For Such a Time – A book Review

Good morning, friends,

Since good stories can have the power to change lives, I’ve decided to do an occasional book review on this blog. Happy, blessed reading!

For Such a Time caught me right away. Stella , Morty, and every other character crawled into the soft places of my heart, illustrating a fabulous parallel to the book of Esther.

I thought the idea to place the story in a World War II concentration camp was spot on. Every chapter began with a verse from the book of Esther which couldn’t have been more appropriate. Stella (Hadassah), secretary to a Kommandant of a concentration camp, struggles to keep her Jewish identity hidden, while fighting to help save her people. She faces impossible circumstances (much like Queen Esther), fearing for her life, her uncle’s life, while falling for the handsome Konmmandant, Aric.For such a time photo

Traumatized from her time in a concentration camp and losing loved ones to the horror of the holocaust, Stella loses faith in God. But a Bible mysteriously appears, and shows up at opportune times for her to consider not only the existence of God, but the possibility of a Savior as well. When she finally gets confirmation from God ,He tells her to do the unimaginable.

Kate Breslin does an extraordinary job weaving the story together and giving readers a great read and a reminder of the ultimate power and love of God. I give this book five stars.

 

I received this book from  Bethany House Publishers

Queen Esther vs. The Disney Princess

Her white lace dress floats on the swirls of her princess dance. Blue eyes catch emulations of Snow White in a mirror with a hand to her face and a soft voice to sing along to her play.

They’re sweet these moments and if I can capture them on camera, I will. With a click and a wink of year 5, another day goes by where my daughter thinks the 100_2653world will be a smooth walk in her princess shoes.

No one wants to deal with the ugly stepsister, but Chloe will need a little fire in her step when it’s time to face her.

I like to teach her about the real heroes – the ones in sandals and hearts for justice. Those who were set apart from the other girls, not the ones set on joining the myriad castle clicks.
Will her goal be to stand out to the young princes swarming the halls of high school or will she stand up for the King of glory?

I like to tell Chloe about Queen Esther (an edited version, of course). When King Xerxes’ wife, Vashti, refused to appear naked in front of a party (to show off her beauty), Xerxes, on advice from his counsel, decided it was time for a new, more obedient wife.
Many local women were kidnapped and forced to live in a Harem for one year to receive beauty treatments. At the end of the year they all appeared before the King where he would choose his favorite. Esther, the most beautiful, was chosen as the new Queen.
What Xerxes didn’t know was that she was not Persian like she allowed everyone to believe (on advice from her guardian Mordecai), but a Jewish woman named Hadassah.
When Haman, Xerxes’ right hand man, decided that he wanted to annihilate the Jews, Mordecai said this to Esther:

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

By law Esther could not appear before Xerxes without his summons. This could cause her to loose her life. But to save the Jewish people, she did anyway. Because she was different –  set apart by God to do this very thing, and succeeded.

Not bad for a harem chick. Beauty became a tool, not her identity.

Chloe’s eyelashes flutter down, sweeping my glance to her painted toes.

She is beautiful and charming. But underneath all the layers, she is no Snow White.

She is a girl who loves to run and play in the mud. She is a protector of her baby brother when the big kids get a little rough and she is quick to learn when an injustice has been done.

My prayer is that she and her generation will grow to recognize that beauty is not in the mask, but in the way that God has set them apart.

How do you think our culture has had an impact on image vs. calling? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.