Monday, December 31, 2012
"Hadassah: One Night with the King" by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen
Bestselling author Tommy Tenney expands the extraordinary story of Esther like no novelist has done before. Both a thriller and a Jewish woman's memoir, Hadassah takes readers to ancient Persia (now known as Iran), into the inner sanctum of the palace and back out into the war zones of battle and political intrigue. This gripping drama of a simple peasant girl chosen over many more qualified candidates to become Esther, Queen of Persia, captures the imagination and fires the emotions of men and women alike.
This was a wonderful retelling of the story of Esther from the Bible, one I finally could really understand. This fictional book was not cheapened, not changed, not altered in any way, but included additional of the details so that we can understand them in today's terms. I felt this book was written very well, and the story truly is very amazing and I could really related to Esther, finally!
I enjoyed this story immensely, as I often enjoy reading fictional Bible stories. They are brought to life for me much better this way, written into a (fictional yet accurate) novel, than when reading them from the Bible. In the Bible, you are not going to get the everyday details like cooking dinner, preparing for a festival, going to market everyday, etc., etc. From the Bible, it's pretty cut and dry, and yes, I hate to say this, but boring!
I guess a better way to explain it, for myself, is like watching a play of the Bible scene acted out. I just truly enjoy it, and I understand it much better. There are props, people are speaking in today's terms, etc. I really do wish there were more books written like this, but with the addition of Independent Authors, I have noticed more have being written, which I will be reading.
I had talked to an author once who had written a fictional Bible story, and she had about 50/50 acceptance, yet the book was a best seller. She explained some people were appalled that a person would take a story from the Bible and turn it into a work of fiction. (Defaming the Bible stories.) What people don't understand is are the facts remain the same, it's just the details of everyday life from that time are added, as we know them, as I explained above, which are much more relatable to today's times.
Esther is not Jewish, but her Uncle has plans for her, right down to changing her name at a young age to a Jewish name. He feels she will be the type of woman (Jewish or not) who can change things for all people in the future in a fair way, if she is chosen as queen, or at least he can only help but to hope she will be the one chosen as the queen for the king. The huge thing is they must NOT allow anyone to know she is not Jewish. (It sure seems that Jewish and Christian people ALL throughout history at different times have had to hide their religion, or so it sure seems like. It is either hide it, join it, or be killed. I am truly grateful to be alive at this point in time!)
This book is written is such detail. It's the little things that make all the difference in the retelling of this story. Things such as dishes, pots and pans, the laundry. It was really neat to read about these minor details and how they were done back then. You could really put yourself into this era.
The really neat part, I thought, was the grooming and preparation of Esther to meet with the King. This part is not gone into detail in the Bible, yet it did happen.
Once Esther does meet the king, it truly IS love that binds them together.
After the King passes, Esther is able to run the country in favor for the Jews and the regular people as well, while not favoring either, yet being 'a fair queen', all the while, still no one knows she is not Jewish, nor does it matter.
This truly is an amazing story, which I don't think we can truly understand all of it from the Bible story.
This was a book I had chosen to read on my own.
Posted by Laurie Carlson at 7:51 PM