Tuesday, June 14, 2011
A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther by Joan Wolf
"...The business of the court was not the business of women, and that was that. Yet Mordecai believed that it was the will of God that had made her Persia's queen. In the deepest part of her own soul, Esther wondered if her uncle was indeed right. There was no other way she could find to account for the incredible events that had befallen her."
When I first began reading this book, I was taken aback by the author changing some of the Biblical facts in the novel. After some outside encouragement, I decided to give the novel another chance. I am so glad I did.
The story of Esther is one of my favorites in the Bible, probably due to the hero actually being a heroine. In the novel, A Reluctant Queen, the author Joan Wolf has created a fictional account of the Biblical story of Esther. At first glance all you many notice is the changing of some Biblical facts. But if you look more closely, you will see the author has done some thorough research. I actually learned some new things while reading the novel, because I did my own research in the Bible and on Persia to see what facts matched up with the novel. I don’t have time to list everything here, but I will give you some examples.
In the novel the Royal family takes a journey to Ecbatana, the capital city of Media. In the fictional story it is a long journey taking many days. I have looked at Biblical archaeological maps, and Ecbatana is an actual city that lies within a mountain range and it appears to be accurately portrayed as to the length of time it would take to arrive there by foot and by horse.
Also, Hatach in the novel is a eunuch assigned to attend to Esther. In the actual account in the Old Testament, Hatach is a real person and is referred to as chamberlain in the King James Version of the Bible. In my research I found out that the word chamberlain would be more accurately translated “eunuch.” This is another example in the novel of an accurate Biblical fact. I had never noticed Hatach before I believe because so much attention is always given to Hegai. These are just but two examples and for brevity’s sake, I won’t go on.
This novel turned out to be my favorite book I have gotten from Booksneeze so far. It was romantic, yes, but there was so much more to it than that. It is a fictional account, without a doubt, but the author did such a beautiful job with the story that it draws you to the scriptures. The character of the king is warm and wise, and I don’t know how she did it, but she developed him to such a point that she made him almost Christ-like. It made me wonder who the savior is in the actual account. Esther? Mordecai? Or was it Ahasuerus (Xerxes), because the Biblical account’s main objective is the salvation and preservation of the Jews?
Usually, I give a list of people I recommend this book for. Not this time. This time I just want to simply say, I recommend this book.
Many blessings to you and Happy Reading!
*Disclaimer: I received this book from Booksneeze as part of a free books for bloggers program. I am not required to give a favorable review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.