The Book Of Esther (Book Review)

If you are looking for some good books to throw in your beach bag for your last trip to the beach or last day at the pool, I have two good ones for you. The first is The Book Of Esther, which I reviewed for Blogging for Books. The second is A Hologram For The King, which I read after enjoying The Circle so much. (You can read my review of that book here.)

The Book Of Esther Book Review

As with most of my book review posts, this post includes Amazon affiliate links.
If you click through and make a purchase I will receive a small commission.

The Book of Esther by Emily Barton tells the story of Esther bat Josephus, the teenage daughter of her Eastern European nation’s chief policy advisor, who takes it upon herself to save her country from impending invasion by “Germania.” The events take place over only a few days in August of 1942, but during that time Esther, her compatriots, and her country undergo some radical changes.

Esther is inspired by the Esther of the Torah, and the customs and laws of her Jewish heritage play an important role in who she is and how the story unfolds. Esther steals a mechanical horse from her father’s stable and ventures out to find a fabled community of kabbalists whom she plans to ask a radical favor–to turn her into a man so she can lead an army to save her country. As with most wishes, things don’t turn out quite the way she planned, but Esther learns that prayers can be answered in different ways.

The summary on Amazon refers to this book as “a steampunk Joan of Arc and a genre-bending tale of a counterfactual Jewish state.” I found it to be a gripping story of a young girl who defies the will of her father and the laws of her faith in order to save her country.

I received The Book Of Esther to review from Blogging for Books.

The other book I read since my last Book Review post is A Hologram for the King, by David Eggers. (I never saw the movie–did you?)

A Hologram For The King Book Review
In this story, two different people have radical dreams. The King of Saudia Arabia is building a new gleaming new city on the edge of the desert, and Alan Clay is going to sell hologram technology to the king, save himself from impending financial ruin, and finally attain the success that’s eluded him all his life.

Things move slowly at King Abdullah Economic City. and while Alan and his team wait for the King to arrive so they can give their demo pitch, Alan has lots of time to relive past mistakes, convince himself that things will be different this time, and write imaginary letters to the daughter he doesn’t want to disappoint. He develops relationships with a few locals, and sometimes learns the hard way which cultural rules are broken and which are obeyed.

The most popular reviews of this book on Amazon are pretty negative, but I wasn’t bothered by the fact that nothing much happens. I actually think the languid pacing and hot, arid setting make for perfect beach reading. If your mind wanders or you nod off for a few minutes, you’ll be in the same state of mind as Alan Clay.

Deb Runs

Today’s Wednesday Word is radical.

I will not be reading at the beach this weekend, but I will be hosting the Ultimate Coffee Date Link Up with Deborah. Grab our new badge from my sidebar and make sure you stop by! 

Do you have a radical dream?

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10 Responses to The Book Of Esther (Book Review)

  1. The Book of Esther sounds right up my alley. I can’t get enough of those WW2 era books.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?My Profile

  2. I enjoy reading book reviews because, unfortunately, I just do not take the time to sit down with a book much anymore. The Book of Esther sounds a lot like Disney’s Mulan LOL (now, if we were to talk of Disney movies, I got that covered!)
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Let’s Get RadicalMy Profile

  3. The book of Esther sounds like a great twist on some traditional Jewish folklore. Don’t know how you have time to read so much!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Reston Century Bike Ride & Sassy CyclistMy Profile

  4. GiGi Eats says:

    It is absolutely embarrassing that I do not even know the last time I read a book! I just cannot sit still, so for me, reading a book just doesn’t happen! LOL! Perhaps I need to invest in some audio books so I don’t go completely un-literatured! 😉
    GiGi Eats recently posted…I’m Ripping Off The Band-Aid And AskingMy Profile

  5. Lauren says:

    I have heard good things about the book of Esther…will plan to buy it on Amazon too!

  6. Michelle says:

    I’ll have to add that book to my list for winter reading. Great review!
    Michelle recently posted…Wednesday Word-RadicalMy Profile

  7. I like your new badge for your linkup. I’ve been swamped and haven’t been blogging as much as I would like and here we are at another coffee date without me being able to join in. Next month, I hope!

    Thanks for linking up!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…Six Radical Changes To Make For Staying Safer On The Running TrailMy Profile

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