I have always been a fan of debut novels. One thing I love about them is the opportunity to discover a new voice, someone I will want to follow in their future novels. So when given the opportunity to read and review For Such a Time by Kate Breslin, I jumped at the chancce. I can honestly say her book touched my heart at the deepest level and I can hardly wait to read more by this very talented debut novelist.
For Such a Time is set during World War II and takes place over a little less than a months time in the year 1944. It is the story of SS Kommandant Aric von Schmidt and Hadassah Benjamin, who early in the novel, goes by the alias of Stella Muller in order to protect herself because of her Jewish heritage. Aric rescues Stella from being shot while she was a prisoner at Dachau. He takes her to his aunt's house where she is kept locked in a room. In time, Aric comes and takes her to the camp he is the commandant for, Theresienstadt, another prisoner camp that is known as a paradise ghetto, but it is just as bad as the rest of the camps that kept the Jewish people prisoners simply because they were Jewish. Aric tells her she is to be his secretary and will live in his home outside the walls of the 'ghetto'.
Stella's parents died when she was very young and she was then raised by her uncle Mordecai. She soon finds out that her Uncle Morty is a prisoner in the Theresienstadt prison camp. She is able to see him on rare occasions and in the end they work together to escape the camp.
Aric is an Austrian who has had a difficult life. Stella is a Jew who is living a difficult life. Together they find that barriers between the Nazis and Jews can be torn down and they can coexist, after all, they are both human.
Ms. Breslin based her story on the Book of Esther in the Bible. It's almost as if she used the Book of Esther as her outline for her masterful first novel. She did a phenomenal job!
I could go on and on about all that happens but I don't believe in handing out spoilers, but I will say one thing, Please take a look at the cove on the novel. You will find that the red hair, pearls and the tattered Bible all play a significant part in the telling of this wonderful story.
I would highly recommend For Such a Time to any adults who love a good, well researched historical novel. Due to the topic of the killing of the Jewish people, I wouldn't suggest this to younger children.
I would like to say one more thing, this is without a doubt, the best book I have read since reading Francine Rivers' book, Redeeming Love. It is a book filled with forgiveness, trust, perseverance and love. I loved all the characters but I was particularly drawn to Aric. Ms. Breslin's words brought him to life for me. Remarkable!
I would like to thank the publisher, Bethany House, for my review copy of For Such a Time. I received my copy for free in order to read and give my honest opinion which I have done.
On a 5-Star scale = 5 HUGE Stars!!!!!
Smiles & Blessings,