Esther is a young Jew living in the Persian kingdom of King Xerxes. She lives with her cousin Mordecai's family. She's had to care for Mordecai and Leah's children a lot lately, because Leah has just had a baby and she hasn't been up to caring for them. But Mordecai has just told Esther that it's time to betroth her to a Jewish man, and to make matters better, he is willing to allow her some say in the matter, something that wasn't normally done in this period of time. Esther is ecstatic and goes to the festival to tell her best friend Johanna the news. Johanna is happy to help her friend find just the perfect man. Leah stays home with the children, praying for Esther to see the man she should marry and know that he is the right man. Only Esther doesn't see any man that can hold her attention at the festival. Johanna and Esther are on their way home when a handsome stranger asks for help getting water from a well, but this stranger isn't just any man, it's King Xerxes himself. Johanna realizes it's the king first and immediately bows to the earth, but Esther is busily getting water for him from the well and doesn't realize until she looks into his face. She embarrasses herself and is mortified hoping that her family doesn't hear about her behavior. But what her family does hear is that the king would like Esther to present herself at the palace to be one of the virgins the king will choose his new queen from. Esther is not sure what to do, Mordecai presses her to go, but what does the Lord want for Esther? Her choice will either leave her life the same or alter it drastically.
I loved this re-telling of Esther's story! I love the details that Heather Moore adds to make this more of a novel than a scripture story. I love the way this story sparks my imagination about how things would have been for Esther, first living among the Jews and then in the palace. How drastic the changes must have seemed to Esther. How much courage she had to even be able to have gone to the king's palace. Obviously, I knew how the story was basically was going to end, because I know the scripture story, but there was plenty of twists and turns to keep me from wanting to put this book down. I read it quickly, in an afternoon, because I was so excited to see just where Esther's story would take me. I highly recommend this book!
Labels: H B Moore, LDS fiction