I was so excited to read my first book by Connilyn Cossette based on the reviews I had read about the Out of Egypt series. Her book, A Light on the Hill, is book one in a new Cities of Refuge series, and it is a must read. I’ll be honest, I love reading historical fiction but this was my first read in the biblical fiction genre and I am so happy to have started with this book because it was a fantastic novel and I’m already looking forward to seeing book two in this series!
The book begins in 1406 BC Jericho, where we find Moriyah kidnapped by Midianite traders and about to receive a mark of the Canaanite gods which will leave a permanent scar on her face. Moriyah covers this scar with a veil whenever she is out among people, and finds herself retreating to her home more and more to avoid the shame this mark brings in her eyes. I was a bit concerned that I would have a hard time imagining the world that this book was set in, considering how far back in history we were delving into. There was nothing to be worried about because all five senses were brought into the story to make the reader immersed into the setting and action. We smell a new spice that Moriyah discovers at the local market, or hear the silvery leaves of an aspen tree as they moved in a night breeze, then feeling the raised scar on Moriyah’s cheekbone, imagine the sight of a pool of water described as “look like turquoise jewels embedded into the ground” from a story told by a person exploring neighboring lands, and a taste of Chickpea Stew as Moriyah’s blind friend Ora savors the ingredients she is enjoying in her favorite dish.
Now if you are excited about exploring this book for the incredible descriptions, the plot and action of story will have you reading far into the nighttime hours because you won’t be able to put it down. Moriyah has been living a fairly solitary life on her fathers vineyard, but her father decides that she needs to find someone to take care of her when he is no longer around. He finds a husband for her who is a widower with two sons that she would help to raise. At first she is happy at the prospect but when a series of events happen, this proposed union takes a turn that finds Moriyah responsible for a horrible accident. She is forced to flee for her life to the Levitical cities of refuge and an opportunity to plead her case. The journey is a treacherous one and the people she meets along the way can either help her or hurt her but it’s not always clear which path will be taken.
From start to finish this book will keep you wanting to turn the next page and find out how Moriyah’s fate and faith will be tested. I hope you enjoy A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette as much as I did.
Disclosure: Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.