Monday, July 8, 2019

Book review with a giveaway: Hadassah by Diana Wallis Taylor

About the Book

Book: Hadassah
Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release date: July 2, 2019

One of the great heroines of the Old Testament, Hadassah was a beautiful, graceful young woman who put her faith in God and her guardian, her cousin Mordecai.

She dreams of marrying Shamir, a tall, handsome, studious young man who is the rabbi’s son. Her heart beats faster when she hears the sound of his deep voice as he reads the Torah. And she hopes that he will visit Mordecai soon to present a betrothal request.

Then, an upheaval in King Xerxes’s palace changes everything. Queen Vashti has been banished and an edict goes out for all qualified young virgins throughout the empire to be taken to the palace as he searches for a new queen.

Fear strikes in the hearts of many, including Mordecai, as he realizes Hadassah will be taken. To hide her identity as a Jew, he tells her to go by the name of Esther. Since he works as a record-keeper at the king’s gates, he can keep tabs on how she is doing.

Hadassah: Queen Esther of Persia imagines what life was like for the woman who saved her people—and perhaps found love in the process.

Click here to grab your copy!

My Review

Another book about Queen Esther?  Yes!

Author Diana Wallis Taylor did a wonderful job of conveying the spirit of the times in ancient Persia.  I felt the unrest and uneasiness in Susa, the joy of childhood, and the chill of distrust in the palace.

What I loved about Taylor's portrayal of Esther was that her trust in Adonai did not wane, which translated into kindness toward those around her.  That kindness led to a lifetime of loyalty from Esther's servants.  Esther dealt with heartbreak, as well, but again, her unwavering faith brought her through it.  I also loved the wisdom of Mordecai, a constant throughout the book.  

It was hard to read about the harsh realities of palace life.  Yes, opulence.  But not knowing whom to trust, and being fearful for the lives of your loved ones during political unrest, among other things, was difficult.  Again, Taylor conveyed it well.

Fans of biblical fiction and of Esther will want to read this book.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, Whitaker House, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Diana Wallis Taylor was first published at the age of twelve, when she sold a poem to a church newsletter. After receiving her B.A. in Elementary Education at San Diego State University, she was an elementary school teacher for twenty-two years. Diana has also sold real estate, opened two coffeehouse/used book stores, and was a conference director for a private Christian college.

She has an extensive portfolio of published works, including a collection of poetry; an Easter cantata, written with a musical collaborator; contributions to various magazines and compilations; and several books, including Lydia, Woman of Philippi; Mary, Chosen of God; Ruth, Mother of Kings; and Halloween: Harmless Fun or Risky Business?

Learn more at

Read Excerpts

Besides the usual vendors, there were strange, sweaty men with beady eyes who were looking to get rich from the additional population.

In the wee hours of the morning, while Mordecai sat with his head in his hands, silently praying, Jerusha stopped breathing, slipping away so quietly that Hadassah thought she was still sleeping.

One day, to the people’s relief, the news was spread that the unwelcome banquet guests had been ordered back to their provinces—to prepare for war.

Instead of bowing, Hadassah smiled unabashedly and gazed directly at the king, who at that moment had turned his head.

“Do not give your name as Hadassah, but tell them it is Esther, which is a Persian name. I would have you hide your Jewish heritage for now.”

She felt their eyes silently appraising her; some with open interest, some with sympathy, and others with calculating shrewdness.

Esther asked each maid gentle, innocuous questions about her homeland, favorite foods, culture, and the like, listening attentively to their answers and making sure to speak to them by name both to let them know they were important to her and also to help her remember who was who.

“If you maidens help me to be my very best when I am called to the king’s chambers, if he honors me by selecting me as his queen, I will not forget you, who helped to put the crown on my head.”

Esther had seen some of the women pass her quarters so laden with jewelry they could hardly walk. She wanted to laugh out loud, but suppressed even a smile.

Recognition came. “Ah, the maiden in the crowd. I thought about you many times.” He moved closer. “I remember your hair, like a cloud around your face.”

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, July 4
Retrospective Spines, July 4
Hallie Reads, July 4
My Devotional Thoughts, July 5
Through the Lens of Scripture, July 5
For The Love of Books, July 5
Fiction Aficionado, July 6
The Becca Files, July 6
For Him and My Family, July 6
EmpowerMoms, July 7
Madeline Hope, July 7
Locks, Hooks and Books, July 7
A Baker’s Perspective, July 8
Godly Book Reviews, July 8
Moments, July 8
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, July 9
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 9
Emily Yager, July 9
Aryn the Libraryan, July 10
Purposeful Learning, July 10
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 10
Through the Fire Blogs, July 10
Lights in a Dark World, July 11
Mary Hake, July 11
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 11
Splashes of Joy, July 12
Simple Harvest Reads, July 12 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 12
Bigreadersite, July 13
Pause for Tales, July 13


To celebrate her tour, Diana is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbucks card and a surprise book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. Isn't it fantastic? I thoroughly enjoyed this story of Queen Esther. The emotions were conveyed so well, and the personalities were pretty accurate, I think 😀📚📚