Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Book Review: To Dwell Among Cedars by Connilyn Cossette


"Her gaze fluttered about the room, as if the answer were written somewhere on the walls. "The Ark," she said on a gasp, her eyes flaring. "It's just as in my dreams. You must follow the Ark."

-Azuvah, To Dwell Among Cedars

Publisher's Description:

Eight years ago, when the Philistines stole and then surrendered the ark of the covenant back to the Israelites, Eliora left her Philistine homeland to follow the ark to the community of Kiryat Yearim. There, the family she was adopted into has guarded the ark at the top of a mountain in seclusion.

Ronen is a Levite musician determined to return the ark to Shiloh, where his tribe believes it belongs. He never expected that the Philistine girl he rescued years ago would now be part of the very family he's tasked to deceive.

As Ronen's attempts to charm Eliora lead them in unexpected directions, betrayal leaves Eliora with strained family ties and Ronen questioning his own loyalties. Ultimately, Eliora and Ronen are caught up in the battle for the soul of Israel and its future under the leadership of Samuel, the last judge before the era of the kings begins.

My Review:

The story in To Dwell Among Cedars is based off a story in the Old Testament where the Ark is taken by the Philistines and the is returned to Israel, and settles in Kiryat-Yearim. It takes place during the time period in Israel's history when judges ruled, right before they get their first king, in 1 Samuel 4-7.  You can read about it here.

I was not really familiar with the Biblical account. It seems like I had heard about portions of it, but did not have knowledge of or understand it in great detail. It was good to refresh myself and go back and read the account in the Scriptures again.

At the beginning of the book, there is a map (which I love) that helps you become acquainted with locations in the story, since the setting for the book takes places in several places.

In To Dwell Among Cedars, Connilyn Cossette has built a beautiful story around the account in 1 Samuel.  It tells the story of a girl who goes from darkness to light, which I believe is the story of us all who have put our trust in Jesus.

The girl follows the Ark of the Covenant, and it leads her into peace and family, redeeming grace and hope.  

I loved this story.  I read it slowly this time.  Often when I am reading, I read quickly because I want to know what happens next!  But this time, I read the story slowly, and just rested in the peacefulness of the setting and the plot.

There is a clean romance as part of the plot, which would be encouraging to young women/men in your life who are looking for God's best.  Honesty, courage, love, service, and kindness are all interwoven in the story, as well as how to handle situations when these character qualities are not demonstrated.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction and stories based on the Bible.  This would be a great book to include as part of a high school homeschool curriculum.  

Many blessings to you as you grow in grace and the knowledge of Him,

*Disclosure statement: I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  The thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

To learn more about the author, visit her at her website at connilyncossette.com.

In honor of this book release, I would like to give away a copy of To Dwell Among Cedars!  Just leave a comment believe telling me whether or not you are familiar with any of the stories of the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament and what you know about it.  I will randomly draw a winner on New Year's Eve!  (US Residents only will receive a paper copy.  If you are located somewhere besides the US,  I can give away an electronic copy for Kindle.)

And the winner is...Kaylee!  Kaylee, please message your address to bethlisteningtohim@gmail.com.  Happy New Year!


  1. I m not so familiar with stories of the Ark of the Covenant as I would like to be...

    1. I would like to be more familiar as well Kaylee!

    2. Kaylee, you are the winner! Please email me your mailing address at bethlisteningtohim@gmail.com.

    3. Awwww, yay! Thank you so much! I am going to email you from my readreviewrejoice@gmail.com email, if that will be okay? I am sooooo sorry to have taken so long to get back to you! Thank you so much for doing this giveaway!!!

  2. Connilyn Cossette is in my top 5 of favorite authors. Her stories are so vivid, relatable, and make biblical times come to life. I remember reading about this occurrence in the Bible, but not in explicit detail. Excited to read her newest adventure. Thanks for sharing!! 🥰📚🎄

    1. I am the same-about Connilyn Cossette and the account with the Ark in the Bible! Can't wait for you to read it!