This is a novel that spans from the Holocaust to Israel and includes 3 families whose lives are all intertwined by both love and hatred Although I enjoyed the book I ended up only reading the beginning and end leaving the story of the Antoine family out. Generations of three families Jewish, Arab, and German are affected by the turmoil of the Israeli Palestinian conflicts from WW II and on These families are also intermingled in unlikely ways The story was somewhat predictable and love affair parts were unnecessary A New Testament scripture verse was taken out of context With all this, there was great value for me in reading the historical explanations throughout the story I was glad to see a pretty good balance of the pain and losses and suffering experienced by both Jews and Palestinians. A work of historical fiction, Ester s Child is a mesmerizing novel focusing on the impact of external forces on the lives of three families, the Steins Gale, who are Jewish the Antons, who are Palestinian Arabs and the Kleists, who are Germans The story opens in 1948, Jerusalem, when the UN General Assembly partitioned Palestine to establish a Jewish homeland thereby displacing many of the Palestinian people from their land Flashback to 1938 and Poland where we are introduced to the wealthy Stein family When the family vacations in Paris, their daughter Ester meets Joseph Gale the two fall in love They marry and the promise to bring Ester to Poland for the birth of their first child is fulfilled Coincidently it is also during the time of the rise of Adolf Hitler and his march into Poland The Jews are herded into the Warsaw Ghetto and face brutality, starvation, and death Those who survive are sent to the concentration camps Only a few members of the Gale and Stein families survive and after a horrendous experience, manage to escape the country and relocate to Palestine The story shifts to Palestine where the Anton family who have lived in Palestine many years are suddenly uprooted, along with many other Palestinian families when a war breaks out between Israel and Palestine The family makes its way to a refugee camp near the Lebanon border The situation there is deplorable A teacher and scholar, George Anton was a teacher in Haifa prior to leaving Palestine He makes sure that his son, Demetrius, never forgets their homeland Once again the family decides to leave that camp and immigrate to Beirut, Lebanon to another refugee camp Shatila Camp where they sufferindignities, but somehow manage to survive and lead a relatively peaceful life until they are attacked by Israel during yet another war Always on the minds of many of the refugees is that one day they will return to Palestine, their homeland Sasson weaves a powerful story showing the impact of a decision made by outside forces on everyone involved, Hitler s decision to invade Poland, the British and American leaders to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine We, the readers, see the cause and effect relationship between a Jewish family, a Palestinian family, and a Nazi SS officer A detailed account, the author includes an historical summary dating back to 70 AD up until the time of the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, Germany s march into Poland and France the 1968 war and the PLO, Israel s invasion of Lebanon and the siege of West Beirut, in 1982 While history informs the novel, at the heart, it is the story of love between a man and woman, between parents and children, and friends It s also the story of loss of identity brought on by war and man s inhumanity to man. This book is very well written, has a good plot, and well developed interesting characters The reason I am giving it five stars is because of the way it takes the historical Palestinian Israeli conflict down to a very personal, individual family level, allowing the reader to experience the individual pain and conflict without, at least from what I recall, getting swayed too much one way or the other politically When I finished the book read it twice but not recently I thought that the conflict is certainly not an easy one, there is no easy answer, and neither side can claim to be completely right or completely wrong That is not meant to make a political statement I am merely saying that the pain on an individual level runs deep A very worthwhile read. ( Kindle ) ☹ Ester's Child ♽ The Novel, Ester S Child, Opens On January ,The Momentous Declaration Of The New State Of Israel Is Only Four Months Away And Muslim And Jewish Forces Are Fighting Fiercely Over An Ancient Land They Are Prepared To Die For On This Day, Two Events Occur Which Irreversibly Alter The Lives Of Three Families ForeverE Gale Family Joseph And Ester Gale Lost Most Of Their Family Members To The Holocaust That Destroyed Europe S Once Vibrant Jewish Communities Now Lonely Holocaust Survivors Living In Palestine And Fighting For The Dream Of A Jewish State, The Young Couple Are Anxiously Awaiting The Birth Of Their Third ChildE Antoun Family During The Heated Battle For The Hillside City Of Haifa, Palestine, George And Mary Antoun Are Forced To Flee The Only Home They Have Ever Known Not Allowed To Return Home Even At War S End The Palestinian Couple Are Forced To Raise Their Extraordinary Son, Demetrius, In The Shatila Refugee Camp In Beruit, LebanonE Kleist Family Even As The Arabs And Jews Collide In Their Struggle For Control Of Palestine Former SS Officer Friedrich Kleist S Life Is Fueled By Haunting Nightmares Of The Atrocities He Witnessed While Serving As A German Guard In The Warsaw Ghetto When His Daughter Christine Travels To Beiruit To Volunteet As A Nurse At Shatila Camp, She Falls In Love With Demetrius Antoun This Love Leads Christine To A Remarkable Story That Happened In Poland A Generation AgoWhen These Three Families Are United In A Searing Drama You Will Never Forget, Readers Are Taken On An Emotional Roller Coaster Ride Of Tradgedy, Hope, And Ultimate Renewal The Exceptional Medley Of Dazzling Story Telling Historical Purity And Exhilarating Adventure That Jean Sasson Captures In This Memorable Epic Make Ester S Child Impossible To Put Down
I really love Historical fiction This story is set during the conflicts over Jeruselem after WWII I enjoyed this book because it showed you two very loving families, one Arab, one Jewish, and the horrible struggles they went through during this time period Most of the time all I ve heard about is the Jewish side It also showed the dehumanization of each side by killing I liked it but wasn t that impressed with the ending. A really gripping historical novel that weaves a tale centered onrelationships between generations of an Arab, Jewish and German family I now have a better understanding of the history that has led to the ever changing and volatile Israeli Palestinian conflicts Reading this book has made current events in that part ofthe worldmeaningful, personal and understandable for me A fairly quickread because I couldn t put it down I highly recommend this book An interesting story with several twists It involves three families whose lives intertwine A wealthy Jewish family in the Warsaw Ghetto, a Palestinian family in a refugee camp in Lebanon and the daughter of an SS officer who was a guard in the Warsaw Ghetto What I found most interesting was the perspective of the displaced Arabs who were driven out of Palestine and forced to live in squalid conditions in the refugee camps. A tale woven around the most significant points in world history, the Nazi regime, the conflicts between jews, arabs, germans as races and as individuals going through inexplicable atrocities Life and times of 4 families during that time frame with seemingly insurmountable odds Very touching, gripping and thought provoking. For the most part a pretty good read What I really liked were the pages of actual history intespersed with the story it gave a short concise bit of factual information on some parts of history I had either never known or had forgotten about.The story line is pretty far fetched, and way too predictable, but a worthwhile book nonetheless.