Christian author Mesu Andrews displays her literary prowess in her fourth historical fiction work “In the Shadow of Jezebel.” Although Jezebel makes a cameo appearance in the book the story speaks more to her far reaching influence over the Southern Kingdom of Judah through the arranged marriage of her daughter Athaliah. Once King Jehoram is struck by illness, Athaliah seizes power through fear and manipulation and attempts to dismantle the worship of Yahweh in Solomon’s Temple. By arranging a marriage between Jehoram’s daughter, Jehosheba, and a priest of Yahweh, Jehoiada, Athaliah plots to lead a nation into idolatry. However, God’s love for His people and His promise to keep a descendant of David on the throne will not be thwarted.
This intriguing novel never slows but continues to draw the reader in through it’s entirety. Prepare to be transported back in time through vivid descriptions of Temple architecture, palace decor, city landscapes, and Old Testament feasts. The well researched details are truly insightful and enrich the storyline without becoming arduous. I was captivated by the characters – chilled by the calculating and evil persona of Jezebel and Athaliah, distressed by the brokenness of Jehosheba, and warmed by the passion and devotion of Jehoiada. These characters are relatable because they struggle with the common problems of fear, insecurity, anger, and budding faith. Readers are reminded of how God pursues our hearts, that He is always in control, and always faithful to fulfill His promises. Mesu has done a remarkable job of glorifying God through a fictional retelling of the story.
Find it in scripture: 2 Kings 11 and 2 Chronicles 20-23
Note: Available on the authors website is a bible study to accompany the book. Though not necessary, I felt it enriched the reading experience. By starting with scripture you are able to discern the parts of the story that are factual from those that are created. Also available is a discussion guide. I personally will be recommending this book to our Women’s Ministry summer reading club.
About The Author:
Mesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes, Love’s Sacred Song, and Love in a Broken Vessel. Winner of the 2012 ECPA Christian Book Award for New Author, she has devoted herself to passionate and intense study of Scripture, bringing the biblical world vividly alive for her readers. She lives in Washington.