"I've decided to accept the churning waves as an invitation from God to draw closer to Him, to dig deeper into His Word, to seek Him with all my heart and soul and strength. Most of all, to begin to pray to Him in a better way. Perhaps I will find a compass or a book of sailing instructions, or at least a life preserver. Maybe, just maybe, this pilgrimage to Israel will get me started on that new journey." (p. 14)
Historical fiction author Lynn Austin embarks on her first non-fiction work, "Pilgrimage", where she documents her experiences on a two-week trip to Israel. Austin traveled with a tour group starting in the southern end of Israel and eventually worked their way toward the north. She shares historical information about the places they visited combined with relevant Scripture passages and her own personal insights as to what those things meant to her.
The book gripped me from the start. Austin candidly explained that some recent personal changes resulted in a certain measure of spiritual upheaval. As she entered into this particularly dry season, she was looking for some times of refreshing and seized the opportunity to tour Israel when the chance presented itself. The story of how her journey began was compelling and relatable. The historical information and Scripture passages, combined with her personal insights added wonderful depth to well-known passages and gave a greater context for how to read the Bible. When she explained the Jewish concept of Sabbath and the Passover meal, it made me want to study my Bible more in the context of the Jewish faith in order to glean further insights.
The book included a number of illustrations depicting various landmarks and items around Israel. They added a nice touch to the book itself and helps the reader to have a better picture of some of the things that she is talking about.
I've been a fan of Lynn Austin for a long time and really enjoyed this non-fiction work. She did a spectacular job of really making Israel come alive by weaving together history, Scripture, and her own insights. I highly recommend this book!
(I've received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers through the Book Blogger program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
I can not recommend this book enough. I have enjoyed Lynn Austin's writing for years, especially her five book series based on Biblical books of Chronicles and Kings. She made those Old Testament characters come to life. Therefore, it was with great anticipation that I read PILGRIMAGE, and it exceeded my expectations. In this non-fiction account of her most recent trip to Israel, she shared her own faith journey, her thoughts and emotions while seeing and experiencing her Israel tour, appropriate Bible verses, and her own, heart-felt spiritual insights as her trip unfolded. I have never been to the Holy Land and read within arms-reach of my computer to enable to see pictures of the places she described. I loved sharing her thoughts and feelings as I vicariously joined her in her journey. The book is written in an almost conversational, very readable style, and I appreciated my time on this pilgrimage with her. I received an advanced copy of the book through The Book Club Network for my honest opinion.