Christian Fiction Devourers discussion

For Such a Time
This topic is about For Such a Time
182 views
Archived Group Reads 2015 > February Book of the Month - For Such a Time by Kate Breslin

Comments Showing 1-50 of 50 (50 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
This month, one of our reads will be For Such a Time by Kate Breslin.

Goodreads summary:
In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz. Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy. Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?


message 2: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
I started this one today, it pulled me right in! Definitely a promising start!

Kate Breslin is a debut author, and her next book is still forthcoming, so I can't ask if anyone has read any of her books yet! But do chime in if you think you might join in on discussion!


message 3: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Here is sort of a general questions - why do you think that books set during WWII have such a draw? Am I the only one that sort of has to steel myself prior to reading because I know it might be hard to stomach? And yet, I am very compelled to read them.


Shari Larsen | 65 comments I started reading it last night, and it definitely pulled me right in too; I thought to myself "Wow!" before I was finished with the first page. I started reading it last night and read the first 8 chapters; so hard to put down, but I finally had to if I were to able to get up on time this morning.

My dad was in the service, in the Pacific, during WW2; I think that era compels me because it's just a generation away for me. In the course of human history, it's still like WW2 and the Holocaust just happened recently, and it's still hard for me fathom how so many of the Jewish people, and others that didn't fit Hitler's definition of "Aryan" were just slaughtered, and that it took so long to put a stop to it. I also think we owe it to those who lost their lives to remember the Holocaust, and to make sure that nothing like that ever happens again.


message 5: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2861 comments Mod
Plan to start this one in the next day or two. I love reading anything set in World War II. I agree Beth that they are difficult to read but feel like they are reminders of the lessons we should learn from history so they aren't repeated. Unfortunately, it seems today that many didn't learn or that they are filled with so much hate that they can't stop repeating prior mistakes. I know God says that the "worldly" will fall away before Jesus returns so this is in His plan, so we must do our best to spread His word so that we see His Kingdom filled when this happens.


message 6: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1616 comments Mod
I started this one tonight.

Completely agree with Loraine. We can help prevent the past from happening again through awareness. Nazi Germany did not happen overnight.

WWII Fiction is so compelling. I love reading stories of courage amidst such adversity. My first Christian Fiction books were WWII by Brock and Bodie Thoene. Two amazing series that I still compare others against.

I really look forward to the discussion!


message 7: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1616 comments Mod
Comment for Shari...I notice there are very few Eastern theatre WWII Christian Fiction books. Liz Tolzsma has one that just came out this week. Have you found any you'd recommend from the eastern theatre?


message 8: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2861 comments Mod
Finished this last night reading late into the night as I couldn't put it down. As incredible as The Butterfly and the Violin (Hidden Masterpiece, #1) by Kristy Cambron . Two authors with debut books that are absolutely outstanding.


Hannah (bookwormhannah) | 860 comments I still haven't picked it up. Trying to get through a stack of library books that somehow leaped into my arms of their own accord at church on Sunday. :)


Shari Larsen | 65 comments Staci wrote: "Comment for Shari...I notice there are very few Eastern theatre WWII Christian Fiction books. Liz Tolzsma has one that just came out this week. Have you found any you'd recommend from the eastern t..."

No, sorry, I haven't really found any either.


Shari Larsen | 65 comments I finished this one this afternoon; the further I got into the book, the harder it was to put down. I usually do most of my reading in the evening, but I was so close to finishing it that I decided I just to read the rest of it today.


message 12: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1616 comments Mod
I just finished! Ready to discuss when everyone is done.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I jusr finished "Dear Mr. Knightly." I'll start this one tonight.


message 14: by Blue (new)

Blue (topazamber) Did you like Dear Mr. knightly? I didn't care for it. Gave up.


message 15: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2861 comments Mod
Hattie wrote: "Did you like Dear Mr. knightly? I didn't care for it. Gave up."

Hattie I finished it and it got better; but I only thought it was good not great.


message 16: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
I have about 25% of For Such a Time left! I hope I can finish it tonight, according to my Kindle, I had about 40 minutes left worth of reading (I have a love/hate relationship with the timer thing, haha!).

I agree, Shari, it is hard to put it down once you pick it up! I read the first 50% in one sitting pretty much, then had to finish another book, and then read to 75% last night.


message 17: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2861 comments Mod
Beth wrote: "I have about 25% of For Such a Time left! I hope I can finish it tonight, according to my Kindle, I had about 40 minutes left worth of reading (I have a love/hate relationship with the timer thing,..."

I read til about 2 AM a couple of nights ago to finish it. I had to find out how it ended. Already put this on my 2015 Favorite Books of the Year list.


message 18: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1616 comments Mod
For those that read Chateau of Secrets, I'd be curious to know which novel you found stronger and why.


message 19: by Beth, Head Librarian (last edited Feb 10, 2015 11:33AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
I think I know which one, but I will hold my judgement until I finish this one, then come back! I'd be curious to hear from others as well!


message 20: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Loraine wrote: "Beth wrote: "I have about 25% of For Such a Time left! I hope I can finish it tonight, according to my Kindle, I had about 40 minutes left worth of reading (I have a love/hate relationship with the..."

I was definitely tempted to stay up late last night! But I knew I'd be paying for it this morning come 6 AM! ;)


message 21: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2861 comments Mod
Staci wrote: "For those that read Chateau of Secrets, I'd be curious to know which novel you found stronger and why."

Haven't read Chateau of Secrets yet. But it is on my TBR list!


message 22: by Anna (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anna | 37 comments I liked this one more than Chateau of Secrets I think. This one has a stronger plot and more compelling characters. I loved the Esther scriptures and how the book was like a retelling of the story of Esther.


message 23: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1616 comments Mod
Anna, I loved the Esther scriptures too. I think that was my favorite thing about the novel...how the scripture tied into the chapter.


message 24: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2861 comments Mod
I liked the scripture intro for each chapter as well.


message 25: by Ally (new) - added it

Ally (Separate Minds Book Blog) Picked this one up from the library today. Can't wait to get started on it. I also find books set during World War II very compelling. Or really, just war fiction in general.


Hannah (bookwormhannah) | 860 comments I admit, I've been putting this one off...I think it's going to be an emotional ride, and haven't dared to try it yet. I pick it up and put it down. I read a lot of WW2 novels at one point...my favorites being ones like "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowry...but haven't for several years.


message 27: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
I finished it last night - wow, what an exciting ending :)

I'll post some discussion questions within the next few days, but in the meantime, I'll address Staci's question.

For me, Chateau of Secrets was the stronger novel. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed this one, but overall, found Chateau of Secrets to have a bit more realism, and I also connected better to the characters. I also love when the dual-time narrative is done well, and Dobson definitely delivered for me on that one.

However, that doesn't mean I didn't thoroughly enjoy For Such a Time! I loved the heightened suspense and found the relationship between Hadassah and Joseph to be really sweet. I feel like Breslin portrayed the atrocities of the Holocaust very well, as painful as it is to read about. I definitely want to read her upcoming title!


message 28: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2861 comments Mod
Hannah wrote: "I admit, I've been putting this one off...I think it's going to be an emotional ride, and haven't dared to try it yet. I pick it up and put it down. I read a lot of WW2 novels at one point...my f..."

I loved Lois Lowery's Number the Stars. I used as a read-aloud for my 3rd graders when I was teaching as it was on the Texas Bluebonnet Book list. It was a gifted class and they really enjoyed it.


message 29: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
I agree, Number the Stars is a great read - I remember crying when I read it for the first time. I read it several times growing.


message 30: by Ally (new) - added it

Ally (Separate Minds Book Blog) I'm about a third of the way into this one. It really pulled me in! Work and school got in the way of reading more than that, but I might finish it this weekend.

Really enjoying it so far. I especially love the verses at the beginning of each chapter and seeing how Ms. Breslin's story parallels that of Esther.

I can definitely say that I cannot wait for Hermann to get what he deserves. Ugh, he makes me shudder, but it helps me to imagine just how despicable Haman must have been.


message 31: by Beth, Head Librarian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Beth | 2263 comments Mod
Hi, all! I'll be packing because our closing date got moved up (eeeeek!), so I thought I'd go ahead and post some discussion questions for For Such a Time. I pulled these from the discussion questions at the end of the novel.

SPOILERS POSSIBLE in the questions!!!

*********************************************

1. When the book opens, Stella finds herself held captive at the chalet of Aric's cousin in the German town of Dachau, not far from the concentration camp. After the war, many townspeople insisted they knew nothing of the Nazis' activities at the camp. What do you think? Were they truly unaware, or did their guilt make them blind? Could we find this weakness of human nature in the injustices that surround us today - in our neighborhoods, our cities, our country?

2. Who was your favorite secondary character in the story? Why?

3. Stella's uncle Morty is the sole elder in the Judenrat and must decide who goes to Auschwitz. How would you cope in Morty's place?

4. At the end of the story, Aric reunites with Stella, and though he's helped save the lives of her people, he knows Germany is losing the war and that he must eventually answer to the world for his part in Hitler's scheme. Morty assures him that they will speak in his favor, but if the story were to continue, what do you imagine the eventual outcome might be?

5. Stella clings to her Bible throughout, and as she and Aric discuss the future, he is ready to reclaim his Christian faith. Do you think Aric & Stella's faith jourenys will continue? In what ways can they continue to grow?

6. What particular event or detail in the story surprised you the most?


message 32: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1616 comments Mod
#1 I hear one in every five women are abused. Yet, I bet many of us have no idea of who they are. I think it is possible that were some not aware of what was happening in the camps. It was hard to believe!

#2 The young servant in the house (I've forgotten his name). His clearly obvious need for love was so sweet. He tried to be a man and protect Stella. He was also very brave.

#3 There would be a lot of guilt associated with that role. I have to believe prayer would get through it.

#4 I like happily ever after. My vision only includes a quaint home, a new baby, pretty flowers,...

#5 Yes. I thought about the difference in their faiths could be a difficulty for them eventually. I do see that they will work through it though.

#6 I was surprised that with Stella having a tattoo and a shaved head that she survived as long as she did.


message 33: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2861 comments Mod
Staci - I was thinking the same thing on #2. I loved that little boy. He'd been through so much but still stayed strong, brave, and loving.


Shari Larsen | 65 comments 1. I think it was a combination of guilt and shame that made people say they were unaware.

2. Joseph; I loved his relationship with Stella. I also liked the cook that lived in the house with Stella (cannot remember her name right now). I like how at first she didn't seem to like Stella, but later in the story, you could really see how she came to care for Stella.

3. I cannot imagine being forced into such a role, I think it's just as cruel as physical abuse.

4. I imagine Morty living with Stella, Aric and Joseph, but maybe not fully "happily ever after" as they would all remained scarred from the experience, but they would all remain together.

5. I think they would both need to rely on their faith to help them come to grips with the past and move on.

6. When Stella started to fall in love with Aric, before we knew much about his past and why he ended up joining the SS.


message 35: by Anna (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anna | 37 comments 2. I loved Joseph too! He was so sweet and caring and...childlike. :)
3. I don't know how I could ever choose who goes to their deaths. It would be terrible. I would feel so guilty!


message 36: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2861 comments Mod
Shari I loved the cook as well. Thought she grew in her relationship with Stella throughout the story.

3. I am sure Morty was strong in his faith and prayed for wisdom in his decisions. As we saw later in the story, many of the elderly and sick were willing to sacrifice their lives for the young and those who were stronger. I am sure Morty knew his people well enough that with God's wisdom he knew who would willingly make this sacrifice. Yet at the same time, I am sure each decision broke another piece from his heart.


Sherry Ledet (ledetsherry) | 1 comments I almost broke my heart when Stella found the little girl crying for her mama in the dark barrack when looking for Joseph. I wish this story hadn't strayed so far from the true history of the camp.


Shari Larsen | 65 comments Sherry wrote: "I almost broke my heart when Stella found the little girl crying for her mama in the dark barrack when looking for Joseph. I wish this story hadn't strayed so far from the true history of the camp."

Me too! (view spoiler)


message 39: by Ally (new) - added it

Ally (Separate Minds Book Blog) (view spoiler)


message 40: by Anna (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anna | 37 comments Ally wrote: "[spoilers removed]"

I agree with both of you, Shari and Alli!


Tammi (wytammic) | 2 comments I adored this story and Kate Breslin's newest book, Not by Sight. Have you seen the attack aimed at this sweet author rearing it's ugly head on Goodreads? I still need to post a review for Such a Time and I encourage you, if you haven't left a review, Kate could certainly use your support. God bless!


message 42: by Staci, Book Awards Specialist (new) - rated it 4 stars

Staci | 1616 comments Mod
Thanks for sharing that Tammi. I wondered why I had so many likes (and one negative comment) regarding a review I wrote in February.


Catarina  (cats996) hello guys i loved this book but i think i did miss the part of the book that explained aric motives to join the SS. Anybody could tell me why did he join SS?


Tammi (wytammic) | 2 comments Keep in mind that I've read several books between now and then, but I'm not certain he chose to join the SS. He was actually a German soldier, a war hero, with no ax to grind against the Jews. However, he was injured and could no longer fight, and this position was given to him as a reward for his service. I felt he sort of defaulted into it. His heart was never into the persecution of the Jews, he saw it as a distraction and likely a fatal German flaw that would cost them the war. He was torn. He wasn't afraid to die for what was right, but a part of him wanted to make a small difference for good where he was able to. He was a complex character for sure.


Hannah (bookwormhannah) | 860 comments Yes, I'd agree with that take, Tammi.


Catarina  (cats996) i wish we would have gotten an epilogue so we could have known what happened to not only aric and hadassah future regarding their wedding and if they suceeded escaping to switzerland but aric also being an ss and what would be his consequences in the future . Sadly we only got an HFN that left me imagining their future.
Also another question, what do you guys think about the all situation regarding the appearance of the bible in hadassah's room and the disappearance of it? Did anybody entered her room and put it on it? And was aric's father murder by the german soldiers?


Hannah (bookwormhannah) | 860 comments A lot of SS men that were not personally convicted went to South America to settle; America and Canada did not allow them to immigrate, but countries like Paraguay did. SS work became an order and not a choice near the end of the war as men ran short. Many men had no choice, even Christians. Pacifist Mennonites even served unwillingly in SS.

I think it was the woman servant who kept putting the Bible in...maybe?


Catarina  (cats996) I personally think he still got consequences for his actions but with the help of the people he saved that testified on his behalf i believe his penalties were reduced and he made some deals with the court like for example never immigrate to the allies countries or paying some amount of money to the victims maybe ??
I would love an epilogue of them ... Something like 5 years later.
I think you are right because the maid seemed like a person of faith but we'll never know...
When i started reading the book i honestly thought that aric wouldn't survive and when i got to the part of the book when he "died" i was so sad that my predictment was right .. Thank god it was false and he lived but i wish we would have learnt more about how he survived and eventually how he managed to find hadassah ..


Hannah (bookwormhannah) | 860 comments Maybe someday Breslin might write a sequel about his good friend... That would be nice!


Catarina  (cats996) Yes me too.. I'd love a book about aric's friend but first publish that epilogue breslin! I'm curious to know more about their future together as a normal couple without all the drama that came within all the situation


back to top