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Monday, April 21, 2014

For Such a Time Review!!!

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin
Book Description:
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? 

My Opinion:
An Amazing tale!  I really enjoyed this book!  Kate stuck to the story of Esther for the base of the story, but it wasn't just a retelling.  There are key differences that make Esther's life and this story different and in so doing For Such a Time's ending was wide open for me.  I didn't know what was gonna happen to these characters that I'd come to love.  What does happen had me in a state of shock!  This made me want to read the book of Esther again!  A great read from a highly talented author!  Her descriptions are fresh and not bogged down with detail.  There where some things that I personally wish were different.  One being the glossary!  There are two glossaries in the back German and Jewish but both of them don't contain all the words that are used and I really wish they did!!!  Some of the words that aren't in the glossary Kate put in English further down the page, but it got a little confusing at times.  There was more than one time that I turned to the dictionary and was disappointed when the translation/definition wasn't there.  Second being the Esther verses that begin every chapter.  I LOVED them but most aren't finished and "..." are used.  They also jump around from chapter to chapter from 2 to 8 back to 3 and so on.  Thirdly there was a strange part that said " 'More like Jewish tradition,' she said. 'On the sixth day, God created the first man and woman as conjoined twins.' " I don't personally get this and found it odd.  And finally I wish Jesus had been mentioned more.  God is mention throughout and New Testament verses are within as well as the words Jesus spoke in John 3:16, but I guess I wished Stella came to Christ more or in a bigger way.  I understand why this probably isn't so because of her familial and cultural situations but I did REALLY love how much strength and comfort she finds in God's Word.  These are just my personal things and I understand why Kate did some of them, but to give my honest opinion I felt I need to include them.  Overall this is a VERY heavy tale filled with sadness, hope courage, Faith, pain, betrayal, surprises, love, loss, and Divine strength.  The setting itself is a heavy time in history and Kate's description of some of the awful and horrific things that happened are so real they tore at my heart.  I think this has made it to my favorite books list if for no other reason than the fact that it touched me so deeply!  I highly recommend it.

Songs: "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" by Chris Tomlin, "Blue Danube Waltz" by Vienna Symphony Orchestra, "Friling" by Lucette Van Den Berg, "Symphony No. 7 (8) in B Minor, D. 759, "Unfinished": I. Allegro moderato" by Leonard Bernstein;New York Philharmonic, "Carry Me" by Josh, Wilson "Raisins and Almonds" by Dorothy Olsen, and "God Gave Me You" by Dave Barnes
Songs etc. may be changed/added in the future. 

John 3:16, Matthew 5:44


*I Received this book for the purpose of posting an honest review.  This in no way affected my opinion and the above are my true thoughts and feelings about For Such a Time. ~ASC

*"Almonds and Raisins" by David and the High Spirit


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