By Angela Hunt
Published by Bethany House
Back Cover: New York Times bestselling author Angela Hunt, renowned for her biblical fiction, endows Esther with new life and passion in this dramatic and emotional portrayal.
REVIEW: “Expect the unexpected”, is this authors tag line. It’s what I’ve come to love about her books. I had wondered what she would do with a story that is so familiar to many. Given her back ground and her tag line this author brought a richness and new perspective to the story. I saw Esther with a freshness I hadn’t expected. (Angela Hunt completed her Master of Biblical studies in Theology degree in 2006, 2008 she completed her doctorate and in 2009 she was accepted into a Th.D program.)
The author states, “Whenever I write a historical novel, I am always asked how much of the tale is fact and how much is fiction. I hope you will be pleased to know that nearly every event in this novel comes from the historical record. The biblical account is accurately represented her and I have supplemented that story with writings from the Greek chronicler Herodotus. He wrote extensively of the Persian Court and its Kings, particularly, of Exerxes and his Queen Amestris (Vashti).”
The author give the definition of two words typically used to describe someone’s personal appearance that had relevance to this new series. The first is yaphe which means good looking. The second is tob applied to a woman’s looks, conveys sensual appeal… The author says, “Beauty does not always benefit the woman who possess it. On occasion it betrays her, and at other times it endangers her, even to the point of death.”…“These novels about Esther, Bathsheba and Delilah are stories of “tob” woman.”
This story is narrated in the first person by Esther and a eunuch named Harbonah, who served the king. I like stories that cause me to go back to scripture and walk away with a different insight and understanding. The scriptures came alive through reading this story. I came away with a new appreciation of Esther because readers see an average young girl grow up into a beautiful woman who is set on an unexpected course; all the while staying close to God.
This author has 10 discussion questions and author notes in the back. I read them first. It helped me to see the authors writing process. It also gave a glimpse at how she went about gathering information for the novel. I love the depth of faith portrayed in these characters, their circumstances and the hardships they faced. This author’s in-depth research makes for a heart-felt, fascinating read. Not bogged down with detail but had me feel like you are walking the streets with Esther and people of that time period.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”
Nora St Laurent
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