Time Period: 1052 BC
Setting: Ashdod, Philistia
Between The Wild Branches by Connilyn Cossette is the sequel to To Dwell Among Cedars and an astounding, heart throbbing conclusion to the Covenant House Series. This is Lukio’s story, and if you remember him from the first book, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll fall in love with this runaway rebel.
The first book in the series, To Dwell Among Cedars, began in the Philistine city of Ashdod, then moved into the land of Israel. Between The Wild Branches is fully set in Ashdod, giving readers a unique look into the Philistine culture of that day. I’ve read a lot of Biblical Fiction over the last few years, and I just loved how the setting in this book was so unique and different. The author also developed Lukio and Shoshana’s characters deeply and introduced new characters you’ll fall in love with. Altogether, this novel is now going to be my favorite Connilyn Cossette book!
What makes this book so significant for me were the characters and the plot twists. There were many times I wondered, “why did the author just reveal such an important part of the plot so early on?” Well, it was because there were so many more things coming I had no idea about! Though this book contains everything we love in an Old Testament story – things like romance, bravery and a beautiful redemption story – there’s just so much more to this book. There’s sacrifice, redemption, honor…and a cast of characters you won’t forget. The author truly addressed so many issues we face in today’s world with this ancient story between two peoples who fought each other. There’s so much to be gleaned from this story! I would definitely call this novel “original”.
Also, Lukio is like my favorite character now. Though there is a ten year gap between this book and the first one, all that you loved about him stayed the same and all the personality traits you disliked were…matured.
Conclusion: Cossette knocked it out of the park with this one on so many levels! Lukio’s story covered so much… Redemption and repentance like the prodigal son; sacrifice and danger that comes with risking everything to see others safe. The elements in this novel were so real and moving. Though it was very much in an ancient context, every theme presented is applicable for today. Another AMAZING book from Connilyn Cossette!