Violet Nesdoly’s first novel, Destiny’s Hands, is described as a work of fiction. However the wealth of biblical truths interwoven throughout made me feel like I had stepped inside the pages of scripture. For four hundred years the Israelites were in bondage under Egyptian rule. When the Hebrew Moses appeared suddenly on the scene and promised to free the slaves, the whole country was thrown into chaos as the ten plagues pervaded the land. The manner in which Nesdoly relays the course of events is spell binding and effectual.
Bezalel, a young, skilled and gifted goldsmith, ‘just knew’ from an early age that his hands were to ultimately bring glory to God. As the central, intriguing character, Bezalel shifts from being a highly regarded worker creating beautiful trinkets and precious, golden idols under Pharoah - to nomad. The life changing decision that Bezalel initially made, did not come without cost. Because of Moses’ promise to free the people, and Bezalel’s struggle to understand Yahweh’s plan, an incredible journey and intriguing, relatable story unfolds. Bezalel is tempted and tried. He is pressed upon to make decisions and when his loyalty to his people is tested, his choice is clear.
The inviting cover and beguiling title of, Destiny’s Hands, initially made me wonder if this might be a biblical romance of sorts. Granted there were plenty of tender and intimate moments when the copper-haired Sabia appears on the scene. But the true adventure is realized as I journey with Bezalel and experience everything from the incredible parting of the Red Sea, to grumblings and groaning in the desert. Nesdoly has a way of weaving spiritual truth and challenges into the story. I even found myself wondering about how I use my own gifts to honour Yahweh.
I would recommend this book as a wonderful summer read with one caveat – prepare to be consumed. I had trouble putting Destiny’s Hands down. I was riveted and even a little saddened as I turned the final page – that was until I saw the 13 discussion questions at the end of the book – what a great idea and challenging food for thought.