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?
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Radiant Publications
RELEASE DATE: November 2, 2017
“Sometimes God does work in mysterious ways that don’t always make sense to us at the moment.”
This book, y’all. Not only one of my faves for this year… It’s one of my new all-time favorite-favorites. Right up there with Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz, and Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham. This is one I will reread more than once. A book I will give to everyone who will stand still long enough to take it. A story I will talk about even years from now.
Hannah and Karim’s story touched me deeply. Not only because of their tender and passionate friendship-set-on-fire (get ready to swoon, y’all!!!) but also because the heart of Jesus shines through every page.
Hannah is in a tough situation, one that in many ways parallels the Biblical story of Esther. As the daughter of missionaries to the Bedouins, Hannah has grown up in a world that most of us would struggle to adapt to even for just a few days. Her faith is tested like never before, but it’s also strengthened like never before. Several parts of Hannah’s story are uncomfortable for we Western ‘Jesus-girls’ to consider but doesn’t the story of Esther sit a little uncomfortably with us too? I think Monzon has done an absolutely fantastic job of taking perhaps the most intriguing Biblical narrative and placing it in a contemporary context that captures us and leaves us riveted to the page.
Several parts of The Esther Paradigm had me in tears, so authentically did Sarah Monzon capture the heart of hushed conversations between a Jesus-follower and a Muslim seeking to know Him, the tension of when to speak and when to be silent. For all our differences we have much in common, and Monzon created a beautiful and honest picture of these relationships. From the dreams (a very typical way God speaks to Muslims today) to the Bible study which meets the Muslim seekers on our common ground and goes from there … all of it is spot on and a mark of the authors’ thorough research and sensitivity to the tender heart of Jesus.
And let me just say right now… that ending. I could barely read it through my tears. It’s so good, y’all. So, so good. I want to say so much more about it but… spoiler risk… so I refrain 🙂
Bottom Line: The Esther Paradigm is Sarah Monzon’s best book yet. The whole story, not to mention Karim himself, is bravely unique to Christian fiction but it is here ‘for such a time as this’. This is a novel we all need to read and ponder and allow the truth tucked inside the story to change our own hearts. A must-read for everyone! Can’t recommend it highly enough!
(I borrowed this book through Kindle Unlimited. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / It might be time for me to add a 6th or 7th star to my rating system!
KissingBook Level: 5 / Karim = hot sheik. Enough said.
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 a small desert town in central Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.
Other Books by Sarah Monzon
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