Today my blog is a stop on the Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia Book Tour and Giveaway. Could anyone use a $20 gift card to Starbucks and a surprise book? Well, be certain to register at the end of the blog and daily at the other stops. Now, let’s talk book!
I love Biblical fiction if it aligns with scripture and this one does. “Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia,” is a 302 page paperback Biblical Fiction by author Diana Wallis Taylor. The first thing that drew me in was the absolutely gorgeous cover. From now on that is how I will picture Queen Esther.
Author Taylor has a style that was pleasant but did not seem consistent throughout the book. The beginning read more like a novel for teenagers or older girls. It was enjoyable but a little slow and stripped down. Then after a few chapters it picked up a bit. For me, I could not become emotionally invested in this novel. The writing was nice, details were accurate, but it lacked feeling.
The familiar bible story of Esther has been written into an excellent fictional account. The author did her homework and provided accurate details. She researched Hadassah in scripture, the Persian Empire and its culture, and the Greek/Persian War. This helped her fill in the blanks to the story. She penned a mesmerizing love story about a beautiful Jewish girl and a pagan king. The result was a wonderful book that made Hadassah more real while keeping true to scripture.
I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys Biblical Fiction. After the story are pages of author notes and about the author. There are no Discussion Questions which is a shame because this would be a great church reading group selection. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to post a review. These are my own thoughts.
About the Book
Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release date: July 2, 2019
One of the great heroines of the Old Testament, Hadassah was a beautiful, graceful young woman who put her faith in God and her guardian, her cousin Mordecai.
She dreams of marrying Shamir, a tall, handsome, studious young man who is the rabbi’s son. Her heart beats faster when she hears the sound of his deep voice as he reads the Torah. And she hopes that he will visit Mordecai soon to present a betrothal request.
Then, an upheaval in King Xerxes’s palace changes everything. Queen Vashti has been banished and an edict goes out for all qualified young virgins throughout the empire to be taken to the palace as he searches for a new queen.
Fear strikes in the hearts of many, including Mordecai, as he realizes Hadassah will be taken. To hide her identity as a Jew, he tells her to go by the name of Esther. Since he works as a record-keeper at the king’s gates, he can keep tabs on how she is doing.
Hadassah: Queen Esther of Persia imagines what life was like for the woman who saved her people—and perhaps found love in the process.
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author
Diana Wallis Taylor was first published at the age of twelve, when she sold a poem to a church newsletter. After receiving her B.A. in Elementary Education at San Diego State University, she was an elementary school teacher for twenty-two years. Diana has also sold real estate, opened two coffeehouse/used book stores, and was a conference director for a private Christian college.
She has an extensive portfolio of published works, including a collection of poetry; an Easter cantata, written with a musical collaborator; contributions to various magazines and compilations; and several books, including Lydia, Woman of Philippi; Mary, Chosen of God; Ruth, Mother of Kings; and Halloween: Harmless Fun or Risky Business?
Learn more at www.dianawallistaylor.com.
Read an Excerpt
Besides the usual vendors, there were strange, sweaty men with beady eyes who were looking to get rich from the additional population.
In the wee hours of the morning, while Mordecai sat with his head in his hands, silently praying, Jerusha stopped breathing, slipping away so quietly that Hadassah thought she was still sleeping.
One day, to the people’s relief, the news was spread that the unwelcome banquet guests had been ordered back to their provinces—to prepare for war.
Instead of bowing, Hadassah smiled unabashedly and gazed directly at the king, who at that moment had turned his head.
“Do not give your name as Hadassah, but tell them it is Esther, which is a Persian name. I would have you hide your Jewish heritage for now.”
She felt their eyes silently appraising her; some with open interest, some with sympathy, and others with calculating shrewdness.
Esther asked each maid gentle, innocuous questions about her homeland, favorite foods, culture, and the like, listening attentively to their answers and making sure to speak to them by name both to let them know they were important to her and also to help her remember who was who.
“If you maidens help me to be my very best when I am called to the king’s chambers, if he honors me by selecting me as his queen, I will not forget you, who helped to put the crown on my head.”
Esther had seen some of the women pass her quarters so laden with jewelry they could hardly walk. She wanted to laugh out loud, but suppressed even a smile.
Recognition came. “Ah, the maiden in the crowd. I thought about you many times.” He moved closer. “I remember your hair, like a cloud around your face.”
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Through the Lens of Scripture, July 5
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Fiction Aficionado, July 6
The Becca Files, July 6
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EmpowerMoms, July 7
Madeline Hope, July 7
Locks, Hooks and Books, July 7
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Moments, July 8
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Aryn the Libraryan, July 10
Purposeful Learning, July 10
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 10
Through the Fire Blogs, July 10
Lights in a Dark World, July 11
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Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 11
Splashes of Joy, July 12
Simple Harvest Reads, July 12 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 12
Bigreadersite, July 13
Pause for Tales, July 13
Texas Book-aholic, July 13
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Older & Smarter?, July 15
She Lives To Read, July 15
A Reader’s Brain, July 15
For the Love of Literature, July 16
Just the Write Escape, July 16
Inklings and notions, July 16
Henry Happens, July 17
Hebrews 12 Endurance, July 17
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, July 17
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, July 17
To celebrate her tour, Diana is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbucks card and a surprise book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.