To Dwell Among Cedars by Connilyn Cossette
Eight years ago, when the Philistines stole and then surrendered the ark of the covenant back to the Israelites, Eliora left her Philistine homeland to follow the ark to the community of Kiryat Yearim. There, the family she was adopted into has guarded the ark at the top of a mountain in seclusion.
Ronen is a Levite musician determined to secret away the ark to a more fitting resting place, watched over by priests who would restore the Holy of Holies. He never expected that the Philistine girl he rescued years ago would now be part of the very family he’s tasked to deceive.
As Ronen’s attempts to charm Eliora lead them in unexpected directions, betrayal leaves Eliora with strained family ties and Ronen questioning his own loyalties. Ultimately, Eliora and Ronen are caught up in the battle for the soul of Israel and its future under the leadership of Samuel, the last judge before the era of the kings begins.
This book is my new favorite biblical fiction.
I loved the main character, she really came to life for me.
Arisa (And then Eliora) is a Philistine girl that has loved the Hebrews’ songs and stories from her earliest memories, because of a Hebrew slave that cared for her and her brother in the difficult times as orphans being raised in the home of their uncle, a high priest of the god Dagon.
When they must escape with their lives, they run after the Ark as they are instructed. They are adopted into the Hebrew culture and raised as members of Eleazar’s family.
Eliora always struggled with fitting in and knowing she is loved for who she is and not for what she does.
Connilyn Cossette has such a way of bringing those days to life in a way that we can understand and relate to.
I loved this story, and every part of it—characters, setting, and the details and culture.
It deals with issues that will probably resonate with almost anyone, and if you appreciate and enjoy biblical fiction, than this is a must read.
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