Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner
Esther Kaminsky is a young Orthodox Jewish girl around the age of 12 who lives in the holy city of Jerusalem. In this time, a woman is expected to marry and produce many sons to hasten the arrival of the Messiah. While Esther understands this role she is to play, she has trouble accepting it. Secretly she desires to draw and wonders about exploring beyond her religion to possibly study in Paris. When her teacher catches her extraordinary talent for drawing, he gets her colored pencils and art lessons. Again Esther wonders if perhaps God has chosen her to be an artist and now a mother.
When tragedy strikes her family, Esther puts aside her dreams and instead follows the path that was chosen for her and becomes an obedient “Jerusalem Maiden”. Yet its hard to smother a strong desire and that desire still burns within Esther. When an opportunity arises Esther has a clash of faith and passion… and forces her to confront the most difficult question of all… “to who must she be true?”
Talia Carner had me from the first pages of this well written, well thought out book. Even as I type now I find myself taking a deep breath as I recall turning the pages, at once fascinated and curious with where I would be taken on this particular book journey.
Divided into 4 important parts of Esther’s life: Maiden, Marriage, Motherhood, and Artist, each opening into pages of deliciously detailed descriptions of life, and family, and dreams. Historically beautiful…. seriously here – I am looking for the words to let you know this book amazed me
It made me think about passions and talents in general and how our lives are shaped, much like Esther’s by choices and life happenings beyond our control. It made me think about how does one choose between right and right?
A page turner for sure, but know that while this book speaks of faith, it is not (not exactly anyway) Christian Fiction, nor is it marketed that way. There are a few parts in the book that will make that quite clear to you as there are a couple of sex scenes and a few situations that I found fitting to the nature of the book.
Overall, if you enjoy Historical Fiction this is a wonderful read. I was delighted to not find it to be a heavy read, but instead it was like taking a journey with Esther walking together through Jerusalem and through her life.
Side note: I had the opportunity to meet the lovely and talented Talia Carner at the Harper Collins Book Blogger Reception a few weeks ago when I was in New York for BEA. She was wonderful to talk to and I find myself now curious about her other books, China Doll and Puppet Child.
Thank you to TLC book tours for a chance to read this book
Thank you to Harper Collins Book Blogger Reception for the chance to meet Talia Carner.