As y’all may or may not know, I have occasionally had the opportunity to review books professionally. Unfortunately, when that happens I’m unable to share those reviews with my reader friends here. However, one of the publications I previously submitted work to has closed its doors allowing me to now share reviews like this one of The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon on Faithfully Bookish!
about the book
Hannah Pratt dreams of starting a school for the Bedouin clan she grew up with as a missionary kid, and finally her hopes are coming true. But shortly after she returns to the desert from her college years in the U.S., she discovers her parents have received threats from their Muslim neighbors. As the danger escalates, Hannah finds she’s in the middle of a battle no one seems to understand. She must decide to what lengths she’ll go to stay faithful to the mission to which God has called her. Even if it costs her everything.
As sheikh, Karim Al-Amir feels the weight of responsibility as the leader of his people. When a mysterious illness ravishes the clan’s flocks and threatens to destroy their centuries-old way of life, locals believe the American doctors and their daughter, his childhood friend, Hannah, are to blame. Karim must do something to keep them safe—even if the only solution can be found within marriage vows.
In a society where the line is drawn between us and them, Christianity is outlawed, and foreigners are mistrusted, will their union heal wounds or inflict the final fatal blow?
4.5 star top pick!
Monzon has deftly crafted a friendship-to-romance adventure that bridges culture and united with the most powerful bond of all: love. The Esther Paradigm will have readers saddling up their camels in search of the nearest desert cave with its sweet yet steamy romance. This modern-day retelling of Esther involves an interfaith marriage between a relatable American heroine who struggles with insecurity and a bold, confident sheikh who is al kinds of dashing and handsome. The author approaches the religious element within this story class and grace, highlighting commonalities shared by Christian and Muslim faiths despite the divisive intents of a few. The larger portion of the plot is built around the heroine’s struggle with low self-esteem and our hero’s role as leader of his clan during a critical point in time.
As a daughter of American doctors serving and living among a nomadic Bedouin clan and a recent college graduate, Hannah Pratt longs to return to the people she grew up and open a school within the community. Unfortunately, relations with their longtime Muslim neighbors have become strained to a dangerous tipping point in the midst of a mysterious crisis. Sheikh Karim Al-Amir is dedicated to protecting his people and their traditional way of life. When his childhood friend, Hannah, and her parents are blamed for an illness sweeping the clan’s flocks, Karim decides the best way to protect them is by marrying her despite their differences in faith. Together, Karim and Hannah must face the divisive climate and find a way to strengthen trust between the nomads and westerners, both within the clan and within their own tent.
I was paid to write this review, originally featured by RT Reviews. It is my honest opinion and brief summary of the story.
about the author
Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters.
When she isn’t in the world of make-believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.
Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 SELAH award for contemporary romance.
Carrington Family series
Book 4, With You Here is one of my highly anticipated late 2019 reads and releases September 23, 2019!