Cover Image: Shoshana’s Refuge

Shoshana’s Refuge

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Member Reviews

This is a very interesting story set during the time of King David in the Old Testament. It really opens your eyes to what Jews experienced before the birth of Christ. This book focuses on a Jewish teen girl who's forced to seek Sanctuary when she's suddenly accused of murder. Certain passages of Scripture truly came alive for me as well as the gripping storyline. This easy read definitely has a new age YA vibe to it and I know it will be a great fit for kids and adults all over the world!

Thanks netgalley for giving me the advanced copy so that I can share my thoughts and opinions with y'all 💛
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I really enjoyed this book, although it felt incredibly, eerily similar to Connilyn Cossette's first Cities of Refuge book. I found it interesting that this author seems to have been working on it for over a decade. This one was a little lighter reading than Cossette's books which made it a great recommendation for my 12-year old who loves Biblical fiction but isn't quite ready for the adult themes that are often included. We both very much enjoyed this book and have already recommended it to several of her tween and teen friends!

I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book from NetGalley but have already purchased two paperbacks - one to keep and one to give away!
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Shoshana's Refuge takes readers to Israel during the times of the high priests and brings them on a journey alongside a girl without a home as she searches for belonging and purpose among strangers. Our protagonist is used to settling for something she doesn't really want, but the day she is forced to flee for her life is the day that she discovers the choices open to her, and how much agency she has. I was excited for her as she met new friends and enemies, explored life without the family she'd come to rely on, and found a place for herself with people who cared for her. And that scene when she says she is tired of being the "useful" one, when the author showed how draining it was to be valued by how useful she was to other people instead of being truly loved, really spoke to me. 

Keren and Kaila, the twins who worked in the kitchens, were such fun, with their easygoing, chattery ways. And the musicians, Talia, Shoshana's sisters and father, and even the villains were engaging regardless of how likable they were. 

I'd recommend this book to those who enjoy Biblical fiction that does not fictionalize people from the Bible, relatable characters, and exotic settings. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. A positive review was not required.
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Good book.  Good storyline.  A little sappy with romance, but still interesting and engaging book about Old Testament biblical times.  A fairly easy, light read.
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It took me a while to get into this book because I thought that the tone of voice given to the characters, as well as the language used didn't fit the time period the book was set in. However, as I got into the story, the plot got more interesting. I like how the characters were not Biblical characters taken out of context, but rather ones made up by the author. With a little more work on the beginning, this could have been a much liked read!
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I always enjoy historical fiction set during Bible times, but I only want authenticity and not too much literary license.  This book did an excellent job of both.  None of the characters in the book are actually mentioned in the Bible, although vague reference is made to King David a couple of times.  I enjoyed learning how Sanctuary Cities may have operated.  I thought it was very important that Shoshana learn the difference between following the Law and having an actual relationship with God.  Very enjoyable read.

I gratefully received this free ARC book from NetGalley and the author in exchange for my unbiased opinion.
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I keep trying out different books of Biblical fiction. I like some of them, and I really dislike some, but I keep trying because I love historical fiction! My latest Biblical fiction read was Shoshana's Refuge, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. It was much better than the last one I read in this genre!I liked that the main characters were not people actually mentioned in the Bible, so there weren't so many details to line up with the Bible (or not). 
Shoshana, as a middle daughter in a family whose mother died several years ago. She had taken on the task of cooking for her father and sisters, even though her older sister was married. Cooking was what she excelled at. She knew no man would ever be interested in her, since she was so plain-featured. Then—a match was proposed, her father agreed, and the day she met her intended they had the betrothal feast. All was well, until the young man fell down dead in front of her, and evidence seemed to point to Shoshana having accidentally poisoned him. She had to flee the only home she had ever known, and reach Kedesh, the City of Refuge, before the Revenger of Blood found her.
Once in Kedesh, Shoshana floundered. She couldn't bring herself to do the only task she was good at, cooking, and she couldn't bear to stay penned up inside the walls all the time. But there was nowhere else for her to be safe! Why didn't her family come to visit? How could she live, here in exile? Meeting the Levite Ronen and helping him compose music to his songs helped—but she knew he just wanted her help and didn't care for her as a woman. What kind of future could she have?
I liked the wisdom that Ronen shared. One tidbit had to do with the fact that we are all image-bearers of God, and, as such, special. He also had a grasp on the fact that God wants a relationship with us, not just for us to follow the rules, and helped Shoshana and her family to understand it, too. I also loved the glimpse into how some of the Psalms may have been composed and sung, and the way the people of Israel worshipped in the time of Solomon.
This is a very clean book, which I liked very much. I liked the depth of character and spiritual insight woven through the story, and the lessons Shoshana learned. I loved the ending—what a surprising twist! I'm not sure how authentic it was, but it was a great ending to this story. This is a great glimpse into how the Cities of Refuge were supposed to work; I wonder if they actually did work as they were supposed to? I recommend Shoshana's Refuge to anyone who enjoys Biblical fiction, or just a good story. 
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: No warnings!
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Shoshana’s Refuge explores the struggles of a young Israelite woman during the reign of Solomon. The author has included some good research on the Biblical times and I felt like she portrayed things wells. To be honest, I thought the book was quite boring in the beginning and it took time to actually get into the story. But eventually this turned out better and I enjoyed reading about Shoshana's growth in the book.
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Thank you NetGalley and publisher for a copy of this book. This book surprised me, the beginning was bit of a drag but then as the story progressed I got invested into the story. Highly recommend.
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Shoshanna’s world was turned upside down when, after a terrible accident, she was forced to seek refuge in the city of Kedesh. Seeking refuge means a life bound to the city. She was not allowed to leave until the death of the current high priest. The story tells of how this single accidental event changed the course of her whole life. It chronicles the ups and downs, acceptance and denial of her situation.

I was a little surprised by this book. I was fully expecting not to like it, thinking it would be too preachy. It was a bit but mostly the “preachy” moments really followed the line of the story and didn’t become a distraction to the story. The storyline was engaging and the character development was very thoughtful and complete. I enjoyed this book very much and would definitely recommend it to readers of Christian fiction.

*this ARC was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for a fair review
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A wonderful bible story brought to life about a woman who had to seek refuge in Kedesh due to a mistake that led to a death.  According to the bible, has anyone who sought sanctuary due to a mistake and not malice would be would be welcomed, however they couldn't leave.  It's a very sad story.  The young woman starts out not really having true faith.  I was really surprised by the ending.  It actually made me cry.  I wish there were more biblical stories written.  I love how everything is researched, and written according to the historical times.
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I loved this book’s setting in Biblical times.  Shoshana’s story of having to escape to a City of Refuge is a compelling one.  The author did a wonderful job of helping the reader get to know and understand Shoshanna’s thoughts and struggles.    I found myself being drawn more and more into the story as I was reading, .  I came to care about her and her heartbreak at having to leave her family.  I also thought the author did an excellent job of incorporating the details of her research into the book and helping us to get a clear picture of what it might have been like to live in a City of Refuge.  There’s a clear message of faith and trusting God to help us in any situation we might face.

This would be a good book for older teenage girls.  The romance is clean and there’s nothing inappropriate in any way.  The story always points to God’s love for us and the importance of trusting Him in all things.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.
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Shoshana’s Refuge
by Donna Flower Lawrence
BJU Press 
 Christian  |  Teens & YA 
Pub Date 15 Oct 2020

I am reviewing a copy of Shoshana’s Refuge through BJU Press and Netgalley:

Shoshana’s Refuge is the story of a young Israelite woman during the reign of Solomon.  It talks about traditions, expectations, and the laws of the God of Jacob rise up like a prison around Shoshana, but she takes refuge in her favorite places: her kitchen and the top of the hill where she feels the breeze in her hair.

After an accident makes it to where she has to take refugee under the law of God and away from all that she loves, she struggles to see God’s grace in her circumstances. 

Will Shoshana be able to find freedom among God’s people?  Or will  she need to seek refugee somewhere else?

I give Shoshana’s Refuge five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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Shoshana’s Refuge
by Donna Flower Lawrence
Back of the Book: “Shoshana’s Refuge explores the struggles of a young Israelite woman during the reign of Solomon. Traditions, expectations, and the laws of the God of Jacob rise up like a prison around Shoshana, but she takes refuge in her favorite places: her kitchen and the top of the hill where she feels the breeze in her hair. When an accident forces her to take refuge under the law of God and away from all that she loves, she struggles to see God’s grace in her circumstances. Will she find freedom among God’s people? Or will she seek refuge somewhere else?”
Impressions: I really enjoyed this read and ended up staying up past my bedtime to finish it. 
Liked: This book was a heart check for me as Shoshana sought refuge and found grace, love, and forgiveness along the way. There were romance and drama as well but it was realistic and not overly drawn out. Overall, I enjoyed the character growth of Shoshana throughout this story.
Learned: Don’t judge someone by their circumstances. Exhibit more of God’s love and grace rather than judgment.
Quotes: “…I do not think that God is so insecure that He cannot stand it when we ask questions. As long as we accept that everything, He does need not make sense to our finite minds. Who wants to worship someone he can fully understand?”
“’…perhaps if He had fewer laws, we might actually have a chance.’ ‘Adam and Eve had only one law, and they failed.’” – What a point! 
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review shared here.
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I found this book a bit boring initially, but very soon became enthralled with Shoshana and all that she went through. It was an unexpected ending and I loved it!!
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