Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Return to Me (The Restoration Chronicles #1)” as Want to Read:
Return to Me (The Restoration Chronicles #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Return to Me

(Restoration Chronicles #1)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  2,380 ratings  ·  296 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,380 ratings  ·  296 reviews

More filters
Sort order
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
Martijn Euyen
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lynn Austin weeft op een prachtige manier een aantal verhaallijnen door elkaar rondom de herbouw van de tempel van God door zijn volk Israël nadat het daarvoor van koning Cyrus toestemming kreeg. Centrale verhaallijn is dat van hoofdpersoon Zacharia die als lid van een priesterlijk geslacht een vertrouwelijke omgang met God ontwikkelt en uiteindelijk gehoor geeft aan zijn roeping als profeet. Prachtig zinnetje uit het boek dat voor mij een mooie samenvatting gaf: de tempel is niet voor God maar ...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
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.
Jul 20, 2013 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
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
Diana Montgomery
Nov 08, 2013 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
Mary Shipman
Oct 23, 2013 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
JoJo Sutis
Aug 22, 2013 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
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!
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
Title: Return to Me
Written By: Lynn Austin
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Recommended Ages: 15 & up
This book was a fresh take on the prophet, Zechariah. I have read the book in the Bible by him, but didn't know much more than that. I enjoyed reading this book and the author's idea of how he might have lived.

Characters: 1/1
There were a lot of characters in this book. But I think my favorite was Iddo, Zechariah's grandfather. He was complex and also very human. He made mistakes, but when t
Michelle Hofacker
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I listened to another of Lynn Austin's Old Testament stories - Chronicles of the Kings, I believe. I enjoyed the series very much. I would have guessed that the Chronicles series was published before the Restoration Chronicles, which I just finished (all three) because the writing seemed to be more simplistic.

Although Austin does a great job bringing to life Old Testament times, the Restoration Chronicles seemed to portray the women as modern "strong" women. Not that Old Testament women weren't
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • When Jesus Wept (The Jerusalem Chronicles #1)
  • Love in a Broken Vessel (Treasure of His Love)
  • The Thief (The Living Water, #2)
  • Sweet Sanctuary (Sweet Sanctuary, #1)
  • The Queen's Handmaid
  • Rachel (Wives of the Patriarchs, #3)
  • David and Bathsheba
  • Harvest of Rubies (Harvest of Rubies, #1)
  • Snow on the Tulips (Women of Courage #1)
  • The Journey of Josephine Cain (American Tapestries)
  • The Journey (Legacy of Love #5)
See similar books…
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)
“Because we're not free when there are no boundaries-we're in great danger.” 2 likes
“Because we’re not free when there are no boundaries—we’re in great danger.” 0 likes
More quotes…