Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Book Review: Promised Land by Robert Whitlow

Promised Land (Chosen People #2)

Promised Land (Chosen People #2)
Author:  Robert Whitlow
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson (2020)
400 pages

"For now, America is our promised land."

Hana and Daud are Israeli citizens who are living in the United States.  It is no longer safe for them to live in their homeland because of a terrorist ring with a bounty on Daud's head.  Previously, Daud worked for the Shin Bet, the Israeli equivalent of the FBI.  Currently, he is freelancing with the CIA.  Hana is a lawyer working for a law firm in Atlanta.  She speaks four languages so much of her work involves translating documents and acting as interpreter in meetings.  Hana is perfectly content living in the United States.  Daud, however, longs to return to Isreal.  

On Daud's most recent job with the CIA, his identity may have been compromised.  He is working with his CIA contact to cover his tracks.

Hana is contacted by an old friend and fellow litigator who would like her help on case involving ancient artifacts stolen near the end of World War II.  Meanwhile, her boss at the law firm has asked her to speak at an interfaith forum about Isreal.  Hana has a unique perspective as a Christian Arab and Israeli citizen.  After speaking with Daud, she agrees to take part.  Daud is hired to provide security for the event.  This will be a tough job as the potential for terrorist activity is high.  Will Daud be able to provide the security needed?  Will the terrorist ring who is after him be able to locate him?

This is the second book in the Chosen People series.  I would definitely read the first book, Chosen People, before reading this one.  Promised Land continues the story started in Chosen People.  One of the things I really enjoy about this series is the peek into a different culture.  In both books, some time is spent in the Middle East.  But also, the heritage of the characters is shown in their daily lives in America.  I especially enjoy the descriptions of the food eaten.

"The granola included rolled oats, multiple kinds of chopped nuts, coconut flakes, apricots, raisins, dried pineapple, and diced dried dates as a sweetener.  Dates were Hana's childhood candy.  She ate her granola mixed with plain organic yogurt." (pg. 93)

"Hana dumped cut up peppers and onions into a saucepan of olive oil..."
"Hana waited until the last minute to add the thinly cut pieces of Kobe steak to the onions and peppers sizzling in the pan.  She didn't want to overcook the expensive steak strips." (pg. 110)

"Daud hadn't eaten lunch and fixed a sandwich of salami and spicy Italian ham on ciabatta bread topped with provolone cheese, hot pickled peppers, and a sauce made with lime juice, garlic, and oregano that Hana kept in the refrigerator. (pg. 139)

The deep faith of both Hana and Daud comes through in the author's description of Hana's prayer times in the middle of the night, as well as the prayer times they have together.  The faith aspect is a very natural part of the story as it is just part of who Hana and Daud are.  The author's attention to the details of daily life make the characters really come to life.  This was a satisfying read.

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