Tuesday, March 18, 2014

FOR SUCH A TIME by Kate Breslin

This was a story that made me think about it even when I wasn't reading it and one I will remember long after I have read it.   It is author Kate Breslin's debut and I hope she continues to write as I would gladly read more of her work.  This is a fiction story, but based upon real places and times.  "For Such a Time is an evocative retelling of the Esther story set in WWII Europe",  says the description on the back of the book.  I can understand why they say it is a retelling of the book of Esther as the author quotes from Esther at the beginning of each chapter, but for me it was hard to compare these two events.

It is the year 1944 and Hadassah Benjamin finds herself rescued from a firing squad and handed over to SS Kommandant Aric von Schmidt, who thinks she has wrongly been accused of being a Jew.  He takes her in and she becomes his secretary.  Hadassah must keep her nationality a secret in order to live and hopefully help "her people" in the concentration camp Colonel Aric von Schmidt is running.  Aric finds himself attracted to Hadassah and she finds him a caring person and not at all like other officers she has met and been beaten by.  But can she truly trust him with her secret and can these two people from very different backgrounds really come to care for and love each other?  I would say not possible, but the author did a great job of convincing me otherwise.  I won't spoil the ending, but stress it is a work of fiction and things that happened near the end are pure fiction.  What takes place in the concentration camps though are real and very hard to understand how people lived through this dark time in history.  I highly encourage others to read this story and be moved by the characters and the history they will read about.

I received an advanced reading copy from LibraryThing through Bethany House to read and review.
File Size: 4468 KB
Print Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 1, 2014)

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