A Light on the Hill

Written by Connilyn Cossette
Review by J. Lynn Else

1399 BC. The Hebrews have been settling into the Promised Land ever since the walls of Jericho fell seven years ago. But before the fall, however, Moriyah, a woman who was abducted, was branded on the face with the symbol of the Canaanites’ gods. She hides herself beneath a veil and believes her prospects of marriage gone. Wanting to ensure Moriyah is cared for, her loving father secures a betrothal by offering a handsome dowry, his successful vineyard, to a friend’s son. But when a dinner that Moriyah hopes will impress her future husband accidentally results in the death of two children, she must flee to a City of Refuge before her life is taken in vengeance by a blood avenger, the deceased’s next of kin. Once at the city, she’ll be given a fair trial…if she can make it there before the blood avenger, the man she was to marry, catches her.

Cossette has an uncanny ability to deep-dive into her characters. I loved the main and secondary characters alike, all with just enough backstory to create a diverse mix of interwoven perspectives. Plot wise, I could not predict anything that happened. Each new turn on the characters’ path is unexpected and engaging, making this a page-turner. Additionally, a gradually-building romance helps balance the heightened danger nipping at Moriyah’s heels. Only twice does the pacing trip up: when, during a tense moment or an active pursuit, a character would stop to give a snippet of exposition.

This book possesses a strong emotional heart, constantly wrestling with faith, forgiveness, acceptance, love, and trust. Cossette’s talent in lovingly drawing out characters as well as historical settings is stunning and delightful, making her one of my favorite authors. Recommended!