If you like historical fiction with a little romance thrown in, then you HAVE to read this book. I missed a lot of sleep because I had to keep reading to see what would happen next. You will be surprised at the turn of every page.
Like any stories set during WWII in the Nazi arena, this is a tension-filled, scary, conflictive tale of the Jewish people suffering at the hands of their German tormentors.
Aric von Schmidt is the SS Kommandant Colonel in charge of a detention center for Jews: Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia. He is a formidable officer with much experience and many bravery awards for his service. On a visit to another camp, Dachau, he comes face-to-face with a young woman, Stella Muller, who is about to be shot to death, but he is so impressed with her determined and defiant look as she stares at her would-be killers, that he stops the shooting and instead, secrets her out of that camp and takes her to his own home, just outside of Theresienstadt.
Aric lives in a world of cruelty and subterfuge and is at risk for making this beautiful young woman his own personal secretary. As she is required to do the unthinkable, such as typing up lists of people in the camp who are bound for Auschwich and the gas chambers there, she attempts to persuade Aric (who has fallen in love with her) into a softening attitude towards these people. It only creates a lot of trouble for her and much suspense in the story.
For Such A Time is somewhat parallel to the story of Esther in the Bible, and many verses from that story are used as many events in this story go forward. Stellas uncle, who raised her from the age of five, is also in the camp. When she discovers this, there is much more suspense. It is a very exciting wartime novel with many surprises, clear to the very end. Do not read at bedtime!
For Such a Time is the retelling of the story of Esther set in WWII Czechoslovakia and is the author's debut novel. Hadassah Benjamin has been rescued from Daschau and given a new identity and a new name, Stella Muller, by SS Commandant Aric von Schmidt. She assumes the role as his secretary and is in a unique position to influence his actions at Theresiendstadt. Aric doesn't seem to share his countrymen's extreme views and throughout the story you see his conflict. He and Stella grow to love each other, which adds further conflict to the story as Stella struggles with being a Jew falling in love with the enemy, so to speak. You quickly find out that Stella's uncle is a prisoner at Theresiendstadt and he believes Stella will be the prisoners' salvation. At one point, both Aric and Stella are forced into a situation where they have to decide what is most important to them. Their lives, as well as many others, are put into danger as they decide to follow what they know is right.
There are a lot of twists and turns in the storyline which kept me turning the pages. I loved the way the author weaved the concepts of Esther's story into this story of salvation. I felt that the romance was forced and repetitive at times, yet that didn't keep me from wanting to know how it would all turn out. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this author.
I was given a copy of this book from the publisher and The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review which I have given.
For a debut book for Kate Breslin, this is incredible. It is one of the most thought-provoking, emotional and enjoyable books I have read in a while. It is an Esther retelling of Jewish handing in Czechoslovakia. There is romance, tears, suspense, anger and most of all faith. The book will take you on a ride you won't forget quickly. I can not wait to read any further items Kate writes.
I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.