About the Book
Book: Until the Mountains Fall
Series: Cities of Refuge #3
Author: Connilyn Cossette
Genre: Historical Fiction, Biblical Fiction
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Recently widowed, Rivkah refuses to submit to the Torah law compelling her to marry her husband’s brother and instead flees Kedesh, hoping to use her talents as a scribe to support herself. Without the protection of her father, Kedesh’s head priest, and the safety of the city of refuge, Rivkah soon discovers that the cost of recklessness is her own freedom.
Malakhi has secretly loved Rivkah for years, but he never imagined his older brother’s death would mean wedding her himself. After her disappearance, he throws himself into the ongoing fight against the Canaanites instead of dwelling on all he has lost. But with impending war looming over Israel, Rivkah’s father comes to Malakhi with an impossible request.
As the enemies that Rivkah and Malakhi face from without and within Israel grow more threatening each day, is it too late for the restoration their wounded souls seek?
With a nod to The Prodigal Son and Hosea and Gomer stories in the Bible, Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cossette packs a serious punch. This is a novel that I won’t soon forget. It is amazing, engaging, and so unputdownable that it took me only two sittings to read. I loved everything about this story — the adventurous plotline, the realistic and endearing characters, the setting, and the historical detail. It is very clear that Cossette conducted some serious and thorough research for this stellar story. My most favorite aspect of this novel is the timely messages weaved throughout the pages. Until the Mountains Fall made me look within and acknowledge some of my own personal issues. I love this novel for allowing me the opportunity to not just read a fabulous story, but to also partake in such a personal journey. Until the Mountains Fall is an absolute gem and my only regret is that it took me so long to get to this book. This is a must-read novel for sure!
One of the things that shocked me is how many Israelites turned from Yahweh and became complacent and self-righteous so soon after settling in the Promised Land. Many outrightly threw away God’s rules in regard to intermarriage, idolatry, religious rituals, and business practices. And, what may be worse, many outwardly looked like they were Yahwehists, but in reality, were as worldly as the Canaanite culture they inwardly subsumed. This is devastating. Many of these people were old enough to remember the Shekinah leading them by a cloud during the day and fire by night. Many saw the miracles done in the wilderness. They knew God’s goodness. And yet, the draw to the Canaanite lifestyle and religious practices, the debauchery and self-centeredness of worldly society, proved to be too strong for many Israelites to withstand. By the time of Until the Mountains Fall, the Israelites have created a new religion where some of the Torah has been smooshed into Canaanite beliefs. What struck me even more were the Levite priests and other Israelite leaders who just let it all happen. There is a moment where Malakhi reflects on the debasement of Edrei, an Israelite city, and he states, “Levites walked in the market with tzitzit at the corners of their garments discussing points of the Torah while passing stalls offering idols and amulets that broke those same laws.” In addition, a character named Baz comments, “The tribes are doing half the job and calling it obedience. Where is the outcry?” Both of these insights broke my heart. I imagine God in Heaven, His heart bleeding because after all He had done for His people, the truth was they just did not want Him in their lives.
I am reminded of Jesus talking to the Pharisees in Matthew 23. At one point, Jesus says, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (27-28). This is exactly what Malakhi observed during his time in Edrei. The Levites in the market were so busy LOOKING like they were good Yahwehists discussing Torah, but they failed to DO what they should have done when they walked past stalls selling religious idols in Israel. Should they have shamed the merchants publically? No! But they should have done something to shut it down. They should have stood up for God. Outwardly, they looked good — knowledgeable Levites discussing God’s Law. But inwardly, they were as debased as the sellers of the idols. These Levites complacently walked by, did half the job as Baz states in the novel, and called themselves obedient because they weren’t selling or worshipping ugly things.
The Bible is all about hearing AND doing God’s Word. When Baz mentions that the tribes were doing half a job and calling it obedience, my heart stuttered in my chest. When I think about Jesus calling out the Pharisees’ and Scribes’ hypocrisy and lawlessness, I don’t think about the bad Pharisees and Scribes, I think about myself. Am I only doing half a job as the Levites Malakhi sees do in this novel and call it obedience? Or do I give God my all? Am I legit, or nothing more than a whitewashed sepulcher? I would love to say that I am wholeheartedly hearing and doing God’s Word every single day, but that would be an absolute lie. I daily make mistakes, and that is why I am SUPER grateful for God’s mercy and grace and love and forgiveness. I don’t want to be a whitewashed sepulcher. I don’t want to do half a job and call it obedience. I want to be the woman God desires me to be.
Until the Mountains Fall is an exquisite read. I know my review is long, but it doesn’t even cover 1/16th of what is contained in the pages of this magnificent story. Until the Mountains Fall is a novel that must be experienced. If you have not yet read this story, I implore you to purchase a copy today. You will NOT want to miss this journey.
I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on July 2, 2019, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.