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Brown, "Fires of Jerusalem" (reviewed by Tristi Pinkston) Options · View
Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 1:02:52 AM

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Title: Fires of Jerusalem
Author: Marilyn Brown
Publisher: Parables
Genre: Historical fiction
Year Published: 2011
Number of Pages: 238
Binding: Trade Paperback
ISBN10: n/a
ISBN13: 978-1-4276-4977-5
Price: $14.95

Reviewed by Tristi Pinkston for the Association for Mormon Letters

Marilyn Brown has long been an example of literary acumen in this market, and her new release, "Fires of Jerusalem," is a fitting addition to her already accomplished library. The first several pages read more like a literary novel than anything else, but then we step back from that voice and take on a more traditional historical tone as we delve deeper into the story.

Brown examines the life of the prophet Jeremiah from the time of his youth as he came face-to-face with the evils of the world in which he lived and sought to understand why so many people had turned their hearts from God. We see his astonishment when he is told by the Lord that he had been chosen from before his birth to fulfill a special mission during his lifetime. We see him fall in love and marry, later to suffer unspeakable heartbreak. Throughout it all, we read text from the Old Testament as it is recorded in our own Bibles today, showing Jeremiah's prophecies and the revelations he received in response to the things going on around him.

As this novel is fiction, the story, of course, has elements within it that aren't exactly historically documented, but are entirely plausible. Jeremiah's marriage, for instance, is the invention of the author, but why shouldn't he have been married? In fact, I wished that perhaps a little more literary license had been taken to give us just a little more romance, but that isn't the main message of the book. The parts of the story that are based on history are very well researched and presented, and I found myself wondering how much time was invested in this novel's outcome - this certainly was not dashed off in an afternoon.

If I were to choose a target audience for this novel, I would recommend it to students of history. I found it to be a serious, uplifting undertaking, and I learned things about Jeremiah and the city of Jerusalem at his time that I didn't know. Some of the sins as fictionalized toward the front of the book might be too much for a younger reader, although they are not gratuitous in nature, but rather, included to set the stage for the times and to show why the people needed prophets so badly.

I did discover some typos and other slight errors in the text, but they did not detract from the overall enjoyment I felt for the book. I found myself more intrigued by the times in which Jeremiah lived, and I'm now eager to set on a course of study of all his writings, now that I have more historical context against which to base my reading.

Marilyn Brown is to be congratulated for this newest accomplishment, and I look forward to seeing what she produces next.
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