Monday, June 27, 2011

What I think about...A Reluctant Queen - The Love Story of Esther by Joan Wolf

The book of Esther is probably one of my favorites so when I saw that Booksneeze had a fictional version of the story available for review in an ebook I snatched it up!

Here is a description from the publisher...

An inspiring re-imagining of the tale of Esther, a young Jewish woman thrust from a life of obscurity into a life of power, wealth, intrigue . . . and tender love.
See the story of Esther in an entirely new way—with all the political intrigue and tension you remember, but told as a passionate and tender love story between a young man and woman. Misunderstood by many, King Xerxes was a powerful but lonely man. Esther’s beauty caught the eye of the young king, but it was her spirit that captured his heart.
Imagine anew the story of Esther, one of our faith’s great heroines, destined to play a key role in the history of Christianity.
Now here's what I think...
If you are looking for a scripturally accurate recounting of the story of Esther with just a little fiction thrown in to fill in the detail gaps in the actual Bible then this is not the book for you.  While I truly enjoyed reading the book (I actually had a hard time putting it down and got frustrated when my ipad that I was reading it on ran out of power!), I often caught myself saying "wait a minute, that's not what really happened" and I even went back to the Bible to double check things.  Now I know this book is clearly fiction and isn't trying to pretend to be nonfiction but some pretty major things were changed (i.e. a whole new king was created for Esther to marry instead of Xerxes).  My biggest issue is that it could clearly confuse people as to what really happened and how the scriptures recounts things.  Also, I guess I just don't think the actual story really needed to be changed that much just to get a "good romance" out of the book of Esther.  I think there's plenty of great stuff that's right there in the scripture!  If you are looking for a more scripturally based fictionalized story of Esther I would suggest checking out "Hadassah: One Night With the King" by Tommy Tenney.  (It's one of my favorite reads!)
To sum it up...It's a great book with well developed characters, a good plot, and a nice level of sweet romance. However, I think the author took a little too much liberty with the facts of the scripture when she wrote the book and that definitely disappointed me.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. 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.”