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Publisher's Summary

After years of watching his children and grandchildren wander from their faith, Iddo's prayers are answered: King Cyrus is allowing God's chosen people to return to Jerusalem. Jubilant, he joyfully prepares for their departure, only to learn that his family, grown comfortable in the pagan culture of Babylon, wants to remain. Zechariah, Iddo's oldest grandson, feels torn between his grandfather's ancient beliefs and the comfort and success his father enjoys in Babylon. But he soon begins to hear the voice of God, encouraging him to return to the land given to his forefathers.

Bringing to life the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Return to Me tells the compelling story of Iddo and Zechariah, the women who love them, and the faithful followers who struggle to rebuild their lives in obedience to the God who beckons them home.

©2013 Lynn Austin (P)2013 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
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Absolutely Amazing

What made the experience of listening to Return to Me the most enjoyable?

Lynn Austin's historical Biblical fiction has a way of bringing the Biblical history and prophecy narratives to life. So many things I've read and just passed by are contextualized in a way that makes me want to re-read and get a more full bodied grasp of the story lines. This narrator is one of my all-time favorites. Just an absolute pleasure on all levels.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Zechariah. Just understanding the process of a young boy being called to become a priest and prophet and following this progression, imagining what that would have been like, makes it so much more tangible and accessible to my spirit.

What about Suzanne Toren’s performance did you like?

The incredible inflection and tone of her voice, excellent ability to sound like various characters and so lovely to the ear. She enhances the reading of the book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Almost weeping with joy and amazement over the victories God brings after such harrowing challenges.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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I love it! My kids love it too!

What made the experience of listening to Return to Me the most enjoyable?

I love how Ms. Austin sticks to Scripture. There's no theological 'fudginess' in the book, so I never have to stop the book to explain things to my children.

What other book might you compare Return to Me to and why?

I enjoy Ms. Austin's biblical history novels the most, but Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series is also excellent.

Have you listened to any of Suzanne Toren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I'm not sure. Her voice sounds familiar, but when you listen to a lot of audio books, sometimes people get blurred.

If you could take any character from Return to Me out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Iddo for sure. What a man of strong convictions and devotion to the LORD and His word! I couldn't imagine the trouble he and real people like him truly faced in their daily battles to remain in the land and remain faithful to the LORD.

Any additional comments?

This is a really encouraging book for people struggling to stand up for the LORD amidst trying circumstances. The Bible doesn't give every detail because it doesn't need to, but in listening to this book, I've found a new appreciation for those returning exiles and all the challenges they must have faced. We find that in our culture today where people don't want to listen to God's word or have perseverance in the face or seemingly overwhelming odds. The LORD was faithful then and He will be faithful now because He doesn't change. I just smile because it's a story filled with turmoil, but we know how it ends and it brings joy to the heart. My kids absolutely love listening to this book. We listen in the car and we often find ourselves just sitting at our destination because no one wants to stop the book!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Good story

I really enjoyed the story, there are many great lessons in the book. I felt the story dragged on a bit bit but over all it was a good book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Historical and Wonderful!

I felt like I got insight into the ancient Hebrew experience. This book was interesting and the backdrop was spiritually engaging. The goodness of God us interwoven in these pages for a boost of faith in our own lives. Highly recommend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great content and well-read!

Characters were well-developed and when Raphie came after jael on her wedding night... Suspense was palpable! Narrator has a smooth voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful picture of zacheriah

I absolutely loved this story. It brought this bible story to life and gave me some idea of the real struggles of this time. The narration was stupendous. Of of the best narrators I've heard. Will read this one again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Return to Me

What made the experience of listening to Return to Me the most enjoyable?

The author follows the story line from the Bible

What did you like best about this story?

The character of Zachariah, how he sought to know God's will for his life.

Have you listened to any of Suzanne Toren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

First time

Who was the most memorable character of Return to Me and why?

I identified with Dinah, grandmother of Zechariah. She left so much in Babylon to return home to Jerusalem. She was devoted to her husband after a real trial and then to God.

Any additional comments?

I have enjoyed other books by Lynn Austin. It has helped me understand the times and lives of Israel during the periods of the Kings.<br/>

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Howard
  • Avon, CT, United States
  • 03-30-15

Gripping.

A beautifully crafted novel with great character development. Narration was excellent. The story brings to life the struggles all people have had striving to follow God while being led away by the distractions of the world. A great and needed message for the world today. Can't wait to start the next novel in the series.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding!

Loved the historical references and scripture weaved into a very intriguing storyline. I was riveted from the beginning and now want to study deeper into Zechariah. Highly recommend if you love historical fiction and bible stories!

  • Overall
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Very Well Done

I couldn't quite give this a full 5 stars, but it only had to do with storytelling. The story was a little bit slow (but probably about as fast-paced as it could have been while still being accurate), and sometimes the dialogue didn't feel very natural. Occasionally it fell prey to the usual Christian-media problem of being slightly too feel-good or perhaps soap opera-ish (I'm not sure exactly), but the primary line of story did not fall into this rut, as it was Biblically based, and the Bible is not feel-good. It might be nitpicky, but as someone who loves stories, I can't say it didn't bother me a little.

Overall, however, the story was really well done. You can tell Austin did plenty of research, and I enjoyed her characters, especially Zechariah and Yael. I will definitely be checking out the next book in the series. The story inspired me to think theologically quite a bit.

I did not like the narration much. It felt like my grandmother was telling me the story, and although I love my grandmother very much, the only POV she was properly equipped for was Dinah's (Zechariah's grandmother). I might have also preferred it to be sped up. I think it would have been better if they had selected a male narrator, at least for the voices of Zechariah and the other male characters. A younger narrator might have been nice at times too. Yael was occasionally irritating in Toren's voice too.

As far as her own abilities go, Toren has a wide variety of tones and it was easy to tell when she switched characters. I think she did as well as she was capable of; I simply didn't like the quality of her voice with this story.


Overall, I would recommend this book if you are interested in what was happening during the times of the minor prophets in the Old Testament. Specifically, this one is obviously about Zechariah, and also mentions Haggai.