Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hadassah by Tommy Tenney

One of my favourite books in the Bible is the story of Esther. I mean, it's a classic Cinderella-type tale. Poor girl who becomes a queen. Plus, the fact that she saves her people means that she's way better than most of the Disney princesses (i.e. all except Mulan). And my favourite re-telling of the Esther story is Hadassah by Tommy Tenney (not that I've read that many retellings).

Hadassah is written in the form of a letter from the elderly Queen Esther to a young Queen hopeful, full of advice and her life story. While there is some creative license (like what she was thinking and details of palace life), the book stays true to the actual Bible story. Using a metaphor, this book's treatment of the Esther story is like the movie Prince of Egypt's treatment of the Exodus story.

My favourite part of story is Esther's journey. She doesn't start of as a young women full of faith; she actually has a lot of doubts and anger towards God, especially about the death of her families. But as the book progresses, she experiences His love, which changes her. And like a normal human, there are times when she forgets, but that adds to the charm of reading about her journey of faith.

For some reason, the most touching paragraph in the whole book is a single sentence of six words. You see, the early part of the book recounts how Esther watched her whole family die (on her birthday!) and how that resulted in many years of bitterness. In the triumphant ending, Esther not only saves her people, but manages to wipe out the Agagites, fufilling the commands of God centuries before. And then the chapter ends with these six words:

"And a little girl's grief avenged."
That is so poignant. You can see that she's been hurt so much by the death of her family, that she feels trapped in time. Yet, she's managed to come through it all as the winner, not the victim.

No comments :

Post a Comment

I really do appreciate all comments, and I'll try my best to reply within 24 hours!