Saturday, May 3, 2014

For Such A Time by Kate Breslin

Product Description

In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.
Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.

My Review

This vivid and emotionally packed retelling of Esther is filled with hope, love, and redemption. I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved and enjoyed this book. When I first read the description of  it I was, "Oh yeah, that sounds like my kind of book. WW2 and Esther, it should be good!" 
Good would not begin to describe it now. Magnificent, impressive, brilliant and beautifully written! With 51 verses used from the book of Esther, each chapter begins with a verse from various chapters. There's no chapter to chapter basis, whichever verse fits the chapter or was inspired for the chapter is used. Especially in the second half of the book, one chapter might be from Esther 8 and the next one from Esther 2. But each one fit it beautifully! 

The vast majority of the book takes place from February 14, 1944 to March 8, 1944. Less than two months, but when your reading it you lose all track of time. You get absorbed into each of the characters, even the evil Captain Hermann. I love when authors give depths to their villains. It's not just, "Oh your the bad guy." You get a little bit of background on him as well. How and why he became the villain in this story. Even Helen, the mute cook who came with  Aric von Schmidt when he moved to his new station in Theresienstadt, who you mostly only ever see in the kitchen or serving dinner you learn a bit of her background as well. Each one of the characters, put together like a tapestry, help make this one of the best stories I've ever read. 

Of course, my favorites were Stella (or Hadassah) and Aric. Aric's story of redemption was beautiful. After joining the Nazi's, he realized what they were doing was wrong but by that time his hands were covered in the blood of innocent lives and he felt he didn't deserve to be forgiven. So instead he did nothing to change, he ignored the cries in his heart and and tried to bear the sins he had committed on is own. Until he met Stella who helped open his heart and eyes to the truth of God's grace and mercy. Proving that no one is above receiving forgiveness and grace if they are willing to ask and turn away from what is wrong, which he did. 

Stella lost her faith in God, feeling He had abandoned her after a little girl close to her heart died in her arms at the hands of the Nazi's. But like Esther, she is to be the salvation for the jews. She doesn't know how; she constantly wondered what purpose God had for allowing her to live and be rescued by this Nazi Colonel instead of dying with that little girl. Her Uncle Morty had a God given dream that she would rescue them, like Esther did from Haman's evil plot. Stella can't understand what she could do to help them but she wants a sign from God, something to let her know He's still there. She has to learn to be silent and listen for his whispers and have faith. Because he never left her side. He was preparing her for Such A Time, like he did with Esther. 

This book was truly a mirror of the book of Esther if your willing to look deeper. Like in Esther, she was taken into a home unwillingly and forced to stay with a man she didn't even know and could kill her at any given time for whatever reason he might find. God prepared her to be in a position to help her people escape persecution. Even Aric, you can see how his position of power was like that of the king in Esther and how he fell in love with Stella that first moment he saw her. That God had used her to save both him and her people from Captain Hermann.
"For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”" ~Esther 4:14 (NLT)
I am thoroughly impressed by Kate Breslin's debut novel. I hope she continues to write more like it and be just as good as this one. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars! If you want to purchase this book, just click on the cover above and you'll be brought straight to the book on

I received this book for free from the publisher’s in exchange for this honest and unbiased review as part of their Blogging Review program.


  1. Wow, you made me really want to read this and prior to your review I have heard nothing about it. I love the story of Esther and enjoy war novels so this sounds like something I will enjoy.

    1. I'm so glad! :D Let me know when you get to read it, it'd be awesome to hear your thoughts about it. :)