Powerful Retelling of the Story of Esther
In 1944, blond and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.
Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.
Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?
To put it simply this book was beautiful. From the very first word till the very last, this author wove a captivating story that drew you in and held you till the end.
When I first saw this book on a list of upcoming releases I knew I had to read it for several reasons. The first was that I love WWII stories, the second is that I love the story of Esther, and probably the biggest reason is that this idea was sheer genius. It fit so perfectly together and it never felt like this story was trying to hard to match Esther's, the story just flowed the right way. I loved how at the beginning of each chapter there was a verse from Esther that fit what was happening so that it was even easier to connect the stories.
The characters were also perfect, well not actually perfect but perfect in their roles especially the heroine and hero. Hadassah/Stella was pretty much exactly how imagine Esther would have been and I loved how the author captured that mix of compassion, fear, and bravery. Aric on the other hand is so hard to put into words. He starts out hard and cold but with a small chink in his armor that continues to grow as the book goes on and in the end you can't help but love him. I loved watching his transformation slowly as the book unfolded, and was very glad the author did it in an entirely realistic way that didn't seem rushed or fake.
So if you haven't guessed, I loved this book so very much and could continue gushing for quite awhile but I think this gives you a good taste of what to expect and I hope you pick up a copy for yourself! I can't wait to see what else this debut author has in store for us!
Meet the Author
A Florida girl and former bookseller, Kate Breslin migrated to the Pacific Northwest where she lives with her husband and a very spoiled cat named Coco. Kate has written travel articles, published award-winning poetry, and her first manuscript was an RWA Golden Heart finalist. FOR SUCH A TIME is her debut novel; now that she's writing inspirational romance, Kate enjoys creating stories that show how God's love can bring two hearts together. When not plotting the next novel, Kate can be found with her nose in a book or taking long nature walks in Washington's many beautiful forests. She also likes to travel and see new places--great for finding the next story idea!
She'd love to hear from you! Please stop by and say hello at www.katebreslin.com.
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.