What should I say about Jerusalem Rising: Adah’s Journey by Barbara M. Britton? My thoughts about this book have been tumbling around in my mind for some time now, as you can ascertain by the late summer setting of the cover photo!
I first discovered Adah’s Journey when I was processing some new library books to be moved over to our regular fiction section; it’s a small book, and the unknown author and publishing imprint (Harbourlight Books) held my interest. It promised the imagined story of Adah bat Shallum, one of the unnamed daughters recorded as rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem with their father in Nehemiah chapter three. Having no brothers, Adah steps forward and volunteers as a laborer in an act of faith in God as well as a desire to see her father’s name honored and remembered in Nehemiah’s records. Of course, rebuilding the wall is a smooth, peaceful process, right? Wrong, as anyone who’s read the book of Nehemiah knows! Challenges present themselves and Adah plays a role in helping overcome many of them.
Truthfully, this story has what I would call an “unfinished” quality; I felt as if I was reading an excellent second draft that still needed a round or two of polishing. To be fair, most of the problems were small—a number of typos and grammar errors that could have been easily fixed, for example. One fairly substantial character was barely developed and had an unlikely/weak backstory. Even the cover of this book feels underwhelming to me, as if the publishers could have given it a professional finish but perhaps didn’t have the budget. The romances were Hallmark movie style, so expect the characters to experience lots of heart fluttering… and yearnings… and tingly sensations…
All that said, if you’re looking for a lighter, shorter read about a young woman trying to more actively trust God, this may be just the book for you. If you relish a sensory experience, like me, you may also take joy in Adah’s talent as a perfumer– as the different oils and herbs are pleasantly mingled and described throughout the story. 3/5 Stars.