Shadow of the Mountain: Exodus / by Cliff Graham. (Shadow of the mountain; 1) 7.7.2017

Bethany House ISBN 9780764214752

Adult Rating: 4

Shadow of the Mountain: Exodus is a fictional story centered around the biblical character of Caleb. Eighty-five-year-old Caleb is the leader of the Hebrew army. On the eve of battle, stormy weather has delayed the army, and Caleb’s nephew uses this opportunity to encourage his uncle to share details about his life as a young man in Egypt. The story moves between the present and the past with Caleb not only fulfilling his military duties but also relating his experiences in Egypt to his nephew.

Caleb’s narrative begins with him leaving his Kenazzite family and traveling to Egypt where he works mainly as a stone carver. A spur-of-the-moment decision made by Caleb changes the focus of his life from artist to warrior. After undergoing a grueling course of physical training, Caleb becomes a highly skilled and renowned soldier in the Egyptian army. Caleb is entrenched in the Egyptian’s idolatrous way of life until Moses and Aaron ask Pharaoh to release the Hebrew people from slavery. When Pharaoh refuses, God uses Moses and Aaron to bring down ten plagues upon the Egyptian people. Experiencing firsthand the devastating plagues and seeing the omnipotence of the Hebrew God have a profound effect on Caleb.

Cliff Graham has created a backstory of Caleb’s life in Egypt with realistic depictions of ancient Egyptian life. The story dramatizes fiction with biblical history. This gritty and suspenseful story encompasses tragedy, heartache, idolatry, unwavering faith, God’s love and sovereignty, joy, determination, revenge, and salvation. There are graphic descriptions of brutal military training, violent battles, and terrifying plagues. A glossary of terms is at the beginning of the book.

Dianne Woodman, CLJ