In this Biblical fiction masterpiece, Mrs. White weaves together what we know from the Bible, what she has learned from Greek history and her own creativity to retell the story of Esther. The story of King Xerxes necessitates very godless characters, war, intrigue and, of course, many wives. Even so, Mrs. White handles these conflicts amazingly well, staying close to Kasia, Esther’s Jewish friend who is Xerxes’ favorite concubine. Kasia remains true to her God, and the opposition she faces only forces her closer to Him.
The story is romantic (though it doesn’t follow the “rules” for romance novels), and is for adults. In general, I steer away from romance novels in order to not awaken love before its time, and cause discontentment and too-high expectations for my future husband (see this article by Elisabeth @HopeScribbles and don’t skip the comments! ). I personally did not find this book to be a problem, especially since the hero is, well, bad. I can certainly see why Kasia loved him, but I know I wouldn’t! Also, there’s so much more happening in the book besides romance, what with the foreign war, Haman’s plots to wipe out the Jews, and Esther’s life at home.
Roseanna M. White has offered to give away a copy (winner’s choice of ebook or paperback) of either of her biblical fiction books. Either Jewel of Persia or A Stray Drop of Blood which is a new testament story. To enter, leave a comment sharing your favorite part of the Esther story from the Bible and/or Mrs. White’s retelling and why it is your favorite.
You have until 11:59pm Mountain Time, June 17 to enter. I will announce the winner June 19.
Now on to my favorite part – Mordecai, Esther’s guardian has agreed to let me interview him. (Thanks Mrs. White for “helping” him!)
Thank you, Mordecai, for taking some time to visit with us today! Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
I thank you for asking, Jordan. Your name reminds me of the land my ancestors came from, though I myself was born in Persia. Jehovah has blessed me with what some would call success. My coffers are full, but it is through serving him that I gain my pleasure. I am honored to have been chosen to represent my people at the palace of Xerxes.
I was married once, but I lost both Keturah and our babe during the birth. For many years I felt as though my heart would never heal. Then I received word that my uncle and his wife had been killed in an accident, leaving their daughter without a guardian. I traveled as quickly as I could to their home, where I found a haunted little girl who needed me as much as I needed her.
Being Esther’s relative and guardian, what sort of relationship do you and she have?
Esther is my light. Watching her grow, teaching her to love the Lord is without question the most important thing I have ever done. She has always been respectful, obedient, but over the years she became far more to me than a cousin—she is truly the daughter of my heart.
Why do you think God chose you and Esther to play such important roles in saving the Jews in Persia?
Me? I cannot say, except that I am always listening for Jehovah’s voice, so perhaps that is why he shares his plans with me. But my role in the salvation of the Lord’s people is limited—it was Esther and Kasia who influenced the course of events so greatly.
Esther . . . well, it is easy to see why the Lord chose her. Since she was a child, she had an incomparable heart. Grief and loss made her old even when young, and focused her attention, her loyalty, greatly upon those whom she loves. If you asked her, she would say that she was a fearful girl—fearful of losing more loved ones, fearful of losing her own life. But I always saw the courage beneath it, and the serenity that made her shine as brightly as the star after which I named her when she joined my family.
I knew when the king’s scout offered a marriage contract to her that day that the Lord had great plans for my little girl, that she would be queen so she could help our people. When the crown was set upon her brow, I saw a mantle of purpose descend upon her shoulders. In that moment, she had the Lord’s peace as well as her own. His Spirit within her spirit.
She was always a queen . . . it just took a number of years for the rest of the world to realize it.
If you could change one part of your past, undo one decision, what would it be?
I would change nothing. I cannot, or we may not have ended up where we did. Certainly, I wish I could spare Esther—and be spared myself—the pain. But blessings so often blossom under our tears. There are so many things I wished away while they were happening . . . but now I see that those are the things to led us to the palace, to a place where we could save so many.
What got me through each tragedy is faith in Jehovah’s divine orchestrations. The knowledge that what I perceive as tragedy may in fact be the lesser of the evils possible. That the Lord will take those pains, those tears, and use them for his greater good.
Perhaps to some that is an uncertain promise. But I have seen his hand at work. I have felt his Spirit’s touch. I know without doubt that when my trust is in him, my feet will stay steady on the path he has set out for me. And though I may not know where that path leads, Jehovah does. And so, no matter where it goes, it will lead me back to him.
There is nowhere else I want to be.