Ishma, a name meaning desolation, proves sadly appropriate for a five-year-old, traumatized orphan. With only herself and her friend, Yaira, Ishma arrives in the prophet Isaiah's home so deeply wounded that she has lost her words. It is there she meets the young prince Hezekiah, whose own wounds have paralyzed his mind and body. Almost immediately, Prince Hezekiah and Ishma bond on a deep level. In each other, they find restoration and confidence. As they grow older, they challenge each other, play together, and fall in love. However, Ishma's status as an orphan makes her an unsuitable match for Hezekiah until Isaiah adopts her and renames her Hephzibah, meaning delight of the Lord. But the friendship is only the beginning of a lifelong relationship that will be challenged by war, disease, and infertility. As Zibah's future unfolds, she struggles between the prophetic meanings of her names: desolate and delight of the Lord. Will she be able to trust in the One who holds life, death, kings, nations, and her own heart? Read more in Isaiah's Daughter: A Novel of Prophets and Kings by Mesu Andrews.
I started reading the Biblical book of Isaiah about the same time I started reading Isaiah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews. As far as I can tell, Isaiah's Daughter is well-researched and lines up with the Scripture. Both books contain times of great beauty and dark desolation. Throughout Isaiah's Daughter, the author addresses prophecy versus opinion. Characters grapple with discerning the line where prophetic truth ends and opinion begins. They struggled, they prayed, they questioned, even doubted. Just as we do in our lives today.
Likewise, I found a beautiful parallel for the lives we desire to live today in Hezekiah and Zibiah's relationship. The reader observes Hezekiah and Ishma/Zibah grow from wounded children into full-grown adults dealing with the issues of ruling a kingdom. Their relationship is based on solid friendship and respect. Therefore, when romantic love grows, it is infused with loyalty, devotion, and mutual admiration. Through the hard times they remain true to each other, and true to Yahweh.
Isaiah's Daughter is the fourth book I've read by Mesu Andrews and it is my favorite. I recommend this back to all fans Christian fiction. It is a beautiful, moving read that will not only entertain, but draw the reader closer to God.
Read an excerpt from Isaiah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews on the publisher's website.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."