Contemporary Fiction Book Review: The Esther Paradigm

Publisher's Description

"Hannah Pratt dreams of starting a school for the Bedouin clan she grew up with as a missionary kid, and finally her hopes are coming true. But shortly after she returns to the desert from her college years in the U.S., she discovers her parents have received threats from their Muslim neighbors. As the danger escalates, Hannah finds she’s in the middle of a battle no one seems to understand. She must decide to what lengths she'll go to stay faithful to the mission to which God has called her. Even if it costs her everything.

As sheikh, Karim Al-Amir feels the weight of responsibility as the leader of his people. When a mysterious illness ravishes the clan’s flocks and threatens to destroy their centuries-old way of life, locals believe the American doctors and their daughter, his childhood friend, Hannah, are to blame. Karim must do something to keep them safe—even if the only solution can be found within marriage vows.

In a society where the line is drawn between us and them, Christianity is outlawed, and foreigners are mistrusted, will their union heal wounds or inflict the final fatal blow?"

My Review

The Esther Paradigm, by Sarah Monzon, is an extremely unique and compelling work of contemporary inspirational fiction. I am an avid reader, yet I have never read a book quite like The Esther Paradigm. I was not sure what to expect from a romantic love story between a Muslim and a Christian, yet as the author skillfully parallels the biblical story of Esther, this novel is very successful and thoroughly entertaining on many levels.  
Page after page, this well-researched and thoughtfully written story captured my attention and engaged my senses. The author’s writing style has an expressive, lyrical quality that appealed to me greatly. The myriad of beautifully written sentences simply thrilled my heart. The desert setting is described in such glorious detail that I could almost feel the sand on my skin and the heat against my face. The camels, so full of life and personality, became essential secondary characters themselves. I was captivated by the characters as they wrestled with insecurities and responsibilities, as they coped with dangers and unknowns, as they struggled with their faith and convictions, and as they fought for their love and devotion. 

This uncommon love story surprised me, thrilled me, and held me in rapt attention page after page. I highly recommend this novel and I look forward to reading other books by this talented author.

My Reflection 

I was intrigued by the main character’s journey as she sought to live within God’s will, choosing to risk danger and even death in order to honor and obey God’s call upon her life. I was encouraged by her faith and her determination to follow God’s leading even though it meant making unconventional choices and difficult decisions. I was reminded of the beautiful, bewildering truth that God accomplishes much through the unexpected and the surprising, and that he does great things with humble faith and small beginnings.

Click here to purchase a copy of this novel for yourself.

*I was given an early copy of this novel by the author/publisher. The review I have freely written, whether positive or negative, contains opinions that are entirely my own.



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