Esther Kaminsky, a young girl living in an ultra orthodox Jewish community, is always questioning her Abba about life, family and religion. In spite of her mother’s admonition that Esther has no need of such information her father indulges her. Her mother insists (and father quietly agrees) that Esther’s role in hastening the Messiah’s return will be through her submission to the man her father chooses as her husband. God, a harsh taskmaster, insists that Esther marry and have many sons. According to God, this is how she will fulfill her faithful duty as a Jerusalem Maiden. Esther, however, dreams of becoming an artist. JERUSALEM MAIDEN is a coming-of-age novel exploring the role religion, faith and family have on one girl’s hopes and dreams for her own future. Carner’s rich details subtly place the reader on the scene. Only when I stopped reading to contemplate Esther’s choices or caught my breath at the next turn in the road did I realize how deeply I was immersed in this story. JERUSALEM MAIDEN is breathtakingly beautiful and will provide many opportunities for personal reflection.
NOTE: I requested and received a copy of this title via NetGalley.com but made no commitment to review it.