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Where We Belong

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  683 Ratings  ·  198 Reviews
The Adventure of a Lifetime for Two Indomitable Socialite Sisters

In the city of Chicago in 1892, the rules for Victorian women are strict, their roles limited. But sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not typical Victorian ladies. Their love of adventure and their desire to use their God-given talents has brought them to the Sinai Desert--and into a sandstorm.

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Paperback, 480 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Bethany House Publishers
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Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
This should have been one of my favorite reads of recent memory, if not the year. This book had everything going for it -- unconventional female characters, a fascinating concept, world travel --not to mention the name of one of my long-time favorite authors on its gorgeous cover. However, none of that could save a novel whose execution falls so terribly flat. Where We Belong reads like it was published decades ago, an unpolished draft, completely lacking the spark, life, and engagement I've exp ...more
Sarah Monzon
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I picked up this book for one reason--Lynn Austin! I'm a big fan of her books. Wonderland Creek is my jam. A Woman's Place, epic. I could go on and on.

Where We Belong starts in the late 1880's (90's? One of those...) and that is the "present day". Here we are introduced to Rebekah, Flora, Peterson, and Kate. Each character takes turns recounting their lives and how they got to where they are.

The goal, motivation, and conflict...three elements essential to fiction, are relegated to only the "pres
Amanda Tero
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’m learning Austin’s style. Her books are the nice, long ones that are perfect for cold weather, warm blankets, and mugs of hot drinks. They aren’t really the type that keep me up all hours of the night in intense curiosity, but they’re just those good stories. The writer in me wishes they were a little more actively told than passively told, but like I said, if you just want a long, cozy read, this fits the bill perfectly.

In short, this book could be summed up in: two sisters’ yearn for advent
An inspiring historical tale based in part on the lives of two remarkable real-life sisters whose courage and faith led them to follow their dreams against societal norms, and make an amazing discovery that rocked the world. The story begins in 1890 while the pair are on a difficult trek to an ancient monastery in the Sinai Desert. Told in retrospect, a clear picture emerges of each character and how they all ended up on this dangerous journey together.

This well-written novel kept me interested
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an epic adventure! Lynn Austin is a new author to me, but I will be looking up her other books after reading "Where We Belong". If you like adventure, travel, strong female characters, and deep spiritual content, you will like "Where We Belong"!

This book is broken up into sections. Each section is told from a different character's perspective. Ms. Austin has great characters. It truly is an epic story, following the character's lives from when they are young to middle-aged. I especially lik
Rachel McMillan
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
so here's the deal everyone. and settle in. i never JUST read a lynn austin book (the first time -- i mean i will read proper pursuit every other thursday for the rest of time). but that first read i save for when i am in the right headspace because it will speak to me where i am at. i don't know how it happens but every time i read her it matches the moment in my life when i need it the most. you don't waste that experience.

it is just the most transcendentally wonderful thing.

so i had nine hour
Chloe (aka Crystal)
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Previously published on Purely by Faith Reviews.

My Review:

Okay, so this is my first time reading a book by Lynn Austin and it was the best historical fiction I’ve ever read! I’ll admit it did take me a few chapters to fully get into it, but when I did….. I just had to keep going.

I found Rebecca and Flora so easy to connect with on different levels. Lynn did a great job of giving them distinctive personalities, because I personally don’t see that done well in a lot of books today. Rebecca’s love
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
I didn't find the satisfaction in this book liked I had hoped to but it was still a pleasant read. It's a little long for my taste; I find a story has withered by page 350; and this far exceeds that. Rebecca and Flora travel for a good portion through-out this story and it's told mostly when they are in their early twenties. I enjoyed reading it more when they were older at certain points in the book. It's heavy handed with flashbacks but basically a story about two sisters who find complete and ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
An epic tale about two invincible sisters who refuse to be confined by societal expectations. And while a work of fiction Where We Belong reads more like a memoir since it is a collection of memories. In fact, the largest portion of these 470 pages is spent in past decades -- and told from the point of view of four different characters whose stories all interconnect -- the sisters, Rebecca and Flora and their two charges, Kate and Soren.

The story begins with a trek across the Sinai Desert in 189
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
This was my first Lynn Austin book, and I can gladly say that I enjoyed her writing. It was thorough, and pleasant.
It was delightful to follow the sisters, Rebecca and Flora, on their great many adventures, and their center goal always being the Lord. I also loved their saying, “The Lord knows our end”, because that’s true. He’s got us in the palm of His hand, and our days are ordered by Him.
Both sisters were very unique, and different from each other, yet shared such a strong bond. I did actual
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I was introduced to Lynn Austin's books this past summer when Lynn was a featured speaker at a local Public Library event. Lynn was invited to talk about her latest book (at that time), Waves of Mercy. Waves of Mercy is set in my hometown, Holland Michigan, where Lynn also lives (I have since discovered she is right around the corner from me!). I have been searching for and buying more of Lynn's books in the months since then and was eagerly looking forward to her newest release, Where We Belong ...more
I just cannot write this review. Sorry. Can't do it. When I first started actually reading this book my Kindle told me that it would take about 7 hours to finish. Lovely, right? I mean here it was Monday evening and I was getting ready to start my week at The Day Job (I work Tuesday through Saturday). Reading time through the week is hard to come by and tends to happen in spurts and fits. Seven hours would take me all week and into my weekend. No way Jose. And then I started reading it and was l ...more
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
People always ask how a loving God could allow suffering but faith in God asks us to trust.

Sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not short in adventure in their search for God's purpose. Set in Chicago 1890's, the Hawe sisters live with their father who encourages his daughters in education and knowing the world around them for God's purpose. The sisters are different but their love for the Lord and each other keeps them keep united in spite of their differences. Rebecca longs to travel and study
Amazing read!

Thing is, the first time I picked this book up as soon as it came out, I just couldn't get into it, so I stopped reading at about chapter 7. I knew I would finish the book at some point, though, because I like Lynn Austin so much. So the other day I gave it a second chance. And, wow, it's a new favorite! 5 stars, even with the hard to get into beginning, still 5 stars.

Why? Because this book is about Jesus Christ, and it's told through the story of some really unique characters who
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I definitely wouldn't call it a fast-paced novel; the vast majority of the story is told in flashbacks (thankfully all done chronologically, except for when it jumps back to the present), so it reads more like a memoir, with Rebecca being the main focus, but Flora and, to a lesser extant, Soren and Kate having their share of memories. There's no real sense of urgency to the plot, and as such I had no problem putting the book down to go do other things.

The history behind the story was fascinating
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked how this book was told from four different points of view, each bringing important pieces of their back story to explain how they were acting in the 'present'. I think Flora was my favourite character, though I really enjoyed all 4 (even prickly Kate!).
I thought it was cool how Rebecca especially recognised that she and Flora were learning more about God's plans for them on each adventure they took. I want to live my life that way: to learn how to see God's plan and purpose for each thin
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
Where We Belong

I really enjoyed this story about two plucky sisters, Rebecca and Flora, living in 1800's Chicago. These ladies followed their passion for travel and adventure in spite of the fact that very little was expected of them other than getting married and hosting social gatherings. I was presently surprised to discover this story is based loosely on a true story.

Rebecca is very stubborn and sometimes frustrating, but it's this stubborn streak that drives her to follow her heart and trav
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, christian
"Where We Belong" is historical fiction set in 1860 to 1890 in Chicago and all over the world. The framing narrative occurred in 1890 as the four main characters try to reach the monastery at Mt. Sinai, but the weather and uncooperative guides are making that difficult. We get flashbacks to when Rebecca and Flora were young (in 1860) on up to the current situation to show how events brought them to undertake this quest. Near the end, we also get flashbacks for their two servants, Kate and Soren, ...more
Fiction Aficionado
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an inspiring read! This book excited my wanderlust, my love of history, and my love of apologetics, and it reminded me that even when you feel like a misfit for the society you were born into—in fact, even when you’re TOLD you’re a misfit for the society you were born into—God has a purpose for your life, if you only have the faith and courage to pursue it.

Sisters Rebecca and Flora most certainly had the faith and the courage! They firmly believe that ‘To whom much has been given, much will
This is the fifteenth book I have read by Lynn Austin. She is one of my favorite authors. I love historical fiction and I love how Lynn Austin blends history, characters, story, and faith.

That being said, honestly it took me awhile to warm up to this book and its characters. At some point in my reading I figured out that the book is written in four sections, from four different viewpoints, with each character going back to their beginnings. For two of the characters that involved decades of expe
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Tapped out on page 130. Never read Lynn Austin before and won't be again after this. I enjoy christian fiction on occasion (love Julie Klassen), but this got way too preachy for me. Austin clearly has an agenda and it's apparent on every page. I wanted to read a story about sisters traveling across Egypt to find some lost archaeological artifact. Instead what we get is mostly flashbacks of the sisters in their teen years acting like selfish, arrogant, spoiled brats with almost no redeeming quali ...more
Erin Laramore
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have loved every single Lynn Austin book I've read, and this one was no different. As a matter of fact, this one ranks near the top as one of my favorites of hers!

This book starts in the Sinai Desert in 1890 where we find 2 middle aged sisters with 2 of their servants on their way to the Monastery of St. Catherine (located on Mt. Sinai) in search of ancient manuscripts. During this journey, they encounter several "life or death" scenarios which causes each of them to reminisce on the events th
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes have a thirst for adventure and a passion for finding God's calling in their lives. Raised by their intellectual father, who encouraged their scholarship and their faith they experience more freedom than many young ladies of their time and station. But when their father meets a proper and society concerned widow, and with their father's failing health they must fight to pursue their passions.

Their story jumps back to their childhood and youth, and the events that
Julia Wilson
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Where We Belong by Lynn Austin is a marvellous Christian historical novel that I could not get enough of. It is based on fact. Lynn Austin has woven a fabulous tale that educates, informs and entertains.
The novel alternates between 1890 and 1860 moving forwards. The action is seen from four different viewpoints, with the result that the reader becomes intimately acquainted with the main characters. We understand their motivations as they explode from 2D into glorious 3D Technicolour in our minds
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
What really made me want to read this book, before I ever looked at the synopsis, is the cover. Just something about exploring Egypt has always fascinated me, and this book by Lynn Austin is no disappointment. Truly something a bit unique but found myself thinking of this book, like The Mummy movie with Brandon Frasier, because of the woman in the movie, who defies social stereotypes of the era and branches out on her own. In Where We Belong, Rebecca and Flora Hawes are being raised by their fat ...more
First sentence: Rebecca Hawes lay awake in her tent, convinced that the howling wind was about to lift her entire camp into the air and hurl it to the far side of the desert.

Premise/plot: Where We Belong tells the story of two adventuring sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes. The novel opens in the Sinai Desert in 1890, the sisters are on a quest to find ancient manuscripts. In particular, Becky is looking for ancient copies of the New Testament. She has, by this point, co-written several books on he
Amy Bradsher
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I want to be just like the Hawes sisters when I grow up!  They're the neatest people.  I love the way that they don't let themselves be defined by Victorian standards and how they stand up for what they feel is right, no matter the repercussions.  From clothing choices to how they spend their time, Flora and Rebecca do exactly what they feel God is leading them to do.
I love their refrain: God knows the hour of our end, so there's no need to worry"  (That's my summary of it, not an exact quote.)
May 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
I received this book from Goodreads.

Warning: Christian Fiction!!!

Obvious? Not at all, because I otherwise wouldn't have entered the giveaway. I hate it when this happens...

Another Not my Cup of Tea situation.
Where We Belong sounded sooo good. Historical fiction, two spunky women defying the Men Only rule, and traveling. Just my kind of book.
It was a huge disappointment when I discovered it was Christian fiction- which is normally a deal breaker- but I plowed on anyway because I've read
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“God knows when the end of our days will be. We have nothing to fear.”
Lynn Austen's Where We Belong is a Christian Historical Fiction novel inspired by twin sisters, Agnes and Margaret Smith. The story takes place in between 1860 and 1890 and focuses on sisters Rebecca and Flora, who grow bored of school and decide to go on an adventure. They get all the information needed to take a trip and present it to their father. This is just the beginning of their travels. The sisters are currently on a t
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 4 May 08, 2017 07:35AM  
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

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“quiet. Did she dare to imagine a future that didn’t” 0 likes
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