I just finished reading #Lioness #MahlahsJourney by Barbara M. Britton. Like, literally just finished about five or ten minutes ago. Normally, I'd wait a day or two to see how my thoughts on the book settle but this time I just couldn't wait. I just have to rave about Lioness: Mahlah's Journey, the Daughters of Zelophehad, and Barbara M. Britton (a new-to-me author).
I initially became interested in this book after I attended CFRR in April of this year (2019). I had the opportunity to chat with Mesu Andrews (author of Of Fire and Lions), about all things related to Biblical fiction and she told me to keep my eye out for this book. She had me write down Barbara M. Britton's name so that I would remember to add this and her other books to my TBR. Mesu knows that I am a bit of a "lioness" myself and am always on the prowl for new Biblical fiction, hence the recommendation.
When I was contacted by Barbara M. Britton and asked if I'd be interested in promoting the book and reading a copy, I instantly said yes. Despite the fact that I was still recovering from surgery, planning for another surgery, and in the thick of college classes, I knew I had to make time for this book. I was not disappointed.
Lioness: Mahlah's Journey was engaging right from the very beginning. I had no idea who the daughters of Zelophehad were, or even that they existed, like most readers, I assume. Because of this, I went into this book "blind," not knowing what to expect from the story.
My expectations were blown right out of the water from page one. I immediately felt connected to the main character, Mahlah, as well as to her sisters and the close bond that they all shared with each other. Their narrative was tragic, painful, and yet so empowering. These women were brave in their pursuit of an inheritance. They went against all of the cultural practices of the time period in order to obtain what they believed was theirs and to carry on their father's name as the Israelite people entered the promised land.
There were some very tense moments throughout Lioness, and Barbara M. Britton wrote them wonderfully. My heart raced along with Mahlah's as she faced each challenge, and I sighed in relief and jumped for joy when she received her happy ending, which involved not only land, but love (no spoilers!).
I could definitely relate to Mahlah's devotion to her family, and I was inspired by her faith in God. The sisters continually prayed to Him, and Mahlah often sought his guidance and peace with every decision she made. They trusted in Him to protect them, and that kind of faith was demonstrated beautifully throughout the novel, compelling me to take my own faith to deeper levels.
One last thing that I loved about this novel was the scriptural tie-in and "Devotional Moment" at the end of the book. The reason I love Biblical fiction so much is because it is meant to point us back to the Bible, to the Word, and to God's original story - the greatest storybook of them all. I think that this book could provide great discussion for a book club or other group, even as an addition to one's own personal study of the Bible.
I am eagerly awaiting the next books in this series (Heavenly Lights: Noah's Journey and Claiming Canaan: Milcah's Journey), and most definitely adding this story to my list of "Strongest Female Characters in Biblical Fiction." Mahlah truly was a lioness, fighting to protect her sisters and fierce in her faith. You can purchase this book today at this link in e-book form, and pre-order the paperback copy, releasing in December, 2019. It would make a wonderful Christmas present for the book-lover in your life, and the perfect inspirational book to give yourself at any time of the year. Don't wait to pick up this book!
*I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.