Jewish Hadassah has not been called by her true name since she was orphaned as a child. She is now Esther and lives with her beloved cousin Mordecai. Young love quickens in her heart, only to be dashed by the callous decree of the Persian King Xerxes. Snatched from her home and her first love, she is thrust into a hive of decadent palace intrigue. How can a simple sheepherding girl hope to compete for a king's affections?

Her extraordinary beauty and intelligence gain her favor with the influential, and God opens doors for advancement that man could not. Yet Esther's heart grieves for what might have been. Will she submit to Jehovah's plan for her life in time to save not only herself but the entire Jewish nation too?

A number of novels have been written about the striking historical and biblical Queen Esther. Garrett turns the emotional screws tighter by writing the story as if it were the diary of a young girl's turmoil and triumph at a pivotal time in history. This is an astute work of depth and majesty equal to the subject matter. (Sep., 272 pp., $12.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill Elizabeth Nelson