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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: FOR SUCH A TIME by Kate Breslin (Bethany House, 2014)

From BethanyHouse: 
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?

Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Length: 432 pgs

Rating: *****

Review: This book is powerful. I love reading about World War II, but I'm often brought down by the sheer brutality and hopelessness of too many situations. I've read some sad, sad accounts. And I've read amazing accounts that are sad but uplifting. This is one of them. I love the precipice that both characters are teetering on the edge of and the impossible choices left to them to make. There is a whole cast of deep characters, both good and bad. This book will break your heart, but you will love it too. 

Sex: 1/5 (passionate kisses, prostitutes and discussing soldiers raping women, the possibility that one officer might rape Stella.)
Violence: 2/5 (Discusses beatings of prisoners, there is a battle among the Jews and the Germans near the end.)
Language: 0/5
Preaching: 3/5 (Flows seamlessly into the narrative and doesn't stand out at all.)
Overall rating: PG-13

Source: I was given an electronic copy via Netgalley in exchange for my review.

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About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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