I really enjoyed this read and love how Mesu Andrews does such a wonderful job of bringing Bible times to life through her writing. But the audio can easily make or break a book for a reader, and I have to admit that I struggled greatly with the performance of this one. The narrator's voice felt distant from the narrative and didn't seem to match the energy and emotion. It prevented me from being able to get sucked in. I just couldn't do it, but I WANTED to read the story and so I switched to an e-book copy. I'm very happy I did because I was easily able to dive into the setting and and feel a part of the characters' world. Several other reviewers have said that they liked the narrator, so my personal recommendation would be to listen to the free sample first to decide if it would be a good fit for you. But the story itself is well worth the read and one i could easily recommend. *I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook from the publisher. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
Audio book: Job is an interesting person to write about. He suffered so much loss and yet never gave up on God. I have a hard time reading it in the Bible every year, but understand more each year. I think this book helped me visualize even more the story of Job. I like the narrator chosen for the audio book. I can tell the author put a lot of time into researching for this story and appreciate the scripture at the beginning of the chapters. I definitely recommend this book. I received an audio copy of this book from the author. All views stated are my own.
As someone who loves Christian fiction and Historical Fiction, this book did not disappoint. Its my first book by the author and I was pleasantly surprised. The way she wove biblical truths with fiction is commendable. She really brought the characters to life. I loved the character of Job and his example of complete dedication to the will of God. In the midst of all the trails, he remained loyal to the God he served. His character and his nature also drew others to God. He lovingly nurtures Dinah and shows her compassion when everyone wanted to cast her away.
I liked the way the author quoted scripture at the beginning of every chapter. It will make you want to pick your Bible and read more about the truth that the characters are based on. The book takes you on a journey of faith, forgiveness, love and loss with an inspiring plot. Its vividly told and the journey is an emotional one.
I received an audio copy of this book from the author via Just Read Tours. All opinions are mine.
Overall I liked this book, and I am glad that I listened to it. To explain my rating, I am going to talk about several aspects of this book.
I did listen to this book. To me, I will not listen to an audiobook if I do not like the narrator. I really like Lisa Larsen. This is not the first book that I have listened by her, and I am sure I will listen to more in the future. Besides doing a great job at using interesting voices, the book is easy to understand at various speeds. Audio narration: 5 stars
I will say that listening to biblical fiction was a little bit challenging. Because a lot of the names are unfamiliar and also similar to each other, at times I had a hard time following who was who. I would say if a person purchased the book with an audio narration that is the best option. The book might be easier to understand if one is reading along.
Plot. How the author decided to connect Job to other portions of the Bible was interesting. I had heard that Job was maybe set during the time of the Patriarchs or early Israelite rulers/tribes. The author did convince me that this timing was possible.
I do think hearing all of the calamities that Job faced happening one after another really brought to life the reality of what a horrible day that would have been. I do think that it brought a possible reason as to why Job's wife was difficult - perhaps she was not as loyal as Job to his God. I also think that the connection to Jacob's daughter, Dinah and the truth behind her troubled circumstances, was an interesting thought. There seemed to be a large gap between when Job was stricken and his friends arrived. This was necessary for the other fictional evil to happen, but I must say I did not really get that such a gap makes sense with the Bible.
I did like the Scripture quotations. Using Scripture is in this type of genre is so important. The emphasis on God's holiness is powerful. I do feel like God would definitely be honored with this portrayal.
But I felt at times that perhaps some of the verses quoted in the actual chapters were possibly out of context. Putting a man who had so many actually quotations into fictional form is challenging. Keeping everything perfectly in context would be very hard in this story.
There was a bit that I struggled with in the book. The connections made between Job's friends and family with actual people in Genesis was a bit of a stretch. I am guessing that the author really did try to research what would work and what would fit the biblical narrative. But I felt a bit of uneasy since discerning between fact and fiction was often blurred. The women being frequently at the ash heap also did not make sense culturally to me. Even his wife is only mentioned limited times in the Bible. I will say that I did like the women characters. But without giving too much away, there were definitely some leaps made as far as the women's roles that were hard for me to fully embrace.
I am glad that I listened to this book. It did cause me to think about Job in a new way. Pondering the possibilities did help me to understand what might have been. Possibly the best part is the fact that after listening I wanted to read Job (and even parts of Genesis) again for myself. Any book that sends me back to the Bible is a good thing.
My background did influence how I felt about this book as well. Several years ago for our church children's Sunday school class, we spent over a year studying Job. While I did not teach every week, I lead many times and spend time organizing lessons. We primarily used the actual text with a little bit of assistance from Warren Wiersbe's Be Commentary series. So I do feel like I actually knew quite a bit about the biblical book before I read this fictional book.
Final rating: 4.3 - almost enough to round up to a 5, but not quite. I was granted a complimentary copy of this book to listen to as a part of the JustRead Tours. I wanted to review this book because I do feel like that biblical fiction must be held to a higher standard since at least parts are based on God's perfect book of Scriptures. We humans can make errors. For the most part, the author did handle God's Word accurately. I appreciated her attention to details. All opinions in this review are my own.
Love Amid the Ashes bye Mesu Andrews an ancient inspiring biblical story to life in a way readers can easily understand and relate to. While fictional on many levels, the author has obviously done her research as the story brings in truths from the scriptures. Readers will love this engaging story of not only loss, but also triumph and overcoming the hardships. It’s a beautifully written story that comes to life from the pages and will inspire readers in their own lives.
Narrator Lisa Larsen does an excellent job narrating the story. Her voice is soothing and just right for this biblical romance. She is a bit more monotone than some narrators, but it’s just right for the type of story she is narrating. Readers will be soothed and enjoy her take on the voicing of the story.
Series: Treasure of His Love
Genre: biblical, historical, romance, Christian
Publication date: March 1, 2011 (print), Noveber 2019 (audio via audiobooks.com)
Number of pages: 411
Other books in the series:
2-Love’s Sacred Song
3-Love in a Broken Vessel
4-In the Shadow of Jezebel
Disclosure statement: A complimentary review copy of this book was provided from tour groups, publishers, publicists, and authors, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, Or borrowed from Kindle Unlimited OR pre-ordered/purchased for review. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are my own.
I'm back once again raving about the fabulousness of Mesu Andrews' books. This time it is her debut novel that was published in audio form. Love Amid the Ashes was such a unique story for me when I first read it. It made me think about how the stories in the Bible are presented and made me want to do some further research on my own. I never would have through Job was at the time of Jacob and his 12 sons. Love Amid the Ashes really made me think. It was such a fantastic read! You can read my full review on it here.
I had an opportunity to read this book in another medium, audiobook, and I was super excited to have that chance. Lisa Larsen in the narrator again, and her voice really adds another level to the story. When you read, you have your own internal monologue going. If you're like me, you think, how do they sound? What tone would they have? Audiobooks, you really don't have to think about that when you have a narrator that can deliver the story in a way that allows you to escape into the book and not think of anything else. Lisa's voice has a smooth and flowy quality that really sets the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and diving into Dinah and Job's story again. Audiobooks have away of bringing little details to attention I can sometimes miss while reading, whether getting distracted, or engrossed in the story, the little things fall to the side. Audio, I'm able to really enjoy every aspect of the story.
Thank you to JustReads Tours, I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
Can two hurting people find Love Amid The Ashes?
Love Amid The Ashes was actually the first Mesu Andrews book that I ever read. Her historical accuracy, strict adherence to Biblical truth, and her vivid word-painting captivated me in a way only a few Biblical fiction authors have ever managed to do. I was hooked.
I can tell you this, though, listening to the audiobook of Love Amid The Ashes was like experiencing an entirely new story. The way the narrator brought the story to life was perfect. She didn't just read the story, she TOLD the story! The depth of emotion she brought to her narration was exquisite! And if there's one thing Dinah and Job's story is, it's emotional. From the guilt and rejection heaped onto Dinah to Job's agonizing pain and losses. You will become so invested in their tale that you will just about put on your own sackcloth and ashes!
As you can probably guess, I not only like the narrator but I am a big fan of Mesu Andrews's books. I haven't read one yet that I didn't love! The raw emotion in her stories is heart-wrenching and inspiring. As with her other books, Love Amid The Ashes is a powerful novel, a moving story, and one you won't soon forget. And if you listen to this audiobook version of Mesu Andrews's book it's even more riveting and unforgettable...
(I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
The best description I can give for this story is that it wrecked me and challenged me, put me to tears and made me love God more because he's merciful even in our unfaithfulness. I look back and think can I be like Job, thankful in the midst of pain, blessing God despite my sufferings.
I love the research that went into this story and must admit that it helped me see the book of Job in a different and more interesting light.
The narrator was excellent. I didn't get bored of tired of the story.
I'd definitely be coming back to this story another time.
I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook from the author via JustRead tours. All opinions expressed are solely mine.
I listened to the audiobook of Love Amid the Ashes. I think listening to it took me on a little different journey than if I had just read it. For me it was an emotional book and felt like I was invested in the characters. I never would have thought about Dinah being Job’s wife but the author did lots of research and at the end she tells us why and what she found when she decided to write this book the way she did. Remember it is fiction of a real event.
Of course anyone that knows anything about the Bible has heard of Job, but to listen to the story told to you in detail was awesome. Such a great story of how God is faithful to His children. Job being so downcast after losing everything but yet still holding on to God is a story I can hear over and over again. Dinah’s part in this book really held my attention too and how Job would tell her about God. There were many details and characters that I loved. Loss, love and redemption are all part of this book. I think it’s written in a powerful way. Mrs Andrews knows how to get you involved in the characters.
If you have never read/listened to Mesu Andrew books do yourself a favor and get one if you like Biblical Fiction at all.
I received the audiobook from justreadtours but was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
I’m so so picky about audiobooks. Like EXTREMELY picky. I don’t know why, but the narrators voice has to be ✨perfect✨
The narrator did a wonderful job to am already amazing book written by a totally talented author.
Thought provoking, heart gripping and captivating. True to the genre it brought so much color and to the biblblical text with well carried out research.
The characters did justice to the plot and vice versa. They kept me glued to the story as I saw truth war with lies, darkness war with light, blood against blood but ultimately, even when it didn't look like it was going to happen God won.
A totally amazing and captivating story of God's love, deliverance and redemption to his children.
I received a copy of this audiobook and this is my honest opinion.
Amazing how Mesu Andrews brings the bible to life through Job's story. Her imagination of the romance that could have happened between Job and Dinah brings a powerful story of redemption for Dinah who's disgrace pierced my heart leading me to feel her pain. The suspense and sense of humor that was spread throughout the book make this a page-turner. One of the things I loved was the tender love between Dinah and her younger brother Joseph. Probably the only thing that made this a four-star versus five-star was the hostility between Esau and Jacob. While the author made their arguments humorous, I always pictured them having a better relationship after their reconciliation when Esau wept upon his neck. Life isn't perfect and I'm sure they had disagreements but she paints it as if Esau still held a grudge. It added humor but it tinted the image of one of my favorite Bible stories. But this is speculation on her part as well as mine. But it was very intriguing and I can't wait to read/listen to the rest of this series!
I adore Biblical fiction. And I love anything I’ve ever read (and now listened to) by Mesu Andrews. What an exceptional storyteller! Though there are fictional aspect to this book, Love Amid the Ashes immerses me in ancient times, customs, and Biblical happenings, giving me a better understanding of the stories of the Old Testament.
I’ve always been fascinated by Job and his extraordinary perseverance, faith, and redemption. I was surprised that Dinah’s story was melded with Job’s, and pleased that it truly made the story come to life for me.
Audio Narration: Lisa Larson’s voice is crisp and pleasant, and I wasn’t distracted by the fluctuating tones used for varying characters.
Audio Production Quality: The production quality oof this audiobook is clear with no distracting noises.
Overall Opinion: Love Amid the Ashes is a meaningful and satisfying story, with interesting characters, some of which are fictional, but just as intriguing as the real ones, and packed with emotion. I enjoyed this audio version and look forward to listening to more of Ms. Andrews stories and Ms. Larson’s narration.
Dɪsᴄʟᴏsᴜʀᴇ: I ʀᴇᴄᴇɪᴠᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴍᴇɴᴛᴀʀʏ ᴄᴏᴘʏ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ʙᴏᴏᴋ. Mʏ ʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡ ᴡᴀs ɴᴏᴛ ɪɴғʟᴜᴇɴᴄᴇᴅ.
If you enjoy Biblical fiction, you might enjoy stepping back to the early days of the Old Testament, with Mesu Andrews' Love Amid the Ashes. We open with Jacob's disgraced daughter Dinah, two decades after the events at Shechem. She's spent the years tending for her grandfather Isaac. At the patriarch's death, she is betrothed to a man she's never met—the son of Job of Uz.
Yes, the same Job who has his own book of the Bible! Job and Dinah head to Uz with his caravan, bonding along the way. They arrive at the famed city on the same day that Job's sorrows befall him, immediately leaving Dinah stranded in a strange land with no one except her Cushite maid. When boils overtake Job's body, Dinah becomes his caregiver.
Job doesn't understand why God has stricken him. He's been a faithful and just man. He's honored El Shaddai to the best of his knowledge. Now his prosperity has been reduced to nothing and he's lost his children and his health. Who can he find to marry Dinah so she won't sink into the misery that has befallen him?
There were parts of this story that were quite interesting and thought-provoking. I've done some research about why the author brought these two timelines together, and it's not without precedent, though it goes against the Biblical timeline as I was taught it. It also throws in quite a few other Bible characters and events that made me tilt my head.
Probably my biggest question about this story was why the author chose to make Job's suffering so much worse than it was in the Bible account. Was it to bring home the depth of the loss, since we're already familiar with the tale? The evil neighbor and the idol worship of Job's wife did not make the story better for me. Also I wondered how all these people could live in the same valley, close enough to see into each other's palaces and observe all their comings and goings. That was too much of a stretch for my imagination.
The audiobook was well-read by Lisa Larsen. She did a wonderful job on the various voices, and her pronunciation and word flow was excellent. I would enjoy listening to more of her narration in the future.
I received my copy of the audiobook from JustRead Publicity. All thoughts in this review are my own.
I don't read a lot of biblical fiction, but when I do I enjoy them. I have liked everything I have read by Mesu Andrews so far. She connects dots from the bible that I haven't noticed before. I was so excited about a previous book by this author that I followed along with her The Bible Project read through group on YouVersion app last year. Tons of thoughtful insight.
This is such a tragic story. Dinah, losing her husband. Job, losing his children and possessions, and then his health and wife. Everything that could go wrong drastically does. Even so this small cast of characters soldier on and try to make the best out of an impossible situation. It really is remarkably told.
The book of Job is a relatively short book. Love Amid the Ashes really breathed a life into the story I hadn't considered before. The saying 'having the patient of Job' was described so well in the beginning of this book. I loved how Mesu portrayed this man of faith while he interacts with everyone, trying to bring everyone up to his level, even in grief. Explaining why sacrifice is important, and allowing atonement to completely wash away the past. I need a mentor in my life like Job, especially after a year like 2020.
I rooted for the good guys, and hated the bad guy, and hoped for the future I already knew the ending to.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion
I was so surprised by this book! I read all of Job once and after this story I think a couple things about him. I didn't know him like I thought and never would have known he was connected to Dinah!
I realize these are fictional accounts of the real lives of those from Biblical times, but it was fascinating to hear/imagine what he went through in a fictional setting. Mesu had my heart going out to him even more in her story.
As for Dinah, I don't think I gave her much thought aside from the snippets we read of her. To imagine what her life might have been like AFTER her time with Shechem gave more depth to her plight. Because of how the books of the Bible are set up, I never would've imagined Dinah and Job being in the same time period.
I'm incredibly thankful for the research an author like Mesu must do to bring a book like this into existence.
I also enjoyed this narrator. She did a good job with the many characters and situations in the story, including a cuckoo bird!
*I received this audiobook for review. This is my personal opinion.
4.5 Stars (audiobook review)
Even if you haven’t grown up in church and read or heard the Bible story of Job, you most likely have heard the name in phrases like “The patience of Job.” In Love Amid the Ashes, Mesu Andrews took the book of Job (a story I have heard since my early childhood in Sunday school) and breaths new life into it.
I’ve never thought about Job’s wife’s part in the story other than what reads as her nagging him to deny God. Yet, she was a grieving woman who had lost everything alongside her husband. And Andrews made me sympathetic to the character. And that’s just one example of how the author took this story and brought it to life.
Yes, it’s fiction so there are some liberties taken, but Andrews explains how they are plausible in the afterward of the book. And I am once again driven to Scripture to read the book of Job with new insights and considerations of the Old Testament story.
The audiobook is narrated well with good transitions and enough voice manipulation to distinguish between the characters, so I never felt lost during the story.
Disclosure statement: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.