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

(Restoration Chronicles #1)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  3,043 ratings  ·  352 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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Oct 27, 2013 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
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Library copy. This book is fabulous! And I am not a fan of biblical fiction... Apparently it depends on the author. Lynn Austin is at the top of my favorite author list.

This is not a book for the light reader, and yet it is a fictional story, told as such. I am amazed at being transported not only to another continent by words on the page, but to another century as well. And when I reached the point in the book where the story wove into the biblical narrative, such awe filled my heart.

To be hone
Oct 15, 2013 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
Christine Indorf
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I kept starting and stopping but I finally sat down and read it!! It only took 1 day when I got started!!! This story is the exodus back to Jerusalem from Babylon. Many decided to stay in Babylon and not go back. When they got there the Samaritan wouldn’t let them rebuild the temple. Instead following God will they followed mans will. Will they rebuild it?? Also this follows a family who return to Jerusalem. Will they also follow Gods will or will they turn their back to Him. A wonderful story o ...more
Christy Ryan
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this first book of the trilogy! If you loved Francine Rivers Mark of the Lion would love this too!
Nov 06, 2013 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
This was a well written and interesting Biblical fiction novel set during the time when the Persians had overtaken the Babylonians and King Cyrus allowed a remnant of Israelites to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. This novel takes what is known in the Bible about this period and expands on it. We follow the family in which the prophet Zechariah grows up and see the trouble that the Israelites have with the other people living near Jerusalem, the Samaritans in particular. I really enjoy ...more
Rachael (bluestockings_and_books)
My first Biblical fiction!

I started reading the second book in this series, and I like this one better so far because there aren’t as many MCs. When reading Biblical fiction you have to remember that part of it is fiction, but the other part should be accurate with the Bible.

Lisa Johnson
Oct 14, 2013 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
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was the first of Lynn Austin's books I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and will probably read more of her works in the future. This book is a fictional account of the first group of Jews to return to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon. It is very true to the historical Biblical account. The reader is given an in-depth impression of the physical hardships endured and the spiritual pressures placed upon this band of people. I only have one little criticism: the frequent changes of ...more
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
Oct 14, 2013 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
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lynn Austin is a gifted writer. Each of her books that I've read has a religious or moral lesson, but this one contains lessons that are a little more direct as it's a historical fiction set in Babylon and Jerusalem in 586 to 520 BC. Most of the story centers around the time that some of the Jews were called to return from Babylon to Jerusalem (after the Babylonian destruction and captivity) to rebuild the temple. There are some great lessons here that can apply to us today and how we love the L ...more
Jasmine Shadows
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite works of fiction. I really enjoyed the writing style, and I appreciated that the characters were real. None of the characters came across as so holy that they couldn't possibly have any real problems. I started a book by Lynn Austin a few years ago, and was really enjoying the book. Unfortunately it was a library book and I never got to finish it. I was so disappointed and when I went to reserve it later I found out it was lost. The library no l ...more
Lynn Austin always does an excellent job with Biblical Fiction. Well written with incredible historical and Biblical research, she brings to life the time period of the mid 500's BC as the Jews leave Babylon and return to Jerusalem. Her focus is on the family of Zechariah who will eventually become one of God's prophets. Although speculative, she brings the time period and the Biblical history to life with realistic and relatable characters including those of the Bible. This book gave me a bette ...more
Christine Dillon
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable read of a period that was good to think about. I especially appreciated the different responses that Jewish people would have had to leaving Babylon. Their thoughts and reactions were realistically portrayed.
Plan to read more of the series and more of Austin's biblical fiction.
Nay Denise
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My God!!! I need a moment to sit after reading this...


This review is written a month later. I was in my feels for real.

Where do I even begin with this beauty. I have never read a Lynn Austin book prior to this, but I also owned the first book in her other series (Gods and Kings). Immediately after buddy reading this book with my sis, we both decided to order the other two books (Keepers of the Covenant and On This Foundation) and buddy read them for July & Aug
Oct 18, 2013 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
In the big picture I enjoyed how Return to Me by Lynn Austin made me think. The Biblical timeline and references at the conclusion caused me to dive into Ezra, Daniel, Haggai and Zachariah with new fervor, integrating details that had escaped me. In this sense, Austin’s work here has incredible value. The plot points drive this story, attempting to flesh out – not replace - the Biblical account.

Yet in the details, Return to Me was an unsatisfying read. I remembered the issues raised by a friend
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have never been a big Biblical fiction reader, though some of it is better than others. I did read the Chronicles of the Kings Series by Lynn Austin, and loved them. When I saw this book come up for review, I figured it had to be as good, so I signed up, and am glad I did.

As with her other Biblical fiction series, Lynn has written about a part of the Bible that hasn't been used much, if at all, in fictional novels. This book, the first in The Restoration Chronicles starts out with Daniel bein
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I mean seriously Lynn Austin, do you know how to write a bad book? I doubt it. Return to Me is an in-depth and fantastically written story about the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon back to J-Ru (my college professor always called Jerusalem that and it kinda stuck with me :) ).

Oh man! The history and descriptions of this novel are so rich. Even if you aren't a history person, I do believe you’ll come to appreciate the background and research. This brings to life the stories of scripture
Charis Russel
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I discovered Lynne Austin this summer and absolutely loved the Restoration Chronicles series. Jerusalem is in ruins and God is calling his people back out of captivity in Babylon to rebuild the temple. Austin brings the historical account to life with rich, complex, likable characters. I found myself relating in so many ways. Themes of obedience, trust, faithfulness, setting yourself apart, etc are all timeless and relevant.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This has to be one of my all time favorites! I would recommend this book....Highly recommend. I love any book that follows scripture and brings the Bible to life.....I love knowing those in the Bible were human just like me......started Book #2
Mar 26, 2014 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
Barb Demuth Lamp
Jun 18, 2015 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!
Another great book by Lynn Austin. Here the ruler of the Medes and Persians who is Cyrus decides to send the people of Israel back to their homeland to restore the temple at Jerusalem. Even though Old Testament history is boring at times, Lynn Austin brings life to the people as they head back to Jerusalem to build the temple. It shows many of the struggles the people experienced by others in the land and some of the persecutions they faced. The storyline is great and holds your attention.
Marguerite Gray
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm learning so much about Biblical history through this series. The characters come alive as real people with real fears and flaws. Thank you Lynn for this perspective!
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
a great read, i recommend it
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Story Description:

Baker Publishing Group|October 1, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-7642-0898-0

Bestselling Author Lynn Austin Launches New Biblical Saga

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 ol
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
With Return to Me, the first in the Restoration Chronicles Series, bestselling author and Christy Award Hall of Fame member, Lynn Austin, launches a new biblical saga of hope and redemption following the footprints of the exiled Israelites in Babylon and their return to Jerusalem.

Babylon was a land that was once foreign to them. It was a strange land! They sat by the river bank and wept for their homeland, deeply yearning to return. They were taken as captives - the Babylonians were their sworn
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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

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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