Title: Haven of Rest
Author: Faith Blum
Series: Tales of the East, book 4 (can be a stand-alone)
Major Themes: Biblical Fiction, Christian Fiction
Synopsis: Desperate to gain her father’s attention and affection, Adah arranges for a concert with his daughters—but can she trust that the Lord knows what’s best for her?
I’ve been excited about reading Haven of Rest for quite a few months now—ever since I first saw the cover, in fact. Having loved the first book in the series, I knew I’d probably enjoy this one, too. Well…it turns out this wasn’t the book I expected to read—I thought it was the second in the series! Being the fourth, I knew I needed to fill in my knowledge a bit more, so I bought all four of the Tales of the East books (who can lose at $.99 each?), and read the middle two before reading this one.
I must say—I loved Lo, How a Rose and Rock of Ages. Highly recommended, along with Trust and Obey. For me, though, I think the middle two of the series are my favorites so far. I’ve noticed that while I’ve enjoyed each of the books, they don’t have a huge amount of depth, and I felt like that really showed in Haven of Rest.
Frankly, I was disappointed with this book. But there were some elements I really enjoyed.
As the eldest daughter of King David, Adah feels somewhat responsible for the others. Longing for more connection with her father, she decides to host a concert in his honor—perhaps he will learn to pay more attention to his daughters after this, or at least try to spend a little more time with them! As they work to prepare the concert, she struggles with questions and doubts that this will actually work. What does Adonai want her to do? Can she find her true peace in Him—no matter what happens?
One of my favorite elements, as in all the other books, was the setting. I felt like the characters were mostly true to their setting, and it certainly did “feel” similar to the Ancient Israel that we read about in the Bible. I loved that, and was thankful for it!
I also loved how music played a big role in the beginning of Haven of Rest. The sentiments of the girls wanting to bless their father—and perhaps get some sort of recognition from him—was really sweet. I also loved the thread in the story about learning to submit to authorities, even when we don’t understand why they are asking us to do things we don’t agree with. This was a very interesting view of what it might have been like to be living at the time of David as one of his daughters.
There were a few things I questioned, though. I was quite confused about how the living system for the women was set up; I thought it was outdoor huts, but later it almost sounded like they just had rooms in a palace, so I wasn’t sure what to make of that. Also, I believe the women, as wives of King David, would have interacted a lot together—they were living right next to each other, after all, and, I believe, working together in a community sort of lifestyle (preparing food, doing the washing, making handicrafts together…). That didn’t come through in this story, somehow. The women and children acted like many of us in the western world with very separated lives and what seemed like little communication between each other during the day. It felt really unnatural to me, given the situation they were in!
In all, while I enjoyed many aspects of the book, some parts were jarring enough that I didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous ones in the series. It’s still a good story, and if you’re reading the rest of the series, I’d recommend you read it. Learning to trust the Lord—no matter what area you look at—is essential to the Christian life, and I felt like that was shared well in Haven of Rest.
I’m grateful to CelebrateLit for giving me a free review copy of this book, but I ended up buying my own copy soon after, and the bought book is the one I ended up reading and reviewing here. This is my honest opinion of the work.
WARNING: Chapter three has a girl praying, confessing that she fears for her brother who is possibly “seeing women he shouldn’t be for things he ought not to do”, and mentions how he grabbed her arm a couple days before.
Read Aloud—Ages 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15, 15 and Above