Friday, November 28, 2008

Such A Time as This, by Rebecca Velez (OakTara)

(Click cover for more information)

In Such A Time as This, Ms. Velez retells in unique style the delightful tale chronicled in the Biblical book of Esther. She takes us from the young girl Hadassah’s warm and peaceful home in Susa’s Jewish enclave, to the guile and intrigue of the royal harem in Xerxes' palace. Along the way we’re given glimpses into the tender mind of Hadassah as she copes with her capture by Xerxes’ soldiers, her preparation for his bed, and finally with her prominence as his queen.

Ms. Velez appoints a poignant cast of characters to add color to the story, some as close allies of Queen Esther, some as scheming enemies. Together, we tread the streets of Susa, the halls of Xerxes’ palace, and the gentle corners of Hadassah’s mind as her role in God’s plan for his people in exile begins to unfold. Reminicent of Tommy Tenney's A Night With the King, Ms. Velez takes the story further along, as the family of the disgraced and executed Haman plot revenge against Mordecai and the Jews of the realm.

The story of God’s deliverance of His people from the evil Haman’s genocidal plot through His fragile servant Hadassah is well known. But the ‘what’ of the story is not the draw of Such A Time as This, it’s the ‘how’.* The precious thoughts of this most humble of God’s servants carry us gently along the storyline, imbuing a poignant pathos—even empathy—into Hadassah’s experiences at the hands of a moody and unpredictable king, an often hostile court, and growing in her devotion to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Each of these experiences matures a young, sometimes na├»ve, Jewish girl, who, in the fullness of time, blossoms into a competent queen—a woman of substance prepared to give her life for her people and her God in ‘such a time as this’.

* See this review for a discussion of the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of a novel.

7 comments:

Four Lights For Him said...

Love the story of Esther! After the holidays, I will see about obtaining a copy. :)

Bruce Judisch said...

Jennifer,

You'll enjoy it. It took forever to get it from CBD, so I'd suggest either ordering it directly from OakTara. Don't know if Amazon would be any quicker. It's a novella-length--about the same number of pages as Ben Amittai.

Hope you're having a great Thanksgiving weekend. And thanks for being so faithful in checking my blog. It's nice to see someone is reading it.

Cheers! Bruce

Four Lights For Him said...

Thanks for letting me know CBD is running a little slow. :) Maybe the local bookstore will have it. If not I'll try online.

I've started reading Tribulation House. It's a funny book! I've laughed from the very beginning...really enjoying this one. :)

We're having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend of rain and warm temperatures. :) Although that's suppose to change tonight...cooler temperatures. Hope you and your family are having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

God be with you,
Jennifer ><>

Lynnette said...

Hi Bruce, Welcome home! Hope your trip went well.

I've always loved the story of Esther. I plan to get this book and do a review of it too. Rebecca was one of the first authors I talked to about OakTara (then Capstone) before I signed my contract.

Bruce Judisch said...

Lynette,

Thanks for stopping by!

Yeah, she did a nice job on Such a Time. Like Ben Amittai, it's novella length, so it's a fairly quick read.

Look forward to seeing your book come out!

Cheers! Bruce

Kim said...

I never get tired of the Esther story. And this one looks especially good. I might even attempt it since you said it's a fairly quick read. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of pleasure reading time these days. I hope that will change soon!

Bruce Judisch said...

Kim,

I think you'll enjoy it. Becky does a good job of getting inside Hadassah's head.

Still think you'd really like Dear Enemy, too. It also goes pretty fast.

Love, Dad