Kate Breslin's debut Christian romance novel had all the elements of a hit.
Set during World War II, For Such a Time features a brave heroine who risks her life to try to save her people from being killed during the Holocaust. Along the way, she wins the heart of a handsome older man. The book, like Breslin's heroine, seemed bound for happy ending. It earned rave reviews, strong sales, and was a finalist for major awards.
The problem? Breslin's leading man is the Nazi commandant of a concentration camp. And her heroine is a Jewish woman, posing as his secretary.
Critics called the plot insensitive and offensive, raising questions about why this book was published in the first place.
The initial setup may sound familiar: For Such a Time parallels the Old Testament book of Esther, its title taken from the oft-quoted line in Esther 4:14. But a growing outcry—particularly from Jews and members of the broader romance lit community—claims the novel’s romantic ending, where the blonde and blue-eyed Jewish heroine converts to Christianity and runs off with her captor, stands in stark contrast to the biblical story, in which Esther stands by her Jewish identity to save her people.
“There was no Esther Moment, no time when she said ‘And if I perish, I perish,’” said Emily Hubbard, an evangelical romance fan who read the book after hearing about the controversy. “It would go from, ‘This guy is my enemy’ to ‘I really like his shoulders.’”
Hubbard decided to donate the book's cost to the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
For Such a Time falls into the category of Christian-dominated “inspirational romance,” which makes up ...1