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A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther

af Joan Wolf

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
12017174,759 (4.13)Ingen
Discover the intimate, profoundly stirring story of Esther, a simple Jewish girl, and Ahasuerus, the Great King of Persia, who finds in her the companion of his soul. In this meticulously researched novel, you'll experience Esther's first frightened days in the king's harem and her gradual awakening love; her anguished realization that she is God's chosen instrument, and her courageous defiance of Persian law that saved her people from destruction.… (mere)

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Viser 1-5 af 17 (næste | vis alle)
In simplest terms this is a creative retelling of the story of Esther from the Bible. The author has taken some creative liberties that do not destroy, but enhance the original story. We see Esther as a woman who reluctantly marries a man she never would have because of their differences in beliefs. The author took this opportunity to explore the love between Esther and the King. This is important because during that period in history we know that the King had many wives. Yet we see how much he loved Esther. The author also shows the king as a wise man and a kind man. Haman is a man with a hate for Jews and a grudge against a Jew the King likes named Mordecai. Mordecai is the uncle of Esther. In this book Mordecai is shown in a different light. His reasons for Esther’s marriage to the king come across as self-serving. The Bible shows him as a calm and peaceful man who is very loyal to the king. If I had one complaint that would be it. However, this was not enough to take away from the book. It is well written and I really enjoyed it. ( )
  skstiles612 | Jul 21, 2020 |
I have always loved the story of Queen Esther and I found this novel to be a true delight. The author honestly admits to changing aspects of the biblical tale but I thought she did a wonderful job. I couldn't put the book down even though I know the story so well. Not only was the romance touching but I liked that the concubines and eunuchs were treated like people, not sexual possessions or objects of derision. I admired how Esther treated them and made their lives better.

The king, Ahasuerus, was extremely likeable. Not only was he a fair and honest monarch, but he adored his wife and always treated her with kindness and respect. Esther, of course, was not only beautiful but kind, courageous, intelligent and compassionate. I loved following her journey as she became queen.

The rich historical background, the interesting characters and the flow of the story made "A Reluctant Queen" a very engaging and entertaining read. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Apr 27, 2020 |
The story of Esther has always been one of my favorite stories in the Bible, because of what a strong woman she was. I always wished I could know more about Esther and was very excited when I saw this option on NetGalley. The story isn't a hundred percent accurate but what would be the fun in that anyway? Joan does a fabulous job crafting her own tale by pulling from the existing story and filling in the blanks. I especially love how important character motives were for the author. Every character you come across has motives for everything they do which really allows the characters to leap off of the pages and in the end you put down the book feeling as if you understand all sides of the presented situation.

My one complaint is that the Esther Joan created didn’t strike me the same way as the Esther I had read about. The Esther I had known was always so courageous and strong with a zeal that couldn’t be beat. This Esther, while feeling more human, was awfully weak and fairly wishy-washy in her zeal. However, I did appreciate the way Joan painted Esther as a loving queen who was respected and adored by all she came in contact with.

Overall, I am not disappointed by this novel. I left with warm fuzzies and I enjoyed the adventure. I would probably not read this again but I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the story of Esther.
( )
  Emma_Manolis | Jun 27, 2017 |
"And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight..."
Esther 2:17 KJB

The Book of Esther is a small book of the Old Testament. Filled with politics, religion, palace intrigues, selfish ambitions and a Cinderella-type tale of a young girl who wins the prince's (or in this case, the king's) heart.

Esther is portrayed here as a young, spirited 15 year old when we first meet her. Possibly 16 or 17 when she finally becomes queen. Rather than accepting her fated role in the salvation of her Jewish people she is instead doubtful, sometimes stubborn and sometimes resentful of Mordecai, her uncle who pressed her into becoming queen. Esther is cast as a very real and flawed heroine, venting to God about her unhappiness -

"I don't understand. I don't understand anything. All I know is one thing - I want to go home. Father in Heaven, I want to go home!"

According to the Book of Esther the candidates for queen had to undergo twelve months of ritual preparations before appearing before the king. For Esther that meant daily bathing submerged in water for the first time, washing her hair with egg yolks and oils, smoothing her roughened skin with a pumice stone, bleaching her skin, removing body hair, rubbing oils into her skin and finally the application of cosmetics. This was all done for her by an entourage of palace slaves.

A certain amount of skill is involved in turning a polygamous, autocratic ruler with a harem of concubines into a one-woman man, who divorces his first wife because she was 'disobedient' when she "refused to display her beauty" (Esther 1:11), who values a woman based on her outward beauty alone and who choses a wife from among the most beautiful virgins in the land. He's a real stand-up guy for sure. Not exactly hero material for the romantic-at-heart. A complete makeover has had to be done to make Ahasuerus at least suitable to our modern, western sensibilities. A major tweaking by an experienced hand necessary to drag him into the 21st century and up to an acceptable standard for our modern version of a hero.
A Reluctant Queen is not meant to be a re-telling of the Book of Esther but rather a re-imagining with a heavy emphasis on the love story. It's a fine line for an author to walk between providing an entertaining and fictional story and yet still hold fast to the basic tenets of the Biblical account. Whether this is an accurate depiction of what may have been the relationship between King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther, I don't really know. I'm no Bible scholar. But my inner realist has doubts. Yet I'm also a romantic, and with my romantic historical fiction hat firmly in place, I was not disappointed.

( )
  AlexisLovesBooks | Feb 9, 2016 |
This is a magnificent piece of work from Joan Wolf. Very well written, easy reading and captivating from the first page. Her sensibility and her way of describing characters and scenes makes us participate in the plot of the book. The book is a fiction that portraits a love story with characters based on the Book of Esther, from the Bible. The author, as in any fiction work, took liberties and adapted the story to her imagination and the result was superb. I have read many critics on this book, saying that it is not Bible accurate. This is a fiction. If you want accuracy on Esther's story, go directly to the source, the Book of Esther, in the Bible.
The front cover of the book is very well chosen.
This book should be part of a permanent library of any serious reader that loves romance and Christian novels.
This book was written by Joan Wolf and published by Thomas Nelson in 2011 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers Program.

( )
  rmattos | Jan 23, 2016 |
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Discover the intimate, profoundly stirring story of Esther, a simple Jewish girl, and Ahasuerus, the Great King of Persia, who finds in her the companion of his soul. In this meticulously researched novel, you'll experience Esther's first frightened days in the king's harem and her gradual awakening love; her anguished realization that she is God's chosen instrument, and her courageous defiance of Persian law that saved her people from destruction.

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