Welcome, friends! Today I’m reviewing Love Lifted Me by Faith Blum, a novella inspired by Cinderella and Song of Solomon. I very much enjoyed reading it and can’t wait to tell you all about it!
about the author
Faith Blum is a small-town Wisconsin girl who lives in the center of the state with her husband and baby boy/girl. She loves writing, reading, crafting, and her cat, Smokey. She writes primarily historical fiction with an emphasis on Christian westerns. Find out more about Faith on her website.
about the book
Elaheh’s brothers are lazy and controlling…
When Elaheh’s parents die, she is devastated, especially when her brothers seem to not care at all. They slowly make her help them more and more in the vineyard until she is finally forced to do all of the work plus keeping the house clean and food ready.
When Prince Solomon comes to town to hear from the people, Elaheh talks to him to see if there is anything they can do. Solomon feels bad for Elaheh and searches for weeks to find something, but can’t. So he comes up with a plan.
Will Solomon be able to rescue Elaheh from her lazy brothers? Will Elaheh survive all the work she is forced to do? Can true love come to humble foreigner like Elaheh?
// inspired by Cinderella and Song of Solomon //
➽ check out the first three books in the series here, and book four here
➽ GENRE: Biblical fiction / historical retelling
➽ LENGTH: 25,000 words (novella)
➽ AGE RANGE: all ages
(note: I actually disagree with this age range; I’ll specify more down below!)
When I started reading this book, I had no idea what it was about. I may have read a synopsis or description of it at some point, but I don’t remember it. I signed up to review it because I wanted to support Faith, but I had no clue what her book was about… (sorry, Faith :)).
And at first, I didn’t really like the book. The book started in the middle of action without explaining what was going on, the characters’ decisions weren’t believable, I didn’t relate to the MC (main character) at all.
I’m happy to say, though, that within a few chapters I actually loved the story! It took a bit for me to get into it, but once I did I didn’t want to stop, and I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up to read any other book by Faith Blum (even if I didn’t know what it was about… XD).
(Side note: Apparently I never read synopses of books before agreeing to review them… I reviewed a book by Kellyn Roth last summer which turned out to be the last book in a series — and which I enjoyed reading and reviewing nevertheless. Love Lifted Me, is, incidentally, also the most recently published book in a series… luckily for me, it makes complete sense as a standalone.)
what I liked
➽ I loved Elaheh! Some of her grieving felt awkward, and at first I didn’t understand her character, but I ended up relating with her and enjoying reading about her romance.
➽ Elaheh’s relationship with her neighbor Rina was sweet and fit the story well. (I discovered that one of the earlier books in the series tells Rina and her husband’s love story, and I want to go read that now!)
➽ It was lots of fun to see the Biblical characters in the story (Solomon, Tamar, David, Bathsheba, and Abigail are all in the book). I think it’s a difficult task to honor the Bible while creating an original work, and Faith did a great job.
➽ I had no idea the book was inspired by Cinderella until I finished it. The parallels were slight, but they were there, and it was fun to go back and see what I missed.
➽ I could tell where the book was heading as soon as handsome Prince Solomon showed up, but its predictability didn’t change how lovely and adorable it was. 😍
what I didn’t like
➽ While I enjoyed reading about the Biblical characters (see above), some obvious things weren’t addressed, and that felt awkward to me. Bathsheba and David’s whole messed-up relationship wasn’t mentioned, and the idea of having multiple wives was treated as normal (well, okay, it was normal back then, but I definitely didn’t like reading the thoughts of a bride-to-be as she wondered if she’d be her husband’s only wife or not!).
➽ Elaheh’s brother were so awful that it was unbelievable. I know people can be bad, but it was over the top and they never seemed a bit sorry.
➽ The romance was a little too predictable, so even though it was sweet (see above!), I could’ve used an unexpected plot twist or hardship that forced Elaheh and Solomon to prove their love for each other.
➽ Song of Solomon was quoted once, but the quotation felt a bit random and didn’t add to the story.
This novella was a quick and fun read, with some Biblical truths and engaging characters! I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or romance — and to anyone who doesn’t think they do. Love Lifted Me is a great short introduction to Faith Blum’s work and the Biblical fiction genre as a whole, so even if you’re not sure, you should give it a chance.
➽ You don’t need to read the other books in the series to enjoy it.
➽ Because of the romance and one (veiled, blink-and-you’ll miss it) reference to prostitution, I recommend this book for ages 13 and up.
➽ If you like Love Lifted Me, try out these books:
- The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (Biblical fiction set in the time of Jesus; ages 10+)
- The Robe by Lloyd Alexander (Biblical fiction set just after Jesus’ ascension; ages 13+)
- Golden Daughter by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (fantasy loosely inspired by the story of Joseph from the Bible; ages 13+)
Enter to win a paperback copy of Love Lifted Me, a doily, and a bookmark.
follow the blog tour!
If Love Lifted Me interests you, be sure to check out the other amazing writers who are helping promote Faith’s new book:
➽ Thursday, March 26
intro // Kellyn Roth @ blog, Instagram, & Facebook
book spotlight // Rachel Rossano @ blog, Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter
review // Eva @ Coffee, Classics, & Craziness
➽ Friday, March 27
book spotlight // Joshua Reid @ The Wandering Scribe & Instagram
review // Averey Nicolle Fitzgerald @ The Provincial Blogger
review // Amanda Silvey @ Blooming with Grace
➽ Monday, March 30
review // Maya Joelle (you are here!)
spotlight // Reveries Co. @ blog, Instagram, & Facebook
➽ Tuesday, March 31
review // Abigail Harris @ Read Review Rejoice & Instagram
➽ Wednesday, April 1
review // Kaitlyn S. @ Maidens for Modesty
➽ Tuesday, April 2nd
book spotlight // Angela R. Watts
wrapup // Kellyn Roth @ blog, Instagram, & Facebook
Have you read any books by Faith Blum? What do you think of Biblical fiction in general? (And what about Biblical fiction inspired by fairy tales?)