Monday, April 14, 2014

For Such a Time By Kate Breslin Book Review

18008080// For Such a Time //
By Kate Breslin
{ Review By Bethany }
Number of Pages: 430
ISBN: 0764211609
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: April 1st, 2014
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
// Book Synopsis //
Taken From Good Reads
"In 1944, blonde 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?"
// Book Review //
An adventure and action packed novel set during WWII, based on the Bible story of Queen Esther, this novel is full of emotion and is sure to prove a tear-jerking story of tremendous suffering alongside unwavering faith. Filled with lovable characters and plenty of action to keep you turning pages, this emotional story is one that makes you think, and will not be quickly forgotten. A top favorite of all the books I've read this year, I highly recommend this inspiring novel from author Kate Breslin!
Where do I even begin to describe how outstanding this novel is? From the very first chapter I was drawn into the story, and felt truly connected to the characters, feeling a deep sympathy for many of the Jews who barley survived-some of whom did not even survive-the extremely harsh conditions of the concentration camps, whose lives were written in detail in this story. The characters all had such great development throughout the story, and I particularly found myself loving Joseph and the little girl Hadassah friended in the camps, who adopted her as her "mama". Reading such detailed accounts of the horrid realities of this time period was sobering, and the way they were written not only contributed to Kate Breslin's lovely writing style, but added so much heart to the story.
Usually I'm not a big crier when it comes to novels. The reality of it is, few novels actually move me to such an extent that I shed tears, or get emotional in the reading process. But the combination of the wonderful writing style of the author, the detailed accounts of the suffering Jew's lives, and the realities of the Holocaust that actually DID happen-those who truly did loose their lives under such conditions-made me unable to read the last chapter without shedding a few tears and paying respect to those who did die in this time in history-those whose stories weren't a fictional work.
While this story is a work of fiction, I wouldn't find it hard to believe that there were many instances that were similar to this story, that actually did happen during that time, making it all the more surreal to read this book. While it was by no means a light read, being that it deals a lot with war and the realities of things done to Jews, I would say that this is a point that makes it better, and gives it heart and emotion. You can tell that the author has a deep admiration for the people who lost their lives unjustly during this horrid time in history, as it's evident in the way she writes-contributing all the more to my adding her to my list of favorite authors.
Ever since I first learned that this book was a unique combination of the Holocaust time period and a re-telling of the story of Esther, I was extremely intrigued, and eager to read this story. Now that I've finished it I can truly say this novel is a unique gem; for sure on my list of favorite books read in 2014, and one that will forever hold a place on my very-jammed bookshelf which is earned by a truly treasured story.
The amount of this novel that was heavily based on the story of Esther in the Bible was actually quite surprising to me, and I found it fascinating to read how the author tied it in with the story of Hadassah and Aric's story. It was made complete with believable bits that pertained to the time period that must have been a challenge to line up with the adaption to Esther, and made me admire the work that must have gone into preparing and writing this novel. I particularly loved how most of the chapters started with a verse from the book of Esther, and it sparked an interest to study the book of Esther in my daily devotions during the time I read this book, which I greatly benefited from. Even most of the important characters names were the same/extremely familiar and similar to those in the story of Esther. I just love how heavily the author relied on the story of Esther and made her novel as close to the original as she could. Also, the ending was just fabulous!!
The only thing I'd say was a bit of a downer for me was the amount of romance/kissing scene. While it never got inappropriate, there were a lot of kissing scenes, and at times I was a bit uncomfortable with the details of those scenes, and usually just skimmed the sentence describing it in detail. While it wasn't ever inappropriate or by any means a reason to not read the book, it was just a personal thing I didn't care for all that much. However for me it didn't really take all much away from my love for this novel.
Overall I absolutely loved every page of this novel, and soaked up the unique storyline with Esther and the WWII time period! I'd highly recommend this novel to fans of Holocaust fiction or Bible story adaptions, as this novel is sure to not disappoint! I eagerly await future novels from this author!!
D I S C L A I M E R :: I received a free copy of For Such a Time from the publisher for the sole purpose of this review. I was not paid to write this review, and was not required to write a good review if I didn't like the book. All thoughts expressed in my review are my own, completely honest and unbiased.

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