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Book review: 'Fires of Jerusalem' brings Jeremiah to life

By Rosemarie Howard

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Sept. 15 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

"FIRES OF JERUSALEM," by Marilyn Brown, Parables, $14.95, 238 pages (f)

Jeremiah, the Old Testament prophet, and his contemporaries come to life in Marilyn Brown’s newest novel, “Fires of Jerusalem.”

It is intriguing tale of perilous adventure, stormy relationships, good versus evil and fulfillment of prophecy. Jeremiah is 14 years old when the story begins; he is an old man with grandchildren when it ends. He has lived to see the fulfillment of his own prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem.

Brown skillfully weaves a story of what the personal life and relationships of Jeremiah and his family might have been like. She connects the life of Jeremiah with prophets such as Lehi, Ezekiel, Daniel and their families.

Well-done research that includes study of the scriptures attributed to Jeremiah along with what is known about him and his day are evident. Scriptures from the Old Testament written by Jeremiah are carefully and appropriately woven into the story in a way that provides insight and relevance.

Ancient Jerusalem is not disguised in niceness. There are moments of violence and allusions to immorality and drunkenness. It takes a little stretch of the imagination to draw parallels between the turbulent and troubled times of Jeremiah’s day and those of our own.

In the book’s introduction, Dr. Richard Cracroft, a Brigham Young University emeritus professor of English, promises the reader “an unforgettable entry into a world you may not have entered before.” He is right. The book is a unique and exciting addition to the shelves of Mormon fiction.

A black-and-white map provides orientation to the general area in which the story takes place. There is also a pedigree chart illustrating the fictitious relationship of Jeremiah to Israelite royalty. A glossary of names and a bibliography are also included.

Marilyn Brown is an award-winning author who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She and her husband, Bill, live in Utah.

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville, Utah. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at dramaticdimensions.com.

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