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For Such a Time – Book Review

For Such a Time – Book Review

I love stories – stories of bravery, sacrifice, devotion. And that’s why I love history. Stories, stories, stories. And yet sometimes from a distance those stories loose their sharpness. They become padded in layers of time, traditions and repetition until we only perceive a general form.

That’s why I wrote Sixty Acres and a Bride. In thinking about the story of Ruth, I wanted to imagine how she felt going to Boaz in the dark and putting her reputation at stake.

Sixty Acres and a Bride Novel Book CoverI set the story in Texas and placed Ruth and Boaz in the more recent past, which made their decisions seem more weighty. Putting the couple into an era that we’re familiar with made it easier to relate to their story.

So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that Kate Breslin had done something similar with the Biblical story of Esther. For Such a Time is set in Nazi-controlled Czechoslovakia. When Stella is unexpectedly snatched from a concentration camp she fears the worst. Why would a SS Kommandant move her to his private residence? There’s no answer that she can live with.

Aric von Schmidt, a decorated soldier, knows how to set his opinions and emotions aside for the glory of the Fatherland. He doesn’t enjoy the brutality that takes place in his camp, but people die. That’s what war is about. He’ll follow orders as long as he and his household are safe.

If you’re familiar with the story of Esther, you’re probably getting twitchy. King Xerxes wasn’t a Nazi. Nazis were the most evil people ever. They tried to commit genocide. They were brutal…  Oh, yeah. Remember why Esther had to hide that she was a Jew? Do some of those details get lost in the glamour of the beauty pageant scene?

But that’s why I love For Such a Time. It takes the remote and puts it into a setting we’re more familiar with. The drama becomes fresh again, shocking us with the relationships Esther had to maintain, and the strength that was required of her.

Fiennes NaziWhich brings me to my favorite part of For Such a Time. It’s a romance. The romance is difficult and complicated, yet Kate wrote it so well that I still understood why Stella and Aric needed each other. Stella’s love isn’t easy, but it’s true. And so is Aric’s fear that he’s being manipulated into ruining his career. The research and details that fill the pages give a strong sense of setting and keep the plot believable, and don’t be thinking you can predict the finale. For Such a Time keeps you reading way past bedtime.

So I highly recommend this book on its own merits. Plot, characters, setting, romance–every standard is met. But besides the enjoyment you’ll get from reading For Such a Time, you might just come away with a fresh understand of a heroine Queen whom you thought you knew inside out.  And that’s the greatest reward of all.

 

Would you like to win a copy of For Such a Time? Comment below and I’ll randomly choose a winner on April 4th. Anyone can comment, but I’ll only choose from U.S. residents because of shipping fees. Thanks! 

 

25 Comments

  1. Wow, this looks like an amazing book! I’ve seen it around for a while, and have been looking forward to reading it! Thanks for the chance to win. =)

    lubell1106(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. Wow, this is definitely going on my “to read’ list! I love the idea of taking Bible stories and modernizing them to bring them closer to home. I would have never even thought of a WWII/Nazi era adaptation of Esther, but it sounds like an amazing idea! Hoping to read it soon!!
    Thanks for hosting a giveaway!!

    amyputney89 [at] gmail [dot] come

  3. I have always loved the story of Esther as well as the personal triumphs among the tragedies of WWII. This book sounds like a great read and I am excited to see how the stories weave together.

  4. Oh my gosh. What a story line. I can’t wait to read it.

  5. Sounds very intriguing!

  6. Well, you have piqued my interest. Esther is my favorite Old Testament book, and this is an intriguing setting for an updated version of the story.

  7. For Such a Time seems like a wonderful book! I love when Biblical stories are retold and would love to get my hands on a copy of this book :)

  8. This looks like a wonderful story – I am currently reading Tricia Goyer’s WWII series, it is a fascinating and difficult time in history that I have not yet read many novels depicting. I love these “retelling” types of novels, ever since reading Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.

  9. Regina, thank you for such a lovely review! I feel so honored that you enjoyed For Such A Time and I hope your readers will, too. I look forward to reading your historical, “Sixty Acres and a Bride.” Sounds exactly like my favorite kind of story! :)

  10. This book sounds great!! Love the cover too!!

  11. I hadn’t heard of this book yet. Whether I win it or not, I will be reading it in the near future. Thank you for the review!

  12. I love the bible stories and the fresh versions of them found in biblical historical fiction. I love to read different versions of these timeless stories. I look forward to reading both the books you mention(Esther and Ruth)!

  13. I’d love to win!!!!

  14. I love that you give people opportunities to win books. I am currently pregnant on bed rest with three little ones at home. My books keep me sane but my stock is running low. Gotta get going on some more books, thanks for a chance to win! I can’t wait to read this book either way. ;)

  15. I have this on my wish list, besides Ruth, Esther is my favorite book of the Bible.

  16. I’d love to read it!

  17. This sounds like exactly the kind of book that I would like to read and add to my library

  18. Wow sounds like a great book! Loved your review! ( don’t add me to the draw because I’m from Canada! But I will request it from my library :)

  19. The story of Esther is one of my favorites in the Bible. This books sounds like something I will definitely enjoy.

  20. Well, I’m definitely hooked! I’d love to read this! Please include me in the drawing! :D Thanks!

    • Your beautiful retelling of Ruth is why I’ve been excited to get my hands on this one – combining [more recent] history and biblical truth in a fresh perspective!

      rdalquis(at)css(dot)edu

  21. I love stories like this, sounds like a definite must read.

  22. I’d love to win this book. It’s been on my reading list for MONTHS! I love Bibilical retellings.

  23. This book sounds wonderful!! Would love to win it! I read a fiction book of the story of Esther and I so enjoyed it!’ So I would love to read this one!’

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