Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Kate Breslin
Publisher: Bethany House
“Stella stared at the man beside her, this Jew Killer who had taken possession of her. With or without false papers, her life might only stretch as far as the next hour. What did he really want with her?” Kate Breslin writes in her debut novel, For Such A Time.
At four hundred and thirty-two pages, this paperback targets those interested in historical fiction and romance, especially during World War Two when millions of Jews were sent to prison camps. With no profanity, the topic of war, abuse, and death would make the story not appropriate for naïve readers. The ending includes the author’s notes, a glossary of German and Jewish terms, eleven discussion questions, and acknowledgements.
In this page-turner, twenty-three year old Hadassah Benjamin finds herself in front of a firing squad while she has been imprisoned at Dachau, Germany. After one shot is fired, she is saved by SS Kommadant Colonel Aric von Schmidt, who takes her to the transit camp in Czechoslovakia.
Unable to comprehend fully why she has been brought into his private residence at the camp, her name is changed to Stella Muller and she becomes his secretary. Her beautiful but beaten body takes time to heal as she prays God would convey His message to her.
Befriending several other Jews within the ghetto, the Mischling does not want to be one of the German zoinehs the SS officers think she is. Forced to type up lists of adults and children to be sent on trains to Auschwitz, she struggles to keep her identity secret.
As the Colonel commands the camp with its ruthless soldiers, he finds Stella to be unwavering, determined, and selfless when it comes to protecting those of the Jewish race. More than once, both must reign in their desires as they stay patriotic and loyal to their countries.
With each chapter in sync with the Biblical story of Esther, Breslin saturates the tale with the need to call on God for guidance, knowing He is in control of all things. Her detailed, compassionate words give readers hope that overcomes the heartbreak during such a tumultuous time.
Focusing on finding freedom both physically and spiritually, this book leaves readers remembering the horrific tragedy that happened so long ago and how man can learn from mistakes and find salvation.
Thanks to Bethany House for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.