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.