Where We Belong by Lynn Austin {book review}

Where We Belong by Lynn Austin {book review}

With skill and emotion, Lynn Austin brings to life the adventure of a lifetime for two indomitable socialite sisters as they seek to find God’s purpose for their lives.


In the city of Chicago in 1892, the rules for Victorian women are strict, their roles limited. But sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not typical Victorian ladies. Their love of adventure and their desire to use their God-given talents has brought them to the Sinai Desert–and into a sandstorm.

Accompanied by Soren Petersen, their somber young butler, and Kate Rafferty, a street urchin who is learning to be their ladies’ maid, the two women are on a quest to find an important biblical manuscript. As the journey becomes more dangerous and uncertain, the four travelers sift through memories of their past, recalling the events that shaped them and the circumstances that brought them to this time and place.

My Reaction:

This is the fifteenth book I have read by Lynn Austin. She is one of my favorite authors. I love historical fiction and I love how Lynn Austin blends history, characters, story, and faith.

That being said, honestly it took me awhile to warm up to this book and its characters. At some point in my reading I figured out that the book is written in four sections, from four different viewpoints, with each character going back to their beginnings. For two of the characters that involved decades of experiences. I believe this caused the disconnect in the beginning.

However, I hate books that bounce back and forth in time, or from one viewpoint to another, so overall this format was wonderful, once I realized there were missing pieces to be filled in later. The author’s ability to weave the history and the characters into the story is amazing, and this book is no exception.

I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages, genders, and backgrounds.

The fact that this story is based on real life characters in a different location, who lived some of these amazing events makes it an even more wonderful story. And, as always, the faith base of the story, and the weaving it in throughout the book is amazing and an added bonus. It’s not people spouting meaningless Bible verses, but rather people living out their faith for others to see, as it should be.

The depth which was lacking in the beginning of the book was far outweighed by the depth of character at the end. The reader can’t tell which way the story is going, or predict the characters’ responses. The book is about relationships, primarily with God and family, but mostly about finding what one is meant to do in life, regardless of wealth or position. It’s about needy people and people who care about them.

Real people, real problems, real gifts, and the Real God. Fascinating story!

I received my copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

My rating:  four stars

LynnAustinThe Author:  

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband’s work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she’d earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother, and daughter concerning the change in women’s roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve’s Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn’s lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Eight of her historical novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian Fiction: Hidden Places (2001), Candle in the Darkness (2002), Fire by Night (2003), A Proper Pursuit (2007), Until We Reach Home (2008), Though Waters Roar (2009) While We’re Far Apart (2010), and Wonderland Creek (2011). Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn’s novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

Lynn’s blogs about her writing process on her website, which also lists all of her books and links to her social media sites and places to purchase her books.

This review is also posted on Goodreads and christianbooks.com .




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