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?
An emotional retelling of Queen Esther' story, For Such A Time will be remembered long after you close the novel!
Kate Breslin has done a superb job in her adaption and since this is her first novel, merits a standing ovation!
The novel's bittersweet plot line was even better than I first imagined when I chose to review the book. Despite its naivety or perhaps because of it, the whole concept is breathtaking and well researched.
Strength and frailty make up the story of a love strong enough to withstand the cruelty of the enemy, the outcome bringing hope where none was likely to be found.
'You hold my past as well as my future' takes on such a stirring connotation, even a survivor would not begrudge their approval of Kate Breslin's rendering of life in Theresienstadt.
Sadly, it is unlikely such circumstances would have happened. Aric von Schmidt might have been an Austrian, but as a soldier he forfeited his life for the Fatherland. Stella/Hadassah's mesmerizing blue eyes reminds him of a past nearly forgotten but duty (and his life!) mattered first.
But that's the beauty of writing fiction: you can alter the course of such events to give readers the opportunity to dream and imagine if only for a moment, 'what if?'
In the end, what matters is that six millions souls were remembered as not mere dregs but men, women and children fighting for their lives.
A promising debut for the author and one of the best WW 2 fiction works the literary has offered recently (including The Book Thief, Sarah's Key and The Boy Who Wore Striped Pajamas).
Note: Includes a list of researched materials, glossary of terms and discussions/questions.
About 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!
Visit her website (HERE)
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book courtesy of BETHANY HOUSE PUBLISHERS as part of this book promotion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.