Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Reluctant Queen & Along for the Ride

A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther
A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther by Joan Wolf is a retelling of Esther's tale. The novel is told from the perspective of Esther who lives in Susa and has no worries as a young Jewish woman. But when her uncle Mordecai asks her to enter the harem and petition to be the king's next wife, she agrees. Esther does not believe it when the king choses her, but he does. And even more so, is that she cannot believe that she has fallen in love with him. It's not just a tale of courage; it's a love story (hence the title). Esther struggles between being Jewish or Persian in a Persian world and how to follow God when she is alone. She doubts her fate and tries to give up her faith, but then realizes that what she wants doesn't matter, that she must save her race and keep her faith, that all she needs is God. She becomes quite a queen. It's a great love story that Wolf has put together here! I think that Esther must have been in love with her husband in the Bible. I'm really glad I read this book. I plan on reading more Biblical fiction about women.

Along for the Ride
Last month I read What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen. This month I read Along for the Ride by her. Auden is spending the summer living with her dad and his new wife, Heidi, and their daughter Thisbe Caroline West (or Isby as Auden calls her). I really liked it. Auden is an academic girl, with a mom who teaches graduates and a dad who is an author. She never been very social, never went to prom. She didn't know what to do with her summer, so she ends up in Colby, NC. She works at Heidi's store and makes some friends. And Eli. The insomniac wanderer and biker. There's something about Auden. There's something about Eli. Auden learns a lot in the summer. So do a lot of the other character. Auden gets to learn how to ride a bike, even buying one at the end of the summer, and getting to finally go to prom. She goes along for the ride with life's wild ride (if that makes any sense at all). I think I liked this novel better than the last SD one I read, but both were good. I think I am a lot like Auden. I also really liked some of the names in this books: Auden, Leah, Esther, Maggie, Morgan, Isabel, Eli, Hollis, Lauren or Laura, Tara. SD comes up with such good names for her characters. Auden is certainly an original. I have never learned to ride a bike, and it's something I would like to do before I go to college.

That's all I have for today. Love, Rachel