RATING: 5/5 STARS
You know a Christian historical fiction book is great when it spurs you to study the original account in God’s Word. Isaiah’s Daughter is the first book I’ve read by Mesu Andrews, and she tactfully weaved a tender love story into striking events of Scripture, pushing me to soak up the accounts of 2 Chronicles 28-33 and more.
With this book Andrews spins a fictional backstory about King Hezekiah’s sole wife, named Hephzibah (2 Kings 21:1). Starting as a young girl named Ishma, she is orphaned and captured by the northern kingdom of Israel, traumatized by the horrors of war.
God’s faithfulness brings her to the doorstep of Isaiah, the prophet, who mercifully takes her in. From this point she develops a sweet friendship with the king-to-be, a young Hezekiah, that buds into a heart-melting, faith-strengthening courtship. Eventually she is adopted by Isaiah and renamed Hephzibah, which means “God delights in her” and is a complete contrast from Ishma, which means “desolation.” It presents a wonderful picture of God’s transformative love.
The young couple go on to endure the wicked reign of King Ahaz, as he brutally presses the nation of Judah into dark pagan-worship, and then take on the heavy responsibilities of ruling under the constant threat of Assyria.
Along the way, many side characters shine, nurturing their own trust in Yahweh and supporting the royal pair. Among those is the prophet Isaiah himself. I was immediately drawn to this title because the book of Isaiah contains some of the most beautiful prophecies in the Bible, and I was pleased to see Andrews thoroughly incorporate them into the story.
Far from being a typical romance, this treasure of a novel emphasizes God’s personal pleasure in His people and grander plan for the world. Andrews presents a fresh perspective to the events of Chronicles, Kings, and Isaiah, placing us in a time where uncertainty runs rampant and hope for a Messiah ever lingers.
We see Hephzibah’s and others’ confusion, tension, and anticipation over Yahweh’s prophecies, as Andrews utilizes the plot to reveal how God’s Word both speaks to our individual stories and to the whole of His redemptive plan.
Such reminders of God’s powerful, compassionate, and holy sovereignty were a blessing, bringing me to praise God in my heart at multiple points. I look forward to reading more of Andrews’s work!
This book officially releases January 16th, and you can preorder it on Amazon.
If you’re interested, here are resources to learn more:
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review, the opinions expressed are my own.