Monday, July 22, 2013

Harvest of Gold by Tessa Afshar - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Harvest of Gold
River North; New Edition edition (July 1, 2013)
Tessa Afshar


TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last thirteen years in full-time Christian work.


The scribe Sarah married Darius, and at times she feels as if she has married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did not count on in her marriage-Sarah has grown to love her husband. Sarah has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband's love still seems unattainable.

Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother's people. Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life-and even in his marriage?

A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.

My Thoughts:
“…for when God is in the building, chaos will eventually be replaced by His order.  When things appear to be falling apart, God is in fact causing them to fall into place.”
  This is a story of restoration - the physical restoration of Jerusalem’s walls and city and the restoration of the hearts and souls of the story’s main characters – Sarah and Darius.  The marriage between Sarah and Darius has always been one-sided, because only Sarah will confess the love that she has for her husband.  Darius holds Sarah at arm’s length and hides his own emotions behind impenetrable walls constructed early in his youth.  When new life is crated within Sarah's womb and she and Darius are separated by a threat on the king's life, their lives begin to change in significant ways.  When they are tasked to go with Nehemiah as he rebuilds the walls of Jerusalem, they must face enemies within and without the walls of the city and their own hearts.

     Tessa Afshar has taken the story of Nehemiah’s obedience to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and created a masterpiece of grace!  She has taken Sarah and Darius from Harvest of Rubies and set them amid a historic Biblical event.  The story of their relationship and the rebuilding of Jerusalem are woven together in such a way that they mirror the rebuilding of grace and faith in the lives of a people who have listened to the voice of fear and discouragement far too long. You will be fearful, hopeful, wistful and enraptured as you read this story! Your faith will be transformed within you until it is refreshed and renewed in unexpected ways!

     Truly, this is one of the most beautiful pictures of God’s long-suffering and grace that I have read in quite a while. I have cried, and laughed, worshipped and praised the Lord throughout this story and I am a better person for having taken the time to read Harvest of Gold.  God has brought forth a harvest within my heart that has encouraged me deeply! I am thrilled to share this story with you!

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Harvest of Gold, go HERE.

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