Destiny’s Hands, by Violet Nesdoly (Word Alive Press, 2012)
Destiny’s Hands is the story of the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt as seen through the eyes of a gifted young Hebrew. Bezalel has trouble of his own, first as a slave and then as a free man, and family connections keep him close enough to Moses to observe the key events of the Exodus.
We may know the historical backdrop, but it’s interesting to stop and imagine what it felt like to the people living through it. They didn’t know what we know now, and Moses brought upheaval. Some believed, some didn’t. Most found it hard to trust Moses and to obey his instructions. Even sincere followers struggled with doubt and uncertainty.
The novel is a gentle read that acknowledges the harshness of the times but doesn’t dwell on the suffering. Instead its focus is the characters’ journey, both physical and spiritual. It covers the actual Exodus and the trip to Mount Sinai, including familiar elements like the crossing of the Red Sea, the grumbling in the wilderness, the golden calf and the Ten Commandments.
I enjoyed reading Bezalel’s story and the fresh look at his people’s liberation. My only disappointment was that it stopped so soon, and I’m hoping that means there’ll be a sequel. If you don’t know who the real Bezalel was, I won’t spoil it, but suffice to say God had a plan for his life. Destiny’s Hands ends as he steps into that purpose. I’d like to see him walk through it, and I’d like to see his people enter the Promised Land.
Canadian author Violet Nesdoly writes in many forms and genres. Destiny’s Hands was short-listed in Word Alive Press’ 2011 publishing contest, and it’s her first novel. To learn more about Violet, visit her website (previous link) and check out my interview with her: part 1 and part 2.
Thanks so much for this review, Janet! I so appreciate it… A sequel? I’m thinking about it.
No pressure about a sequel… but wouldn’t it be fun to follow Bezalel and his people into Canaan? And having studied a bit about the significance of some of what the real Bezalel crafted, I’d like to peek over his shoulder and watch him work. That might be hard to write and keep interesting, though.
Congratulations on your first novel!
An excellent review, Janet, and a very “fair” one. Loved “Destiny’s Hands” and would welcome a sequel.
Wasn’t it interesting to imagine ourselves there among the Israelites? And I’d never thought before about how some of the Israelites might have preferred to worship the Egyptian gods.