Monday, January 17, 2011

Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther by Ginger Garrett

Chosen is one possible life story of Queen Esther. Ginger Garrett tells a story about a real person, though the real story is not known. This novel takes the biblical account and fills in the details to make Queen Esther’s story come to life. Written in a diary format gives this tale a personal feel that lends itself nicely to this type of book.

The story begins with Esther, an orphan, making a living selling goods in the market and tending sheep with her only relative, Mordecai. A relationship is starting to blossom between Esther and Cyrus when King Xerxes’ latest declaration lands Esther in the king’s harem preparing for her one night with the king. The last section of the novel concludes the story of Esther with the conclusion of her life.

Garrett devotes many chapters to telling of Esther’s experience in the harem—all the counsel, instruction and physical preparation. This section provides much more insight than the Bible regarding this phase of Esther’s life. The Bible says very little about this portion of her life so the freedom to fill in the gaps is great. Garrett did well to create a modest telling of life in a harem. The book provides enough detail to give the reader a clear sense of the lifestyle without overstepping the bounds of decency.

One element of this book that did not resonate with me is the current-time excerpts included in the back of the book and referenced throughout the story. The excerpts are relevant yet they do not improve, develop or give the storyline a boost. Chosen would be just as complete without that section.

I enjoy books of this nature. When I read Bible stories such as Esther’s, I have a hard time using my imagination to create more of the story than what is written on the page. Garrett excels at enhancing the story without altering the known facts. Chosen is biblically sound, making it even more appealing. I found myself favorably comparing this novel to the novella’s written by Francine Rivers about the women in the lineage of Jesus. The next book in the Lost Loves of the Bible trilogy is, most certainly, on my “to read” list.

Chosen is a good read for those who love the story of Esther and those who do not know the story of Esther, alike. Whether you are Bible savvy or not, Chosen is a compelling story of love, loyalty and faith in God.


  1. Jen, I subscribe to your blog with my Google Reader!

    PS. Thanks for linking up on my blog today to help me test out my Mr. Linky! It worked. ;)

  2. I enjoyed this book. It is very short and easy to read - a small kids' size book. However, its message is extremely powerful. Andrews lets us know that every little action we take could and does have an impact somewhere in the future, leading to future impacts. So everything we does matters, no matter how little of an action we think we may be taking at any given time.
    While this is sobering, it's also empowering. You may think that holding a door for somebody doesn't do much, but you could be starting a chain of kindness that stretches around the globe - like "paying it forward". What classes you choose to study could lead to world feast or famine. The list is endless.