Thursday, June 16, 2011
Jerusalem Maiden ~ Book Review
My immediate confession is that I have not yet completed this book. You may not want to read any further, and if so, that's okay with me. (I do apologize to TLC Tours, though. I'm all over the place these last few weeks!)
I am going to continue reading it, because I am really enjoying it -- but it's slower reading than I expected because it is really, REALLY intense.
My heart is breaking for Esther because she is forced to stifle a talent that not only fulfills her beyond her expectations, but feeds her soul in a way that the rest of her world and her life seemingly never will.
To watch her question her religion, her family's beliefs, and the reasons that exist behind the rules of Judaism as she knows it is something that is having such an impact on me. As a Jewish woman I know of what she speaks, but not to the extent she does. I know what it's like to see your brother have a bar mitzvah and find yourself, 20-something years later wishing you had had a ceremony of your own. But I suppose I learned too late that the "importance" for boys really could have been important for me, as well. [Though it is seemingly never too late, and perhaps I will have my turn at the Torah someday!]
My father was (is?) old school. I never even learned Hebrew. Fortunately I do not otherwise live in a world such as Esther's. My hope is that many Jewish women, Orthodox or otherwise, are able to show their strengths and talents and develop in ways beyond the means of the character in this book.
You may think I focus only on Esther's wants because I am not yet done with the read, but I would say that from the minute I turned the first page I knew that I would stick with my heart and discuss this detail of the story, of HER story, and how important it is to me.
I look forward to learning more about Esther and her family, and see if she gets to establish the relationships and the talent that burn within her mind and her heart.
Updated review upon completion of this book:
I finished this book the day after I posted the review, I just didn't have a moment to come back and update since I have been stretched pretty thin these days. Anyway, I stand by my initial comments expressing my love for this story. I also truly believe this is not a book to be rushed through, nor devoured within hours. But a story that needs to be fully enjoyed, revealed slowly through each chapter - or perhaps - honestly, through each and every page.
I still remain focused on Esther, as she is the primary character of this story. I love the ways that the author tied together the information we were lacking before the end, and how the connections nearly exploded across the page for us, the reader, who then became somewhat surprised - but pleasantly so.
So - what became of Esther? I cannot say. I honestly can't say much about the ending except that it left me wanting to turn a few more pages. And I will leave that all to your imagination. But if you've read the book feel free to email me and let's discuss. Or find me on goodreads and we can chew on it together over there. Or grab your own copy on Amazon today. There is a lot to say, but to do so would give too much away. And that - dear readers - is so totally not my reviewing style!
** Thanks to TLC Book tours for providing me with a copy of this book to facilitate my review. All expressed opinions are strictly my own. And if the author has an opportunity to comment, I encourage her to do so, but even more - I'd love for her to reach out via email so I can discuss the book more freely with her - without revealing too much to my readers!**