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Hi, reader friends! Today, we welcome our author friend Mesu Andrews as part of a book tour for her new release!
about the book
Hope Springs from Despair in Beautiful Tale Inspired by Biblical Prophecy and Hebrew Tradition
“Andrews (Miriam) continues her mission to explore the lives of lesser-known women of the Bible in this thrilling account of Hephzibah, the wife of King Hezekiah of Judah. Andrews’s excellent tale invites readers to have a new appreciation for the time of the prophets and to reconsider what trust in God truly means.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Gifted Bible teacher and award-winning author Mesu Andrews reaches into the pages of Biblical prophecy and Hebrew tradition to unearth a rags-to-royalty story of the devastated orphan, Ishma—meaning “desolation”—in Isaiah’s Daughter: A Novel of Prophets and Kings (Jan. 16, 2018, WaterBrook).
At just 5 years old, Ishma’s life crumbles around her when Israelite soldiers violently kill her family and take her into captivity. Upon her release, the royal prophet Isaiah welcomes her into his home where she meets Prince Hezekiah (Hezi)—a boy who has also experienced great tragedy. Ishma and Hezi bond in their suffering, and as they grow in age, so does their love for each other.
Aware of their developing relationship, Isaiah adopts Ishma as his daughter and presents her with a new name that will qualify her to marry royalty—Hephzibah (Zibah), meaning “delight of the Lord.”
Hezi and Zibah marry, but after difficult times of barrenness, Assyrian aggression, disease and challenging prophecies from Isaiah, Zibah learns that loving her husband will require more of her than she ever imagined.
Isaiah’s Daughter brings the story of Hephzibah to life and shines a new light on the Old Testament and life of the prophet Isaiah. Readers will find that this beautiful tale inspires them to place their trust in the Lord, no matter how bleak their circumstances, knowing that even the most desolate can be transformed into His delight.
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about the author
Mesu Andrews is an author and speaker who has devoted herself to passionate study of Scripture. Harnessing her deep love for God’s Word, Andrews brings the biblical world alive for her audiences.
Mesu and her husband, Roy, have two grown children and (Praise God!) a growing number of grandkids. They live in Washington, where Roy serves as the academic dean at Multnomah Biblical Seminary. They have a Staffordshire Terrier named Zeke who keeps Mesu company while she writes.
Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes (the story of Job), won the 2012 ECPA debut Book of the Year. She has since published biblical novels touching on the lives of King Solomon, Hosea and Gomer, Queen Athaliah, Pharaoh’s Daughter, and Miriam.
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Can you tell us about your new book, Isaiah’s Daughter?
Isaiah’s Daughter is a story of both tragedy and triumph. It tells of difficult days in Judah’s history under King Ahaz’s reign, when moral bankruptcy and child sacrifice led to a nation on the verge of destruction. A little girl named Ishma sees her parents brutally murdered and is led into captivity, but a series of events finds her miraculously delivered to the prophet Isaiah’s home to live—so it seems—as a servant in his household. The rest of the story follows this little girl from captive orphan to captivating queen, and I hope readers will feel the same wonder I felt as I watched the story unfold through my research.
What was the most fascinating information you discovered in your research for this book?
I think the prophet Isaiah walking around barefoot and naked for three years (Isa. 20) was pretty fascinating—and quite shocking! Perhaps even more fascinating was the idea that Isaiah may have thought Hezekiah was the suffering Messiah he spoke of in Isaiah 53. Christians see that chapter as a clear description of Jesus Christ, but some of my research made a strong case that Isaiah might have thought Hezekiah “took up [Jerusalem’s] pain and bore [their] suffering” with his near-death illness in Isaiah 38. This book really made me think about how prophets might have viewed their own words in their current circumstances.
What do you hope your readers will take away from Isaiah’s Daughter?
Two things. I hope they’ll realize that our only true security rests in the eternal love and life Jesus provides. And I hope when they get confused or discouraged in their faith—that all they do know about Him will help them trust Him for all they don’t know about Him.
How has your research and writing of biblical fiction impacted your understanding of God?
Thankfully, I’ve had two incredible editors, who won’t allow me to just write a story. They make me dig deeper into the characters to pull out meaning from the conflicts and events of the plot. When the characters learn something—that means I have to learn it with them. It’s not always fun, and it’s never easy, but it’s always worth it.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
Summer of 2018, I’ll release a novella in The Psalm Series, based on Psalm 137, called By the Waters of Babylon. It follows one of Jerusalem’s exiles into Babylon and explores her emotional transition to a foreign land. But it also affirms the truth that God always keeps His promises.
Winter of 2019 follows with a full-length novel on Daniel’s life and ministry in Babylon. I’m really excited about this time-slip format that spans Judah’s seventy years in exile. Daniel’s earnest desire is to find the Ark of God’s presence so he can send it with the remnant of Jews returning to Jerusalem. Unfortunately, no one seems to know if the Ark made it to Babylon after King Nebuchadnezzar’s three attacks on Jerusalem. In an effort to find the Ark in Babylon’s empire, Daniel and his wife, Abigail, recount the beloved stories in the Book of Daniel, and we join generations of treasure hunters in pursuit of the lost Ark.
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Waterbrook has generously provided a copy of Isaiah’s Daughter for one Faithfully Bookish reader!
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Thank you to Waterbrook and Mesu Andrews for sharing with us today!
Do you have a favorite Mesu Andrews book, reader friends?
Let us know if Mesu is new to you!
23 thoughts on “Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews: book spotlight + q&a”
Love Amid the Ashes! Job is such an obscure character in Biblical fiction, which makes it all the more interesting!
I agree, it’s so exciting to learn new things while enjoying a story! Oh, I can’t wait to get my hands on Mesu’s backlist!
Mesu is a new author for me. I love Biblical fiction. I’m excited to read Isaiah’s Daughter.
She is one of my biblical fiction favorites, Caryl! You’ll love her stories!
Mesu Andrews is new to me, but I’d love to read “Isaiah’s Daughter’. Thanks for the information on the book as well as author. Enjoyed reading the Q&A.
2clowns at arkansas dot net
I’m delighted to introduce you to Mesu and her work, Kay!
great post. I really want to read this book. wow, I need to go back and read the book of Isaiah. this is a new author to me and I would like to explore her writing.
Isn’t it wonderful when stories draw us into the Word to investigate?! It’s the BEST side effect of biblical fiction!
This is a new author to me but I’ve recently been seeing this book pop up and now want to start reading this author’s work.
I have Mesu’s books on my to-read list but I haven’t read one yet. I would love to get this one. It looks really good!
Unfortunately, I’ve fallen waaaay behind in reading Mesu’s books. I enjoyed The Treasures of His Love series. I actually just bought Miriam today as it is on sale for Kindle. And I’m very excited to read the story of Hezekiah and his wife. I’ve always been interested in this king.
She is a new-to-me author. Although I have heard of her and some of her books, I have never read one yet. I would love to read this new book of hers!
Yes, Musa is new to me. Thank you for the introduction!
She is a new author to me. Sounds like an amazing book!
Mesu Andrews is an amazing writer! I loved “Love Amid the Ashes” and “In the Shadow of Jezebel”.
Thanks for the spotlight. I haven’t read any of Mesu’s books yet, but I’ve heard such great things about them. This one sounds wonderful.
Mesu is a new author to me. My SIL mentioned Mesu at a Christmas get-together. I haven’t read any of Mesu’s books yet.
Saying hi! Wow, I must have skipped the part in the Bible about walking naked for 3 years. Yikes!
My grandmother once mentioned to me that there was a prophet some considered to be an incarnate of Jesus, but I never could remember who she said….
I would love to read this book 🙂
Mesu is a new author for me.
Hello! Mesu is a new author to me and I’m VERY excited to get to know her and her books. This book sounds wonderful and I am truly looking forward to reading it! Thank you for the chance to win.
Haven’t read Mesu’s work yet, would love to win this 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!
So, I am a little bit embarrassed to say this, but I haven’t read a Mesu book yet (head down in shame 😉 ). But I definitely want to! Thanks for the giveaway!!