Friday, April 4, 2014

Bookshelf Friday - For Such a Time by Kate Breslin

Before I get into this absolutely amazing gotta-buy book, I need to tell you the winner of my March Bookshelf Giveaway! I put all my new likes, followers, and commenters into Random Thing Picker and Debby Radmacher, your name popped up! Take a look at my March Bookshelf, and I'll be contacting you later today to see which book you'd like:)

Now, onto today's book...

Oh my I'm reviewing Kate Breslin's debut novel. It's a retelling of the story of Esther set during World War II in Nazi Germany, and it sucks you in immediately. Let me give you the blurb and then we can chat.

In 1944, blond and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.

Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.

Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?

There was truly so much to love about this book. From the first page, these characters draw you in. Kate did a phenomenal job placing you not only into this time period but also into the camp of Theresienstadt. Although the story of Esther is a familiar one, when placed into another time period, intrigue and conflict abound. Along with love. This is one thing that surprised me the most, how Kate wrote Aric's character and showed his humanity, his struggles, and his heroism. And I loved, loved, loved that while I went in with preconceived notions of what things should happen, this book continually surprised me. I found myself often wondering how it would end--even though I knew the story it was based on.

Kate also shows the story from multiple point-of-views, which sometimes can throw me off, but in this story was used well. I never felt I was taken from Stella and Aric for too long, and seeing what was occurring through others' eyes only reinforced the main story line of their relationship.

By the time I was in the middle of this book, I knew it would find a permanent home on my bookshelf. If you loved Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, chances are great that you'll love this book too. A timeless story of God's amazing faithfulness retold, yet Kate managed to create an amazing love story of her own between two so unlikely people.

I happily give For Such a Time 5 out of 5 stars, and you can purchase it here.

If you'd like to learn more about Kate, please visit her at her website


  1. Ahhhh I cannot wait to read this one. I just read Kristy Cambron's The Butterfly and the Violin (hands-down one of my new faves) and it reminded me how much I adore reading WWII stories. Can't wait to read this one! Wait, I already said that... :)

    1. Melissa,

      Kate's book is on my nightstand too! The second book in my series is set in Terezin, so I need to wait until I'm finished before I can pick up this book and read. BUT - I am so excited about it! ; ) (And I have your next book in the TBR pile too, of course!) ; )

      Loved this review. So well done!

  2. LOL! You'll love it then! I could so completely GUSH about this one on and on. And I have Kristy's on my Kindle right now. Cannot wait! I have heard amazing things about hers too:)

    1. Susan - This is such a beautiful blog! I'm just honored to have been mentioned in such company. ; )

  3. Sounds like a great story. I may need to keep the tissues handy. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you, this helps, my youngest daughter is looking for some suspense from a wholesome author. She works at the library so hopefully they will carry this! : )

    Blessings! : )

  5. Susan, thanks so much for the lovely review. I hope readers will enjoy it as well! :)

  6. Susan, thanks so much for the lovely review. I hope readers will enjoy it as well! :)