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Ester's Child

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  199 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
The novel, Ester's Child, opens on January 7, 1948. 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 forever.THE Gale Family: Joseph and Ester Gale lost most of ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Windsor-Brooke Books (first published September 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

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Jean Sasson
Apr 24, 2011 Jean Sasson rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm the author of this book, and although I generally write the stories of Muslim women, since an early age I was instinctively drawn to the lives of Palestinians who lost their homes and country, Jews who survived the Holocaust, and Germans who lived under Hitler. After reading all the books in my small-school library, I started saving money to start my book collection. At age 15, the first book I purchased was THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH by William Shirer, later reading BERLIN DIARY a ...more
Feb 15, 2014 Anna rated it it was amazing
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
Diane Savitz
Oct 30, 2012 Diane Savitz rated it it was amazing
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 confli ...more
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 ...more
May 13, 2009 Barbara rated it really liked it
A really gripping historical novel that weaves a tale centered on
relationships 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 of
the world more meaningful, personal and understandable for me. A fairly quick
read because I couldn't put it down! I highly recommend this book!
Nov 20, 2008 Aimee rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 28, 2010 Donna rated it liked it
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.
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.
Sushma Syam
Oct 29, 2014 Sushma Syam rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 29, 2011 Kate added it
I teach history, and I have studied both the Holocaust and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict extensively. Ester's Child is an excellent portrayal of the historical aspects and super-charged emotions of this very complex conflict. I will be adding it to my recommended readings list in my syllabus.
Sep 14, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book! Truly a great historical fiction read.
Gives quite an understanding of the Palestinian/Israeli/Lebanon conflict.
Covers the WW2 through to the early '80's.
Well written, heaps of clear info and a great story.
Highly recommended!
Jul 07, 2009 Marielle rated it really liked it
The historical aspect of this book was amazing. I learned a lot about the Jewish/Palestinian conflict within a memorable novel. The only reason I don't give it five huge stars is that the ending of the story seemed a little unbelievable to me.
Laurie Stoll
Feb 14, 2011 Laurie Stoll rated it it was amazing
Jean Sasson is an entrancing author. All of her books are my "favorites". They deserve their own catagory. I would recommend this and her other books to everyone.
Jan Kulhanek
Mar 23, 2013 Jan Kulhanek rated it really liked it
Shelves: p-e-o-book-club
I never would have read this book if it wasn't for book club. The ending was weak, but it was worth the time.
Kerri Hanson
Jan 06, 2010 Kerri Hanson rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorite books. Great way to begin a journey to understanding the upheaval in the mideast.
Dec 06, 2010 Beverly rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book!! Jean Sasson is one of my favorites!
Mar 13, 2008 Sharon rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sharon by: Gwen
WW11 Araba/Jews/germans
Brooke K
Mar 06, 2015 Brooke K rated it liked it
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. It talks about their experiences and what they went threw. Its a gre ...more
Oct 03, 2011 Kari rated it did not like it
For the first 100+ pages it was fascinating. I was really enjoying it. It was about a Jewish family in Poland and France during WWII who then move to Jerusalem. And it paralleled the story of a Palestinian boy--the only surviving child of 11 children. But it then got a little sleazy and the ending was like it came straight from a Soap Oprah. Every single character's romance was linked in some unbelievable way with someone else. A Jewish boy, kidnapped and raised as a Palestinian gets engaged to ...more
Amina Hassan
Sep 14, 2013 Amina Hassan rated it it was amazing
loved it
Jul 22, 2013 Stephanie rated it did not like it
I finally skimmed the book & skipped parts of it to get to the end. It was not well written. Apparently this author has written other books but this is the first time she has written historical fiction. I am not moved to read her other books. This book felt as if it was written by a first time author who has a long way to go.
Jan 24, 2009 Heather rated it liked it
I'm glad I read it because it was an enjoyable, sometimes entertaining way to learn about the background to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict but the plot was unfortunately the type of plot you'd expect on a soap opera.
Apr 03, 2010 Mdcasper rated it really liked it
It's OK so far....
Dec 27, 2009 M marked it as to-read
rec. by Candy
May 29, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
This is a great book. Very suspensful in parts and helps the reader understand the history of Isreal/Palestine.
May 27, 2010 Andrea rated it liked it
Shyamala marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2016
Agr marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2016
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2016
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Jean Sasson was born in a small town in Alabama. An avid reader from an early age, she had read all the books in her school library by the time she was 15 years old. She also began her book collection at age 15. When given the chance to travel, Sasson accepted a position at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh, and lived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 12 years. She ...more
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