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    Book Review: HADASSAH: One Night with the King

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  • Editorial Reviews
    From Publishers Weekly
    Despite a few glitches, there is much to like about this coauthored novel from Tenney, best known for his nonfiction book The God Chasers, and Olsen, a writer whose work includes screenplays. Esther, queen of Persia, who inspired the eponymous book of the Bible, is a fascinating character whose story lends itself well to a fictional retelling. The novel opens as a contemporary woman named Hadassah receives a letter penned by Esther (also called "Hadassah" and "Star" in the novel) and passed down through her family for generations. The reading of the letter transports the reader back to the Persian Empire (a similar device is used in Bodie and Brock Thoene's Zion Legacy series). Several time periods and points of view make for a slow start, but the pacing picks up when Esther becomes the focus. The dialogue is stiff in places, and some readers will find the use of "G-d" rather than "God" out of reverence rather tiresome. However, from their imaginative fleshing out of Queen Esther's unusual girlhood and preparation for her tryst with the king to the uttering of her famous words, "If I perish, I perish," the authors reinvigorate an age-old story. The sexual tension and violence necessary to the tale are rendered inoffensive for the evangelical Christian market, and a few surprise twists will catch readers familiar with the story off-balance. CBA readers should enjoy this account of one of the Bible's most courageous heroines.
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Product Description:
    Bestselling author Tommy Tenney expands the extraordinary story of Esther like no novelist has done before. Both a thriller and a Jewish woman's memoir, Hadassah takes readers to ancient Persia (now known as Iraq), into the inner sanctum of the palace and back out into the war zones of battle and political intrigue. This gripping drama of a simple peasant girl chosen over many more qualified candidates to become Esther, Queen of Persia, captures the imagination and fires the emotions of men and women alike.

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    Tiffany Dupont is Esther.
    Product Details
    • Hardcover: 304 pages
    • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2004)
    • ISBN: 0764227378
    • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds.
    • Average Customer Review: based on 20 reviews. (Write a review)
    • In-Print Editions: Paperback | Paperback (Large Print) | Audio Cassette (Abridged) | All Editions

    Spotlight Reviews

    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

    A Great Work of Historical Fiction, March 19, 2004
    Reviewer:FictionAddiction.NET -
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)  
    Hadassah: One Night with the King instantly grabs your attention. The story opens with Hadassah following her father through an apparent maze to take part in a family ritual.

    She doesn't grasp the significance of the ritual right away. That is, until she realizes that a part of the tradition is reading a private letter written by Esther, a famous queen of the Bible and for whom she is named (Hadassah translated means "Esther"). The remainder of the story details the contents of the letter that Queen Esther wrote to a young woman to communicate the importance of her forthcoming marriage.

    Esther's story begins with her becoming an orphan after her family is killed because of their religious affiliation. Her cousin, Mordecai, takes care of her and they flee to Persia.

    He instructs her in Hebrew history and tradition but tells her to conceal her Jewish roots to avoid succumbing to the same fate as her family. Mordecai obtains a position with the King of Persia and Hadassah is able to obtain a glimpse of the environment of royalty, both good and bad.

    When all virgins are summoned to replace the queen, Hadassah spends a year preparing for the day she would meet the king. Within that time she obeys all the instructions she is given and when requested by God, vows to free her people. She is successful but the path to success tests her devotion.

    When the story returns to modern day, the present day Hadassah finishes the story and embraces the message conveyed in Queen Esther's letter.

    In Hadassah: One Night with the King, Tommy Tenney presents a great piece of historical fiction. You can't help but to become enthralled in the predicament Esther is tasked to overcome and inspired by her devotion to God and her people.

    Tenney's story has all the elements of a drama; it contains romance, adventure, suspense, and irony. When you finish reading the story you will want to read the biblical version of the story from which it is influenced.

    Tiffany Dupont plays the character of Esther.

    3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

    fantastic retelling of the story of Jewish holiday Purim, March 27, 2004
    Reviewer:Harriet Klausner - See all my reviews
    (#1 REVIEWER)   (REAL NAME)  
    Hadassah (Tiffany Dupont) fails to grasp the ritual that her father puts her through until he provides her a letter handed down by generations of her ancestors and written by the biblical legend Queen Esther. In ancient times, Esther's family is slaughtered because of their religious beliefs. Her cousin Mordecai adopts the young and they flee to Persia. Mordecai teaches his ward about being a Jew, but also warns her to hide her religion from others if she wants to live.

    The King of Persia orders all virgins to come to the palace so he can choose a new queen. Esther using the name Hadassah is among the participants. She vows to G-D (written in reverence this way) to risk her life to free her people if she is the chosen one. Though selected as the next queen, Hadassah realizes how foolishly dangerous it would be to reveal her Jewishness. Still, her people including her beloved Mordecai are in trouble so Esther no longer can remain silent in the lap of luxury much longer even if speaking out means "If I perish, I perish".

    Once the changing between eras stop (until one final turn) with biblical Esther taking center stage, readers obtain a fantastic retelling of the story of Jewish holiday Purim (just past) that provides deep insight into the heroine. The key that takes the tale beyond the strong retelling of Esther the queen (often told) is filling in the blanks of her childhood and her learning to become the monarch's wife. Aimed at a religious audience, anyone who appreciate a powerful rendition of a classic bible tale will enjoy eating Hamentaschen while spending one night with Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen.

    Harriet Klausner

    Customer Reviews
    Avg. Customer Review:

    A Woman of Influence in Ancient Persia, January 20, 2005
    Reviewer:Rebecca Johnson "" (Washington State) -
    The memorable story of Queen Esther (Tiffany Dupont) in the Bible is now retold through the eyes of Esther. As Hadassah Kesselman prepares for her wedding day, she finds the experience steeped in mystery. Her story is set aside as Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen delve into what is perhaps one of the most ancient fantasies. As women dream of marrying powerful men, men dream of the beautiful woman who worships them in body, mind and spirit. This fantasy is brilliantly woven into the story of Esther and makes for a compelling read.

    Hadassah Kesselman is required to read the story of Esther before her wedding day and soon learns of Esther's horrifying childhood experiences and mysterious awakenings into womanhood. Tommy Tenney's comforting writing style seems to mask the horror in a way that allows the reader to comprehend each situation without becoming overwhelmed by tragedy itself. He has a talent for capturing moments in time with exquisite attention to detail. The scent of myrrh lingers on the pages as an exciting drama unfolds in moments of sexual tension, suspense and intrigue.

    Queen Esther's story is truly brought to life in this retelling filled with political conspiracies, wars, longings of the heart and brutal action. In her search for G-d, she also finds her place in the world and begins to understand her true destiny. Must she sacrifice herself to the King of Persia and fall prey to Haman's evil intentions?

    Even if you remember the biblical details, an entire new world of captivating adventure and romance awaits in Hadassah's journey to One Night With the King. I intended to read this book in two nights, but ended up reading all night. The movie is scheduled for theatrical release on March 25, 2005.

    Esther Re-Told, January 19, 2005
    Reviewer:HeartOfSword "HeartOfSword" (USA) -
    Hadassah: One Night With the King is a fascinating read from the start of page one to the end of page three hundred fifty.

    In the beginning, you are introduced to a young girl named Hadassah who is part of the royal lineage of Queen Esther. A few days before her wedding, she is given a letter (Hadassah: One Night...) from the actual Queen Esther since it is the tradition in their family. The next chapter begins with Esther's early life and the brutal murdering of her parents.

    From there, she is adopted by her cousin Mordecai and lives a happy life until the Persians come looking for all eligible beautiful virgin girls. After being taken by the soldiers, Esther is sent to the harem to prepare for her "one night with the king."

    After successfully winning the king's heart, Esther is crowned Queen of Persia. Shortly after her success, however, Haman issues a decree allowing people to hunt down and murder any Jew they come across. Through her faith in God, Esther is able to tell the king of Haman's brutal plan and saves her people.

    Tommy Tenney is an inspirational writer. Originally writing "Hadassah" to better appreciate his wife, he has captured the essence of a woman's emotions, feelings, actions, and her direct connection to God.

    Incredible and Enlightening!, January 14, 2005
    Reviewer:Banana Baby
    I can't get over this book! It is so awesome and just plain good. I gave it four stars because at times it can go on and on about one thing and get a little dull. Overall great writing. You will not regret buying this book. It really clears up your outlook on Esther.

    Tiffany Dupont plays Esther in the Movie : One Night With The King

    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

    Holy Smokes Ill never look at the bible the same ! , January 2, 2005
    Reviewer:Giz "Giz" (fayetteville, GA USA) -
    Omgosh I am 19 and dont know how to write a big fancy in depth review about this book, but I can say this put the story of esther to life in my head. I could picture how she felt and the emotions she went through. It brought life to the bible and I was amazed by how such a short book had so much to it. Tommy Tenney is an AMAZING writer. This book would be great for teenagers to seniors. As a woman this book made me value purity, and showed me that women were important in the bible. This goes in the top 5 books I have ever read in my life. You will not regret buying this. little note* YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PUT THIS DOWN ONCE YOU START READING!! so dont start reading it late at nite. Will knock your socks off. A MUST read!

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