by Ginger Garrett

September 2005
ISBN: 1-57683-651-7
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Trade Paperback

Esther was wrenched from her simple life to become the unwilling wife of a king. She had lost her parents, her cousin who raised her, and gave up her first love . . . and for what? The unrestrained extravagance of a royal life. Palace living. A man many years her senior that she didnít love. A man who chose his wife from sleeping with virgins.

Esther was incredibly strong though. In a land where women are taught to hold their peace, she had an opinion. She felt free to voice her thoughts and to go against the norm. When the other women are plying their make up and womanly charms to woo the king, Esther chooses simplicity and ultimately wins.

But what is it that makes Esther different? Why did she stand out? And how did she ultimately save the nation?

I have read a few books this year about Esther and have learned a lot about what might have happened back then. Chosen is written in diary form and is allegedly based on the actual lost diaries of Queen Esther (although Ms. Garrett does not comment on whether or not she has ever seen said diaries.) This book is different than the other stories I read and I canít say that I liked it as well as I have others. Even though this book is written in diary form, I couldnít really connect with the characters. Nevertheless, it was interesting seeing this authors take on how Esther was picked to go to the castle as a candidate for queen and how other true events might have occurred.

Even though I couldnít identify with the Esther portrayed in this book, there were several redeeming qualities and I wonít say Chosen is a disappointment. It is good. Just not outstanding. Recipes and discussion questions are included at the back of the book.

Reviewed in November 2005 by Laura.

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