For Such a Time

Renee Ann Smith —  May 31, 2014 — 6 Comments

The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord. He turns it wherever He wishes. ~Proverbs 21:1~

This verse came to mind again and again as I read Kate Breslin’s riveting debut novel, For Such a Time. Set during World War II in a Czechoslovakian transit camp, this book tells the story of Jewish prisoner Hadassah Benjamin and Colonel Aric von Schmidt, the SS Kammandant who saves her from a firing squad.

forsuchatime_rgb300-updatedmockHaddassah, who goes by Stella Muller, enchants Aric. She brings to mind happier days, when he was a simple country boy, searching the woods for treasures to bring home to his beloved mother. As for her part, Stella tries to use her position as the Kammandant’s secretary to protect what Jewish prisoners she can and struggles with her growing love for him.

Her Uncle Morty has assured Stella that—as in the story of Esther—God will use her to save His people. But since Stella is barely on speaking terms with God, she finds this difficult to believe.

The events that bring Hadassah and Aric to faith, love, and triumph make for a wonderful story.

Throughout the Bible, God touched the hearts of those in power to reach out in love and protection to Moses, Joseph, and many more of His children. During the Holocaust, He used unlikely heroes (think of the fast-living, ladies’ man Oscar Schindler) to preserve His people. And He also presided over unconventional romances—the upright Jewish leader Boaz with Ruth the Moabitess and a Jewish spy with former prostitute Rahab—to name a few. 

So it was no stretch for me to immerse myself in a novel where God prompts a disillusioned Nazi to protect a beautiful woman prisoner and through her, changes that man’s heart. I’m sure in real life, God gave many such men a chance to repent and turn to Him. And what better way to touch the humanity within them than through the noble lives of the people they were oppressing?

I love how Kate captured God’s heart in this story! Although neither character is consciously seeking Him, God calls out to them. In the midst of all the horror and ugliness of the world men remade in their own sinful image, He desires to give them abundant life, peace, purpose, joy, and even romance.

What I liked best . . .

  • The period details—I’m a World War II fiction fan
  • Stella’s encounters with God through His miraculous word
  • Aric’s fascinating character arc
  • Having my heart stolen by a brave little boy named Joseph
  • Snowball fights, porcelain jewelry cases & the Blue Danube Waltz
  • Prisoners like Morty, who refuse to be beaten down & silenced
  • The unexpected, nail-biting, FANTASTIC ending!

My favorite quotes . . .

 For Such a Time Kate Breslin

“Earthly hearts cannot always fathom divine reasoning. Remember, we live not in our time, but in God’s.”

(Click to Tweet)

“It went against her conscience, defied even her bloodlines—yet she felt something for this man. He’d broken through her resistance, made her feel decent and human again, all the way down to her bones.”

“Why had she assumed God would speak to her in some great audible sign, like a thunderclap, lightning, or a burst of fire from the sky? Had anger and bitterness made her deaf to His whisper? ‘Tell me, Lord,’ she pleaded softly. ‘I promise to listen.'”

What you should do next . . .

Follow this link to purchase For Such a Time. Read it soon & share it with a friend! ***Thanks to Bethany House for providing a copy for me to review.

Kate BreslinAbout the author: A Florida girl who migrated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin lives with her husband, John, and a very spoiled cat named Coco. Kate has written several travel articles, published award-winning poetry, and her first manuscript, a Scottish historical romance, was finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest. When she’s not writing inspirational fiction or spending time with her author friends, she’s avidly reading books, watching anything Jane Austen on BBC, or following John’s musical career as his #1 fan.

You can connect with Kate . . .

At her website

On Facebook

On Twitter

Thanks for stopping by. Blessings, friends!

This week I might be linking up with Inspire Me Monday, Sharing His Beauty, Mommmy Monday Blog Hop,Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Modest MondaysBook Notes, Make Your Home Sing Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Salt & Light, Turn It Up Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesdays, The Bloggers’ Digest, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What Is Good, What I Learned This Week, Titus 2sday Link-up, Living Proverbs 31, Busy Monday, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Imperfect Prose, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesday, Wise Woman Wednesday, Three Word Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Walking Redeemed, Whimsical Wednesday, A Little R&R, Capture Your Journey Wednesday, The Barn Princess, Adorned from Above Wednesday Link Party, Whimsy Wednesday, In Him We Live, Juana Mikels Wednesday Link-up, Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party, Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Hearts for Home, Throwback Thursday, Thoughtful Thursday, Cozy Book Hop, Booknificent Thursday, Tell His Story, Thought Provoking Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows, From House to Home Link Party, Share the Joy Thursday, Time Travel Thursday,Thrive @Home Link Up, Grace at Home, Christian Fellowship Friday, Faith-filled Friday, Fantastic Friday, Faith & Fellowship Friday, Fellowship Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday, Womanhood w/ Purpose Friday Link Up, Essential Friday Link-up, Saturday Sharefest, Saturday Situation, Ladies Only Blog Hop, Sunday Stillness, and Heart Reflected.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

6 responses to For Such a Time

  1. I so must read this. Great review. Great quote share.

  2. Thanks for the review; it looks like a powerful book! I also loved your graphic. Blessings to you!

  3. I read this book and enjoyed it, too. It was fun to see what your favorite parts were. And the quote graphic was beautiful. I pinned it to one of my Pinterest boards. I need to remember to rest in God’s time.
    Joyfully,
    Pamela

  4. Thanks for your responses, ladies! I appreciate you!

  5. Thank you so much for linking up with Coffee for Your Heart! I’m so grateful for your words. XO

  6. Renee, your reviews set such a high standard! Well done. This looks like an amazing book, and I love hearing how it touched your heart! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday. Hope to see you again soon!
    Tina

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