Up From Dust Book Review

Posted by abakersp in Mystery/Suspense, Reviews / Spotlights / 1 Comment

Reading friends, I’ve found my favorite read of 2024. I really don’t think there is going to be a book that compares to this one. It touched my deeply. It made me weep, laugh, smile, and all the other emotions that would be too much to list here. Even if you don’t think you care for biblical fiction, I encourage you to read this. It is WELL worth your time.

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About the Book

Up From Dust Book ReviewUp from Dust
Author Heather Kaufman
Published by Baker Publishing Group
on January 23, 2024
Genres: Fiction / Christian / Biblical, Fiction / Christian / Historical, Fiction / Religious
Pages: 352

"A biblical story with a heart for today's world, pulling out an array of joy and hope, sorrow and loss."--Mesu Andrews, award-winning author

"Taking us on an intriguing journey through heartbreak and healing, Heather Kaufman leads her readers directly to the joy of the empty tomb."--Connilyn Cossette, award-winning author

Martha of Bethany is no stranger to adversity. After her mother's untimely death, Martha shoulders the responsibility of raising her siblings--quiet and studious Lazarus, and wild and rambunctious Mary. She finds solace in friendship and the beginnings of first love, but just as Martha begins to imagine a new future, hardship strikes again and her dreams crumble into dust.

Ten years later, Martha's friend pleads for the new teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, to come and heal her husband. When Martha discovers that the carpenter-rabbi is connected to her past, she's not sure she can trust him with her future. But as he continues to perform miracles, the invitation to believe becomes harder to resist, renewing Martha's hardened heart, even as she faces an unknown future.

Amazon | Goodreads | Baker Book House

My Perspective

I’m not sure there are any words to give justice to how much I enjoyed this story. Let me start by saying this is my favorite biblical fiction novel ever. I have read a lot, from some amazingly talented authors. But there’s just something about Kaufman’s writing that is different. And for a debut biblical fiction author – wow. I am in awe. Her writing is beautiful, poetic, and simply breathtaking. I have never read a biblical fiction novel this fast before. I simply couldn’t pull myself away.

Now, while I understand this is a work of fiction, I have to say that Kaufman’s creativity to fill in the missing pieces from what we read in the bible felt so realistic and so on point. I could see Martha having these feelings, these issues, everything. And while we’ll never know this side of heaven, it had me grabbing my bible and relooking at all I could read about Martha and her journey. It had me weeping when I thought about how Lazurus died, but then Jesus brought him back to life. It had me pondering what it would have been like to have Jesus in my home, having not yet decided if He was truly the Messiah or not, and witnessing things He did. How my heart would have changed, and how I would have reacted to different circumstances. Truly, this book was so thought provoking, and yet I didn’t want to take the moments to think until after I had reached the end because I was totally engrossed with how Kaufman presented it.

Then there was the sweet love story between Martha and a name I’ll refrain from saying so you can read it for yourself. I never really thought about that happening for Martha, but it certainly could have. And it was so well written. I have to stop there because I want you to see for yourself.

Heather Kaufman has exceeded any expectation I had of reading this novel. Far surpassed in fact. Readers of the faith will enjoy seeing Martha’s story from her perspective. Historical fiction fans will enjoy it as well, as Kaufman just brings this time period to life in a way I’ve never seen done before. I encourage everyone to read this story. It is my #1 read for this year, and I imagine it will not lost it’s spot. It touched my heart. It had me yearning for more time with Jesus. And when I got to the end, I was in tears (partly because of the faith theme and partly because it was over). Do yourself a favor and read it. Request your library to get a copy. Let your friends and family borrow it when you’re done. I promise it will have a big impact.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My Favorite Quotes

I see His hand in my story like a weaver’s shuttle through the warp, steady and sure, pulling here, loosening there, doing the work necessary for beauty.

Perhaps people were not always what they seemed.

Pain before blessing. Dark before light. Sadness before joy. All good things comes in time.

Worry is like a ravenous beast, child. The more you feed him, the more he wants and the harder he’ll go after it.

Sometimes love engulfs us suddenly, like a consuming fire.

“All we can do, child, is give ourselves up to our Creator. He knows our frame. He remembers that we are dust. It is He who gives and takes away. It is our part to bless the name of Yahweh.

I would choose to turn my eyes from what I lacked and look instead to what Yahweh in His wisdom had chosen to give me.

In loving Him with our whole being, our hearts will be fertile ground, ready to receive all that Yahweh ordains for us. So that when the hard and the good come into our lives, they land in the soil that will produce fruit.”

About the Author

Heather Kaufman lives in the Midwest with her husband and three children. She holds a BA from McKendree University and an MA from the University of Missouri—St. Louis. When not reading or writing, she can be found drinking copious amounts of coffee and exploring new parks with her family.

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