the Bible references used in this story are located in the back of the book, so you can easily look them up)

I really wanted to
Sep 18, 2013 Blossom rated it really liked it
I really like this book. It's been almost a year since I've read the accounts in the Bible that this story is from but I could recall just about all of it while reading this! The writing style of Austin is very calm and rather predictable; which I enjoy! She gives enough detail in the portions where it something unpleasant has happened, or could happen, that you get an idea but it isn't painted vividly. I think in some respects, the Bible is much more gruesome in some of the recounts.
Accounts f
Oct 19, 2013 Becky rated it really liked it
Shelves: readin2013
I definitely enjoyed Lynn Austin's Chronicle of the Kings series. I was thrilled to learn that she was writing more biblical fiction. Return To Me is the first in her Restoration Chronicles. The novel spans at least two decades. It opens with the good news: the exiles are being allowed to return to Jerusalem; they are even encouraged to rebuild the temple! The good news is received with joy and thanksgiving by some. But not by all. Many have grown good and comfortable in Babylon. Many would rath ...more
Andi Newberry ~Tubbs
Oct 05, 2013 Andi Newberry ~Tubbs rated it it was amazing
Lynn writes strong, lyrical prose that pulls you right into the story.
This story begins with Iddo, his wife Dinah, and his children living in Babylon under the rule of King Cyrus. Zechariah, or Zeki's childhood friend Yael's mother has died. One day all of the men are summoned to King Cyrus who frees the Jewish people, telling them they could return to Jerusalem. Iddo's prayers have been answered, however his sons are not thrilled and don't want to leave. Their of the opinion that they have thri
Diana Montgomery
Nov 08, 2013 Diana Montgomery rated it it was amazing
Return to Me
By: Lynn Austin

Return to Me is a Biblical and fiction historical story about the return of the Jews to Jerusalem. King Cyrus was allowing them to leave and to come back to their homeland. Permission was also given to rebuild the temple. God’s chosen people the Jews. Story told of two men living by faith in midst of everyone’s doubt, the women who love them and are faithful struggling to rebuild their lives in being obedient to God. Reading it bought the stories back in my mind. I thi
JoJo Sutis
Oct 22, 2013 JoJo Sutis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-it-2013
Lynn Austin has crafted a masterpiece in the first book of what I expect to be an epic series.
If you believe the Old Testament is irrelevant and outdated, I encourage you to read this book.
If you desire to know more about your faith-family history, I encourage you to read this book.
If you are ready for an adventurous journey, back in time to the days of old, I encourage you to read this book.
Return to Me is more than a re-telling of an Old Testament story…it is an invitation to return to your ow
Mary Shipman
Oct 23, 2013 Mary Shipman rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a well paced, character driven novel, Lynn Austin's Return to Me has just what you want!
This book is not like reading, it is seeing a movie in your mind of the Jews return from Babylon and early efforts to start rebuilding the temple.
Austin brings her characters and their complexity to life, Iddo and Zechariah, faith filled men on a mission, Lael, the young and confused girl, Dinah the unhappy matriarch work through everyday trials and confusions as God works in their live
Feb 08, 2016 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Oh man....where to start! I loved, loved, loved this book. First of all, I am a sucker for Biblical historical fiction. So this book was right up my alley. Plus it is so extremely well written how could I not love it. This is the story of Israel being sent back to rebuild the temple after being captive in Babylon. We get to follow Zecheriah as a little child and as he is called into being a prophet. Obviously, Lynn added a lot to the account but what I love about Bibical historical fiction is it ...more
Dec 05, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Iddo's was Zecharia's oldest grandson when King Cyrus allowed the exiles to return to Jerusalem. Although Iddo's parents remained in Babylon his love for his grandfather and hearing a message from God weighed in his decision to go with him to Jerusalem. Living for years in Babylon they had been faced with the gods of Babylon which played in his parents decision to remain in Babylon and the comfortable life style they enjoyed. The story describe the struggles this group faced in their attempt at ...more
Jessica Higgins
Nov 03, 2014 Jessica Higgins rated it really liked it
An exciting first person account of the exodus from Babylon to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the temple.

Iddo was among the last group of Jews to be taken in exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. Fifty years later, he is still haunted by the cruel memories when Jerusalem was sieged and long trip to Babylon. Through the years he managed to find some happiness through marriage, children, and grandchildren; but he has always longed to return to Jerusalem. Now that the Persians have taken control of the
Sep 20, 2014 Cindi rated it really liked it
The story begins in 539 B.C. when the prophet Daniel is awakened to interpret a dream for King Belshazar. The Jews have been exiled in Babylon for 70 years and it seems they will finally have the opportunity to return to their homes in Jerusalem. The story focuses on Iddo - a priest among God's Chosen people - and his grandson Zechariah. Others accompany these two as they journey back to the Promised Land; some going along with joy and anticipation for the future, while others wonder what they w ...more
3.5 Stars

I have high expectations for Lynn Austin's books. I've read every book she has and have loved them all. However, I am a little disappointed with this one. The first half of the story was very tedious to get through and the story seemed to jump around a lot without going into depth. It did pick up in the second half and because of that, I bumped the rating up. I am looking forward to seeing where Lynn Austin takes us in the rest of the series and will keeping reading everything by her!
Sep 16, 2014 Lyndi rated it liked it
While I am a huge Lynn Austin fan, I didn't care as much for this book as I wanted to. While a three seems like a really low rating, I just couldn't give it a four. You can tell the author puts a ton of work and research into getting a book ready to even being penned. I think it was the subject matter that I didn't care for. I was starting to feel like the Jews and wondered when will the temple ever be built. I loved grandma, grandpa and grandson Zaki as well as the adopted daughter Hoyada. I di ...more
Aug 26, 2014 Annette rated it it was amazing
Source: Free copy from Bethany House and An Open Book program, in exchange for a review. All reviews expressed are from my opinions.
In 539 BC, Daniel interpreted the handwriting on the wall for the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, King Belshazzar. The destruction and end is near for the kingdom of Babylon. A new ruler conquered Babylon, his name is Darius the Mede, a Persian king. The Jewish captivity is almost over, the new king has declared all of the people who had been held captive by the
I expected a story about Ezra or Nehemiah and Jewish exiles going back to Jerusalem...but it is a novel about Iddo and his grandson, Zechariah. The beginning of this novel is difficult because the People of God have been and remain far from the heart of God, they've become comfortable and accustomed to life in Babylon. Separated from God because they had turned away from Him in their Promise Land, only a portion of the Jews see the return to Jerusalem as an opportunity. The struggle of the chara ...more
Feb 07, 2015 Naomi rated it it was amazing
Following in the footsteps of her Gods and Kings series, Lynn Austin has started a new series called The Restoration Chronicles. Once again, she takes a Biblical story, and true to history as much as possible, makes the characters come to life. Considering that Gods and Kings remains one of my favorite fictional series ever, this did not disappoint; in fact, I may enjoy this even more than Gods and Kings.

As Return to Me begins, the nation of Israel has been in Babylonian captivity for almost 70
Barb Demuth Lamp
Jun 19, 2015 Barb Demuth Lamp rated it it was amazing
I really love all of Lynn Austin's Biblical Fiction. She really makes the bible come alive. I tend to have to be in the right mood for Christian Fiction because it's a lot of "they found God and they lived happily ever after" which is not very realistic. In Austin's books you are taken on heart wrenching journeys of finding God. You'll laugh and cry with the characters which to me makes a great book!
Mar 27, 2014 Kate rated it it was amazing
Let me preface this by saying that I have always enjoyed Lynn Austin's books. I especially enjoyed her 'Chronicles of the Kings' series about King Hezekiah of Judah.
When I found out she was writing about the return of the exiles to build the temple at Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity, I was looking forward to reading the book, and expecting it to be on par with the 'Chronicles' series.
I missed the mark. This went above and beyond that series. Not only was I completely drawn in by the
Jan 24, 2014 Madilyn rated it it was amazing
I love Lynn Austin. She has a great writing style. When I found out that she was about to be releasing another book, I was pretty darn excited. I'm so grateful to Bethany House for giving me the opportunity to read and review Return To Me. I had big expectations for this book, and it surpassed them all.

After several decades of being servants in a foreign land (Babylon), the people of Jerusalem are finally free to return home and start rebuilding their city. The most important things to the Jew
Jun 20, 2014 Debra rated it it was amazing
a great read, i recommend it
Mar 23, 2014 Brenda rated it it was ok
Normally I love Lynn Austin's books. This one, however, was not good. The characters all had one flaw that overwhelmed any of their good qualities to the point it made them all, save Zechariah, dislikable. One character in particular was so annoying I was hoping they would stone her and get her out of the plot. The basic premise of the Jews returning to Jerusalem after captivity in Babylon interested me, but the book failed to deliver a good story.

The author has written so many fine books. Retu
Zaki was a boy of twelve when he decides to leave Babylon to go to Jerusalem with his grandparents when King Cyrus made the proclamation that God's Holy Temple could be rebuilt. The story continues with his young adulthood and the conflict they have with the local Samaritans. The temple building was delayed but Zechariah felt the call of God to be his prophet and encouraged the people to build the temple despite the opposition. God was going to reward them for doing so. This may be an ancient s ...more
The author the ability to take the pages of the Old Testament and turn them into a vibrant story of flesh and blood characters in a story pulsing with the whole spectrum of human emotion, difficult and rewarding relationships, and personal and societal conflicts. She tells the story of the first Jews to return to Jerusalem after the exile with Cyrus' blessing and support to rebuild the Temple. However, the Jews had lived in Babylon all their lives, and it was all the "homeland" many could imagin ...more
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For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later ...more
More about Lynn Austin...

Other Books in the Series

Restoration Chronicles (3 books)
  • Keepers of the Covenant (The Restoration Chronicles #2)
  • On This Foundation (Restoration Chronicles, #3)

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