Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Jerusalem Maiden...Review & Giveaway!
There is a new book out and my mother-in-law The Queen Bee had lots of fun sharing her "buzz" about it. Jerusalem Maiden by Talia just hit the shelves on May 31st and would make for a great summer read. Here is the synopsis...
In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a young Orthodox Jewish woman in the holy city of Jerusalem is expected to marry and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah's arrival. While the feisty Esther Kaminsky understands her obligations, her artistic talent inspires her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, to dream of studying in Paris—and to believe that God has a special destiny for her. When tragedy strikes her family, Esther views it as a warning from an angry God and suppresses her desires in order to become an obedient "Jerusalem maiden."
But when a surprising opportunity forces itself on to her preordained path, Esther finds her beliefs clashing dangerously with the passions she has staved off her entire life—forcing her to confront the most difficult and damning question of all: To whom must she be true, God or herself?
The Queen Bee, my mother-in-law and book lover had this to say about Jerusalem Maiden...
I am feeling very fortunate to have read this galley, which has now been published into a novel by Talia Carner, available this month. I get to read and review many wonderful books, and this one is right at the top of my list. Funny though, when I got the latest stack of books to review, I left this one until last. I saw that it was a book about a girl growing up in Jerusalem in an ultra-orthodox Jewish family and thought, hmm...I am not so into this kind of book, I will read it last. Well, clearly, now that I have read it , I had saved the BEST for last. I thought this book was very well written, had interesting history, was heart-breaking and hopeful, all that you want in a good book !
When you first meet Esther, the main character, she is eleven years old. She is being brought up in an ultra-orthodox family, in Jerusalem, it is 1911. These Jews are considered" The Chosen" and every breath they take, every move they make is pre-ordained by holy "decrees" which numbered over 200. If you were born female, your only mission in life was to marry young, age 13, and have many children to hasten the coming of the Messiah. You were never to talk to or even look at males outside of your family, never to touch anyone outside your family, never eat anything that was not strictly kosher, the list goes on and on. Esther, however, was born with an artists soul and this book is the tale of her life long struggle with her God.
I could not put his book down and was sorry when I finished it. As a matter of fact, when I read the last page I was booting up my pc so that I could look at Esther's art online. Wait a minute, Esther was a character in a book, there would be no art to look at ! When a writer can get you to believe that the character is a real person, they have written a great book. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
Wow...sounds like a great book!! The Queen Bee does a TON of reading and she is still raving about this one to me. I can't wait to dive into it myself. You can pick up your copy today on Amazon...
Thanks to the publisher, Harper Perennial, one RBM reader will win a copy of Jerusalem Maiden! Thanks so much to the sponsor. Here is how to enter...
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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. The opinions in this post are entirely my own. Your experience may differ from mine. This post has not been reviewed or edited by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this review. The sponsor of this giveaway is responsible for prize fulfillment and shipping the winner(s) their prize.