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Do Not Miss This Book!
It’s rare to find a book where you want to find out how the story ends, but you hold yourself back because you don’t want to leave the world the author has created. Jerusalem Maiden is just such story.
A Walk Through Old Jerusalem
When the novel begins, Esther Kaminsky is living Jerusalem during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. She is one of several children, and she is fixing to come of age and be married off so that she have children and usher in The Messiah. Esther has a longing to become an artist, but she is torn between her faith and her duty to her people. This is a time when Jews still viewed Israel as the right of The Messiah and far into the future. Zionists were viewed with disdain by the Religious Establishment, so a woman who would rather practice art rather than have a family was taboo.
When her mother becomes sick from a blood infection, Esther makes a promise that she will give up her gift. She keeps this promise even after her mother dies, thinking it is G-d punishing her. Even she is given the chance to express herself again many years later, she does not want to admit to herself, or to others, that she is an artist.
This book’s central theme is about not denying who you truly are. In many ways, it recalls the works of Sholom Aleichem, whose work is best known through the stage adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof. The characters are simple people that the reader cannot help but love. The traditions, even when they seem outdated in the 21st century, make us long for a simpler time.
The only problem it has is that it does not come with a glossary for all of the Hebrew and Yiddish words that the author uses. Most times, the reader can figure it out based on context, or it has already be said, but in 400 pages, it would be night. Aside from that, this is a book that when you finish, it will be like you lost your best friend, so you will want start it all over again.
Blessed with the privilege to read JERUSALEM MAIDEN by Talia Carner prior to its Harper Collins release this coming June, I simply cannot contain my enthusiasm to review it.
Esther, the Jerusalem maiden, captures her readers with her innocence and ushers us right into experiencing life in early 1900 Jerusalem. We grow with her, empathize with her doubt and devotion, and urge her to make right decisions as we swiftly turn pages to see what comes next. It seems not one thought is left untold.
As a Christian, a follower of Yeshua, I ached for her to know the Father’s unconditional love and cursed the traditions of men that caused her so much pain and suffering.
I couldn’t put JERUSALEM MAIDEN down and highly recommend it. While some of her self-discovery might offend a “church lady”, I found Esther’s story true to life and love. I thoroughly enjoyed every page even though many brought me to tears as I shared Esther’s pain; I also laughed aloud with her.
Ms. Carner paints lovely pictures with her words and woos me to find everything else she has written. This is an amazing, well written story that I do not hesitate to recommend or award a five star review!