Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: For Such a Time by Kate Breslin

Title: For Such a Time
Author: Kate Breslin
Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 432
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1160-7
Publication Date: April 1st, 2014

Synopsis:
Powerful Retelling of the Story of Esther
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?
Review:
Hatred toward the Jewish community. A dark and secret plan to try to eradicate them from the earth. This can either be the story of Esther or an account of World War Two...or it can be a combination of both. Kate Breslin was able to to take such a dark time as World War Two and the ghettos/concentration camps and combine it with one of the bravest women in history, Esther.

For Such a Time is able to capture you fully into the story and not let you go till the end. Even though it follows the story of Esther, this story keeps you wondering what will happen next and ache for the characters as they fight to stay alive anyway they can and try to hang on to any shard of hope.

Stella has lived for several months in a concentration camp, after rejecting the advances of a Nazi. Just moments before death at the hands of a firing squad, she is rescued by a Kommandant, who saw her paper work and thought it odd and wanted to investigate it further. Kidnapping her out of the hell she has lived in, he brings her to his house to work as his secretary. What Stella doesn't know is that her uncle Morty has been living at the ghetto, where this Kommandant has been stationed to. And what the Komondant doesn't know is that Stella, is not who she says she is, she is actually Hadassah, a Jewish woman, who posed as a German with the help of fake papers.

As Stella improves from the abuse she had suffered, she finds out that this German officer isn't the monster she had thought him to be. Stella witnesses in him a compassion most Nazi's lack. However, in the position Stella is placed in, she holds the lives of her people in her hands. As much as she has pleaded with Aric, the Kommandant, his hands are tied. As Aric gets to know Stella, the battle he fights within himself is interesting to see. The battle of the old and the new is a hard struggle, especially when it could cost him his life in the process.

I promise I'm not going to spoil anything, but I just have to say...that ending! It was not how I expected it. I'll leave you to find it out.

This was a fantastic debut novel!

Too Read
4 out of 5

About the Author:
A Florida girl who migrated to the Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin was a bookseller for many years. Author of several travel articles, award-winning poet, and RWA Golden Heart finalist, Kate now writes inspiring stories about the healing power of God's love. For Such a Time is her first book. She lives with her husband and cat in Seattle, WA. Learn more at www.katebreslin.com.



Thank you to Bethany House, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

3 comments:

Elin said...

Thank you so much for sharing and love you review! This sound like a book I will love :) Looking forward to checking out the book.

Kate said...

Elin, You're welcome! It was a story that keeps you hooked. :-) I hope you enjoy when you are able to read it.

Rissi said...

Your review makes this sound even BETTER, Kate. Glad you shared - this is quite possibly my favorite biblical story plus I liked the film adaptation so this definitely has me curious. Hopefully I'll read it at some point. ;)