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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
Deborah Bronson pens a story that nourishes the heart and soul in Gather Rosebuds: While You May. Nestled on a hillside near Bethlehem, Alisa gathers honey near her family’s farm. While she is gone, a Philistine raiding party destroys the farm, her parents are slain and her sister, Sarai, is kidnapped by the raiders. At age 13, Alisa is orphaned. A good friend of her father’s, Jesse ben Obed, takes Alisa into his household. Her prime responsibility is caring for Jesse and Netzevet’s youngest son, David. David becomes a soothing balm to Alisa’s grieving heart. A year later Alisa is betrothed to Doran, the eldest son of Noam ben Jacob. Leaving the family she has grown to love, Alisa travels to Carmel. Upon her arrival, she is greeted warmly by Noam’s entire household. Bosmath, Noam’s wife, prays fervently for her future daughter-in-law. The Lord answers Bosmath’s heartfelt plea for guidance, revealing that Alisa is “a sapling oak now, but will yield fruit in her season that will bless all of Israel.” No one could foresee the wonderful future God had planned for Alisa. Love transcends tragedy when you “hear your soul speak.”
Gather Rosebuds by Deborah Bronson reveals the power of generational love. Bronson takes Old Testament scriptures and creates a wonderful piece of fiction. Gather Rosebuds is a story about David and his third wife, Abigail. The narrative portrays David and Abigail’s childhood, the life of their parents, their triumphs and failures, and the love they shared. Often when we read the biblical accounts, we desire to know more of the story; Bronson’s Gather Rosebuds does exactly that! There are numerous valuable life lessons written into this narrative. Many beautiful truths are embedded within the storyline, especially those regarding the grieving process. One day while reading, one portion was so profound I had to text it to my husband and children. Gather Rosebuds speaks to the heart. It stirs up emotions, tears may fall, yet in the end, joy and gratitude overcome sorrow. The most memorable aspect of the narrative for me was the prayer lives of the characters. When we allow ourselves to search for God as David, Abigail, and their parents did, God rewards us with His presence. In His presence, God reveals His heart, He makes known who He is, and He invites us to be His friend. The narrative takes you on a journey through time, revealing the path David and his family traversed to make him known as “the man after God’s own heart.” Deborah Bronson eloquently pens the goodness of the Lord and how it flows from one generation into the next in her extraordinary story, Gather Rosebuds.