This sequel to Return to Me in which the first group of Jews return to Jerusalem after being scattered throughout the Babylonian empire, takes place when the second group return under King Xerxes. Ezra sees many Jews giving up their heritage and adopting pagan ways, and he especially does not want that for his children. He wants them to grow up in Jerusalem, segregated from unwanted, God-hating people, so he takes this request to the king who grants it. When they resettle in Jerusalem, however, Ezra's troubles are not over as he has to deal with lax attitudes and practices of the earlier settlers.
I enjoyed this book as much as the first one in the series. Austin seems always to have some moral woven throughout her novels, and this book deals with balancing God's law and His justice. Ezra has to explore both as he deals with the situations that come up in his life. Austin, also, touches on how God uses suffering to further His goals and bring glory to Himself. Learning these important concepts is necessary, but having them woven through a novel such as this one really brings the lessons home.
I haven't read a book by Lynn Austin that I wouldn't recommend highly, and this one is no different!
I want to thank Bethany House for my review copy of this book, but my opinions are my own.