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Esther: A Story of Courage Paperback – September 1, 2004
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From the Author
This was a fascinating book to research and write. To me, Esther's one of the most interesting women of the Bible because there's so much untold between the lines of her story. She's known for an extraordinary act, yet in many ways she may have been a very ordinary woman--a woman with doubts and fears, unsure whether she could, or should, rise to the task God called her to. I was curious about her--and writing a novel is always a fascinating way to fill in the gaps in the life of a historical character!
About the Author
Trudy Morgan-Cole lives in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. Esther is her tenth published book. She's also written numerous short stories and articles. A former high-school English teacher, she now writes full-time while raising two children, Christopher and Emma.
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Freedom escaped her grasp, as Hadassah forced herself to continue marching towards the harem of King Xreres of Persia; which was drawing closer and closer at hand. Fear and confusion both tangled themselves into her thoughts, how would she survive without knowing what here future held?
Confused and hopeless, she pushed her way through palace life; learning proper etiquette, social skills, and feminine graces. Bathed in lotions, perfumes, and clothed in precious jewels. But worst of all, performing things of which the Torah had forbidden her to do. But what could she do? She was a prisoner of the palace.
But nevertheless, she did what she was told, shining her brightest in the midst of the harem, accompanying other young women who were found scattered throughout the empire, among them Ayana, and the harem schemer Ranah.
Striving to do her best in the midst of a pagan environment, she caught the eye of Haggai the harem eunuch and custodian; after much devotional consideration and observation, he called her in for a private audience. What would he want with her?
Esther's palms sweated, would she be a musician? Was her first yielding thought... She had practiced countless times on her beloved Oud, day and night, when she could capture the moment. And now, now would come her time! She had achieved her goal.
She would never be brought to the king! She had done it... from what she knew, now her life would take a whole new course, and a new direction, no longer having to brake Torah. Little did she know that her life indeed would take a different direction for 'Such a Time as This'.
This is more than just words printed on paper, it's a living account! Swooping down into the long lost world of Persia, it's culture, and the magnificent palace of Susa well known for it's fame and beauty.
The story comes to life, encompassed with Persia's history, the suspicious harem gossip, and mysterious plots. But in spite of it all, I gathered my personal conclusion of the novel, which was indeed courage.
Who among us could experience what she did? Have the unshakable faith as she? Who among us would be patient while surrounded and imprisoned in a pagan culture, who does not honor or even acknowledge the one true Creator of all living? This is truly a story of courage.
It is enlightening, refreshing the soul, and seems to draw you closer to the one and true Creator. She trusted him with her life, she told him that she was not her own. And how he could use her in any way he saw fit.
I would rate this book a five star! Save for some of the adult setting, such as the bedchamber scenes, and adult conversation (which is found mostly in the beginning of the book), I thought it was fairly interesting and exciting.
My favorite part out of the entire novel, was when Esther realized that she was not her own, she was the vessel of Elohim, and he could do what ever and anything he wanted her to do. He chose her to be queen 'For Such a Time as This', to save her people from completely being wiped-out.
Through this novel I could also see the reflection of Messiah, how he was also willing to give up his life for his people, and how he was born 'For Such a Time as This'.
To lay down his life for us that we might be saved. Also as Esther was willing to lay down her life for her people... saying, "If I perish, I perish." What courage Yahweh must have given her, she was willing to give up herself for her loved ones.
And now, this comes to a close. I do admit, this book made me laugh, and cry, rejoice and have sorrow, it put me in suspense and also puzzled me, even had me jump up and down, or bring tears to my eyes. But after reading the last portion of the novel, you and I can see a full picture of the story of Esther... courage.
(I would only note that this would be best read by mid-teens and older, due to the raw, honest retelling of what life as a woman in the palace would have been like.)
Esther is a fascinating tale based on facts meticulously gathered by the author. Esther herself is a part of a biblical story, but the book is enjoyable for everyone, religious or not. Morgan-Cole managed to take this biblical tale and turn it into something appealing for everyone. Esther is a young woman full of confidence and poise, determined to make the best of her situation. This book was full of swirling intrigue and contained over 70 characters, each with a distinct purpose and personality. While reading this book, it almost feels as if you are involved in the events of the harem. I was engrossed throughout the book and loved every second of it.
Most recent customer reviews
She LOVES the book. She said it's a great read and very well written.