I first encountered Francine Rivers’ books about two years ago when the Women's Ministry at Covenant Church decided to do a multi-campus book study of her wildly popular series Lineage of Grace (the story of the 5 women whose names and stories are shared in the Bible as part of the lineage of Jesus Christ the Messiah). I was captivated by the tapestry of history and poetic license Francine Rivers wove together to cause well-known stories to leap off of the page and draw the reader in. It was good to know I wasn’t the only “captivated” one. The Covenant Worship study group of which I was a part had plenty to talk about, laugh about, cry about, and consider as a result of what we read each week. Since then, I've read many more of Francine Rivers’ books. So, when I was gifted with this one, A Voice in the Wind, it took a great amount of self-control for me not to begin reading it that very evening - a school night. You see, I know how Francine Rivers’ books work: I begin reading after work around 6pm, look up to realize it's after 10pm, set the book aside, ready myself for bed, come back, read for another hour or so, force myself to put to book down to get some sort of sleep, wake up four hours later, and then sleepily attempt to functionally carry on the day - praying for God’s mercy and strength. It's a deliciously vicious cycle I get into every time I pick up a Francine Rivers book.
When I finally began reading A Voice in the Wind on a Friday evening – two long days after I had originally received it, I knew I was done and I would once again be swept into the aforementioned cycle. The strategically chosen words generate vivid pictures of the face, fear, and torture of Hadassah, a young girl who is entangled in the prophesied ruin of Jerusalem, the diaspora of its people, and the dominance and established debauchery of the Roman Empire. Hadassah's journey of desperately clinging to the hand of God - through trials that make my own look like child's play - took me on a roller coaster of emotions as I recall gasping, aching, and calling - aloud, mind you - various characters, idiots, or spawns of Satan, then finally I was left stunned, absolutely speechless.
Though I had no words, one character had plenty to say as he spit his disdain against the remnant saying, "but those who call themselves righteous, never relent." Hadassah is one of those relentless ones. Though her story is set in a time I can only read about, those who are relentless are timeless. A Voice in the Wind isn't just fiction for entertainment's sake. It’s purposeful fiction that leaves the reader convicted to consider the Voice in the Wind that whispers, "I am with you, Daughter. I love you, Mighty One. Be relentless." Despite knowing how Francine Rivers’ books work, I really thought I'd be able to read this one and come away unchanged - silly me. Thank you, Francine Rivers.
This book is the first in a series called Mark of the Lion. Upon finishing A Voice in the Wind, I promptly downloaded the rest of the series. Yep, it's just that good, ladies.
Shelli currently resides in Dallas, Texas where she teaches high school Spanish. She uses her diverse classroom experiences & knowledge of well-researched instructional strategies to train, coach, and support colleagues on her campus, in her school district, and across the state.
With a heart for education, her boundaries are edges of the world. Urged to "GO," Shelli has found herself profoundly impacted by various & sundry people, cultures, and languages.
Shelli is actively involved at Covenant Church, founded by Pastors Mike and Kathy Hayes in Carrollton, Texas.
Find Shelli on Twitter: @ariel_lioness