I started reading For Such a Time and could barely stop reading it or thinking about what was going to happen next. I knew after the first few pages that it was a winner and I was not disappointed!
This book retells the biblical story of Queen Esther in the context of WWII Germany – a context that is all too real for us even 70 years later. The author skillfully weaves the biblical story in with the truthful horrors of the holocaust, carefully developing each character along the way.
I loved the character development of the Nazi soldiers/officers that were the main characters (Xerxes and Naman from the biblical account), and how the author took time to show how their past may have affected and hardened their hearts toward the Jewish people they were forced to destroy. So often I think of the Nazi soldiers as animals, as less than human, without considering what might have caused them to become that way – not to offer grace, but to better understand how humans can become so hateful toward one another so that we can be aware.
The main character of the book, Hadassah, also known as Stella, represents Esther (in fact, Hadassah is the Hebrew word for Esther), and we are able to see how this young girl becomes the unlikely hero of a few thousand Jews she tries to help given her position with the Nazi officer she works for as a secretary. As her uncle tells her from the beginning, she was brought there “for such a time as this” to be the salvation for her people.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I was fully engaged throughout the entire book and couldn’t wait to find out what happened! It is very well written, and the author did her best to incorporate real WWII events (as she mentions in the afterword) to remember the sacrifices the Jewish people had to make.
If you love history, if you love the story of Esther, you MUST read this book.
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.