I was sent a free copy of Babylon by the author. All opinions are my own.
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About Babylon: A Novel of Jewish Captivity:
A multi-generational biblical saga of captivity, romance, faith, and redemption, set against the Judean exile in Babylon.
Everything changes for Sarah the day Nebuchadnezzar’s army storms Jerusalem. In an instant, her peaceful life on the farm is ripped away: her city sacked, her temple desecrated, her people enslaved. Marched across unforgiving desert sands to Babylon, Sarah and the remaining Judean people must find a way to keep their faith alive in a new and unforgiving home.
Displaced within an empire of strange gods and unimaginable wealth, Sarah and her descendants bear witness to palace intrigue, betrayal, brutal sacrifice, regicide, and a new war brewing in the east. Through every trial, the Hebrew people attempt to preserve their religion. Uri, Sarah’s son, transcribes incredible stories of prophets and visions, Creation and Exodus—stories that establish the central tenets of the Hebrew faith.
You can purchase Babylon: A Novel of Jewish Captivity on Amazon.com
About the Author:
Michelle Cameron’s Beyond the Ghetto Gates, published by She Writes Press (2020), was awarded a Silver Medal in Historical Fiction by the Independent Book Publishers, won First Place/Best of Category for the Chanticleer Goethe Awards, and was a Foreword Indies finalist.
The Fruit of Her Hands, published by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books (2009), is based on the author’s thirteenth-century ancestor, Meir ben Baruch of Rothenberg.
Michelle’s novel-in-verse, In the Shadow of the Globe, was published by Lit Pot Press (2003). Named Shakespeare Theatre of NJ’s 2003–2004 Winter Book Selection, it was performed at the Stella Adler Studio’s Shakespeare Benefit, among other line readings and performances.
A director of The Writers Circle, Michelle teaches creative writing to children, teens, and adults in NJ and virtually. Living in Chatham, NJ, with her husband, Michelle has two grown sons of whom she is inordinately proud.
“The extraordinary true story of the exile of the Jews in Babylon and their miraculous return seventy years later. The tale is personal and powerful, passing through the experiences of several generations. Some served in the palace, some made their homes in the city of Babylon, and others inhabited the deserted farms of the exiles. Insightful, colorful, and fascinating.” — Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of Helen of Troy, The Memoirs of Cleopatra, The Confessions of Young Nero, The Splendor Before the Dark, and many others
“Babylon brings one of the most exciting Biblical eras to life in realistic, almost cinematic detail. You’ll meet Biblical prophets, get caught up in palace intrigue, and witness the devastation of ancient warfare. You’ll also fall in love with many compelling characters, especially Sarah and Chava, who leap right from the page into your heart. A thrilling and gripping read!” — Lori Banov Kaufmann, National Jewish Book Award winner and 2021 The Christy finalist of Rebel Daughter
“Michelle Cameron brings the ancient world to life in a heart-wrenching story you won’t want to put down. Beautifully written, with imagery so vivid you’ll feel like you’re actually there.” — Michelle Moran, USA Today and international bestselling author of Nefertiti, Cleopatra’s Daughter, The Heretic Queen, and many others
“Babylon vividly evokes hanging gardens, exile, and a too-neglected but powerfully significant period of our cultural history. Michelle Cameron has written a unique and memorable historical tale, rich with Biblical and historical acuity, well-developed characters, vivid changes of milieu, themes of exile and adaptation, and wonderful ironic twists. Informative, entertaining, and evocative, Babylon is a book you’ll remember.” — Mitchell James Kaplan, award-winning author of By Fire, By Water, Into the Unbounded Night, and Rhapsody
“Fascinating from first page to last, Babylon is an intense retelling of the brutal exile of the Judeans from Jerusalem in 586 BCE. Every character comes to life in the deadly enforced march and the ensuing poverty, despair, and slavery. When they are finally allowed to return home after seventy years, they discover their land is now owned by others. Dreams and disappointments flow through the lives of the characters as they first push away the ‘heathens’ and then find themselves inextricably bound with them. Michelle Cameron’s epic novel will keep you up late reading.” — American Book Award winner Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet and The Boy in the Rain
“To read Babylon is to be completely transported to another time and place. Cameron’s impeccably researched novel is a lush and evocative page-turner.” — Rebecca Kanner, author of Sinners and the Sea and Esther
“Extraordinarily rich in detailed descriptions, Michelle Cameron’s Babylon takes you on a young Judean woman’s brutal journey of exile to Babylon and later to the victorious return of her extended family to Judea. Her life in and out of court, and the men she deals with all play important roles of her future generations in Babylon and ultimately, Judea. Other characters are interwoven in this tapestry of captivity and all, through their trials, cling to the hope of God’s blessing and the return to their homeland…seventy years later. An excellent story.” — S.A. Jewell, author of Solomon’s Concubine
As any of you know who have been reading my book reviews are aware, I do love historical fiction. It’s my favorite genre. But in the all the eras I delve into I do love to go back into ancien times. So when I was offered a copy of Babylon to review it hit on two preferred areas of reading; religious and ancient. Yes, this Atheist enjoys reading religious history. Go figure.
The history of the Jewish peoples is not an easy one and this particular part of that story was just one of the many times a conquering horde tried (and failed) to destroy them. I was hooked from the beginning as I followed the trials and tribulations of the people living happily together until suddenly everyting was upended and destroyed.
Many die but those that survive are committed to making sure that despite prohibitions the Faith will live on. The novel covers generations but remains a story of one theme – survival. Not always an easy read, but definitely a book worth reading.
It had me hooked from the beginning and I was reluctant to put the book down at night to go to sleep. The descriptions of the scenery from the city to the desert were vivid and the character development was rich and deep.
A fascinating look at a time period not often covered – at least not in what I have read. But I’ll be looking for more.