About the Book
Book: Trouble in the Ruins
Author: C.L. Smith
Genre: Biblical fiction
Release Date: September 2019
Return to the turbulence of ancient Canaan in Book Three of The Stones of Gilgal. Even the raging floods of the Jordan could not stop the Israelites from crossing the river and setting up camp near Jericho. Canaanite kings and kingdoms—even the Anakim giants—are in turmoil. Former enemies jostle for power in new alliances, united only in their determination to destroy the Israelite invaders.
When the massive fortifications of Jericho collapse, Salmon rushes into the ruins to save Rahab, the beautiful harlot who had rescued him and his fellow spy from certain death. But saving her from her own city is not so easy. And that is only the beginning of the trouble, treachery and devastating ruins they and their friends face as they settle into their new life in the Promised Land.
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About the Author
C.L. SMITH, former missionary, retired junior high English/history teacher, has captivated audiences around the world for years with the timeless thrill of biblical tales. Now her six-part Stones of Gilgal saga brings the mayhem and miracles of the book Joshua to life. Well researched and beautifully written, the author weaves her lifetime love of learning and people into the fabric of the biblical text, creating a tapestry of rich scenes and colorful characters the reader will not soon forget.
Learn more at www.stonesofgilgal.com
More from C.L. Smith
The Stones of Gilgal biblical novels follow the epic adventures of a group of ordinary young Israelites. As they battle evil together, they sink their roots deeper and deeper into the bedrock of God’s Truth and Love, slowly growing from a stand of saplings to a forest of giants.
Two of the seven young characters in my series have to deal with a lot of Trouble in the Ruins in this book. Lots of trouble. Lots of ruins.
Rahab the Harlot barely escapes the ruins of Jericho, but the ruins of her former life threaten to keep her ever an alien among the people of Yahweh.
Abihail is Acsah’s best friend from childhood, but she is also a fictionalized daughter-in-law of the biblical Achan. Her life is slammed with heart-rending trouble and ruin as that horrific Old Testament drama unfolds.
The Title: Trouble in the Ruins
The inspiration for this title comes from a couple of “plays on words” in Hebrew.
Trouble: The name Achan in Hebrew sounds very similar to the word Achor meaning trouble. The story of the biblical character Achan is forever tied to the word trouble at the end of Joshua 7 when the valley where he was stoned and buried under a “monument” of rocks received the name the Valley of Achor.
Ruins: Achan’s sin led to defeat at a little fortress known as Ai which means ruin. Some scholars suggest that the fortress was built on or near the ruins of a city destroyed in an earlier time. Following the glory of the crossing of the Jordan and the crumbling walls of Jericho—the Hebrew mind would find great dramatic irony in Israel being defeated by a “ruin.” The story jolts us out of complacency, underscoring the life and death consequences of obedience versus breaking covenant with God.
“Grandpa’s generation, the Exodus generation, found significance in teaching their children to live in covenant with Yahweh. You are the Gilgal generation. The shame of failure is rolled away, and tonight, we celebrate a new beginning.”
Biblical fiction is a difficult genre to write, and in my experience, it tends to be either hit or miss. Enough detail to inform readers about the time period and pique their interest, but without ever adding to the inerrant word of the Bible. Telling a story that will lead readers to the Bible to learn more without compromising THE story. Despite the challenges, I’m glad that there are authors who are willing to produce books set in this era, to make us examine Scripture more closely and to develop an understanding of what life was like for the people who actually lived the Bible.
Book three in The Stones of Gilgal saga, Trouble in the Ruins details the Israelite take-over of Canaan after their miraculous crossing of the Jordan. Author C.L. Smith again writes an engaging, page-turning novel replete with action, reality, and faith. In my case, I know that I tend to become so familiar with accounts from the Bible that I can gloss over them without really studying them and considering the details, whether there are any provided or not. That is part of why I love this series so much. I feel as if I am truly an eyewitness to what is unfolding as the scenes and characters come to life on the pages. Trouble in the Ruins focuses primarily on Rahab and the fate of Jericho, including its aftermath. I recently read Rahab: Woman of Jericho by Diana Wallis Taylor (see my review HERE), but I felt that Rahab was portrayed there with a much cleaner backstory and an overall too-much-improved image. Here, on the other hand, Smith presents Rahab as a former prostitute who is nervous and unsure, a refugee along with her family. She is unfamiliar with Israelite customs but willing to learn, which I think may be a part of the reason that she was spared and later given the honor of being in Jesus’ lineage. This also raises a connection to society today: Even if you come from a sketchy background or have a sinful past, all that is needed is to repent and accept the Lord as Your Savior. He will turn every broken piece of your life into a beautiful masterpiece.
A few other facts particularly drew my attention, too. For some reason, my mind never fully grasped the fact that the cord hung in Rahab’s window was scarlet for a specific purpose, as well: “The color of blood and death. The color of Passover faithfulness.” Just as Yahweh miraculously saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, led them through the forty years in the wilderness, brought them safely across the flooded Jordan, and delivered Jericho into their hands, His supernatural providence and power provided for them again as Rahab and her family transitioned into life with the Israelites. This, along with the parts of the narrative that feature Salmon and other Israelite characters, underscore the human-ness of the characters, who face fear and doubt but stand behind the God who protects them. Also, the Israelite purification ritual made much more sense to me after realizing that they did this in order to remain clean while in the presence of God, Who inhabited the Ark of the Covenant. I also can’t help but think that America in 2020 greatly resembles Jericho, with its corruption, chaos, and rampant sin, and I think that we would do well to heed Rahab’s story and repent and follow the Lord before it’s too late.
Included at the end of the book is a List of Characters, a very useful guide to both the true and fictional people in the story (I personally think it would have been more useful to place this at the beginning, but that’s just my preference).
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥
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Betti Mace, September 9
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 10
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Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 12
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To celebrate her tour, C.L. Smith is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!! (U.S. Only)
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.