Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther

( 22 )

Overview

The story of a girl unsparingly plunged into heartache and chaos, who would save a nation ... of Esther, who would be queen.

Wrenched from a simple life for her beauty, Esther finds herself at the mercy of King Xerxes. Leaving behind her only relative, her cousin Mordecai, and her first true love, Cyrus, she is thrown headlong into the unrestrained extravagance of palace living. Quick of mind and strong in spirit, she refuses to suffer the fate of her harem sisters and boldly ...

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Overview

The story of a girl unsparingly plunged into heartache and chaos, who would save a nation ... of Esther, who would be queen.

Wrenched from a simple life for her beauty, Esther finds herself at the mercy of King Xerxes. Leaving behind her only relative, her cousin Mordecai, and her first true love, Cyrus, she is thrown headlong into the unrestrained extravagance of palace living. Quick of mind and strong in spirit, she refuses to suffer the fate of her harem sisters and boldly challenges Xerxes to give of his heart before taking his pleasure, thus sealing her place beside him a queen. While conspiracy spins its diabolical web, Esther's mind and spirit waver, and she is forced to confront the past in order to save her future-and that of an entire nation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A story that is sure to be a classic! Exciting, dramatic, and filled with truth. A great read from the first page!”
Brock and Bodie Thoene, best-selling authors of the Zion Covenant series and the A.D. Chronicles

“An exciting novel from a talented author.” Karen Kingsbury, best-selling author of the Redemption series and Beyond Tuesday Morning.

Library Journal
Ripped away from her family and the man she loves, the beautiful Hadassah joins the harem of the Persian king. Strong-willed and proud, she challenges Xerxes to give her his heart before bedding her. This fictionalized account of the biblical Queen Esther is interspersed with contemporary research. VERDICT First published by NavPress and named by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association as one of the five best novels of 2006, this reissue is sure to earn Garrett new readers, especially those enthralled with women of the Bible stories and fans of Francine Rivers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781434768018
  • Publisher: Cook, David C.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Series: Lost Loves of the Bible Series
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 636,488
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Having firmly established herself as a nonfiction writer, Ginger Garrett frequently appears in a variety of media. Featured by Woman's World , Teenagers Today , Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), London Kids , Christian Women Today, she also can be found in Wal-Mart commercials and on the radio. She wrote Moments for Couples Who Long for Children and is co-author of Lose it for Life for Teens. Chosen is her first novel.
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Read an Excerpt

Chosen


By GINGER GARRETT

NAVPRESS

Copyright © 2005 Ginger Garrett
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-57683-651-4


Chapter One

Note to the Reader

These diaries, reproduced here in their entirety, were dated using an ancient Babylonian calendar. Explanation must be given so that the modern reader is not confused. Three dates are given at the top of each entry, including: month, the year of king's reign, and year after creation. Ancient calendars, of course, did not include the markers "BC," "AD," "BCE," or "CE." The "number of years after creation" was only a very rough estimate determined by early Jewish priests, using key historical dates given in the first inspired Scriptures.

The months were lunar months. At the first report from two reliable witnesses that a full moon had risen, the first day of the next month was declared. The months corresponded roughly to ours, although their New Year began later:

Nisan April Iyyar May Sivan June Tammuz July Av August Elul September Tishri October Kheshvan November Kislev December Tevet January Shevat February Adar March

Adar II A leap year, occurring approximately every three years

In addition to understanding this dating system, we would like to call to your attention the special features we have added for further study and interest. The Persian Antiquities Authority has graciously allowed us to include news reports and academic commentary in this specialAmerican edition. We hope this will allow you, the reader, to better place these diaries in the context of Esther's world and your own. These features have been set apart in boxes so that you will clearly see what is our own addition and what is original to the scrolls.

Hitler Invades Poland

SEPTEMBER 1, 1939

Hitler launches an unprovoked attack and begins his reign of terror. His first public proclamation after the invasion closes all synagogues, effective on the first day of the festival of Purim. Purim is the Jewish holiday that celebrates the heroism of one woman, Esther, and her triumph against the evil of Jewish genocide. Hitler was crafting a horrific annihilation for his Jewish captives, and Purim would give them one last shining hope.

Hitler's men raced against time to destroy the synagogues and wipe the festival of Purim from the mind of every Jew. "Unless Germany is victorious," Hitler shrieked to his men, "Jews could then celebrate a second triumphant Purim festival!" Hitler may have hated the entire race, but he feared one woman. Even her dusty memory could threaten his bloody regime. Who was this woman that gave a madman pause? Could she even now call to her people across the centuries?

FROM THE ART NEWSPAPER.COM, INTERNATIONAL EDITION

London and Paris Markets Flooded with Looted Iranian Antiquities [REPORT ON JANUARY 2001 DISCOVERY] By Edek Osser

JIROFT, IRAN. In January 2001 a group of Iranians from Jiroft in the southwest province of Kerman stumbled upon an ancient tomb. Inside they found hoards of objects decorated with highly distinctive engravings of animals, mythological figures and architectural motifs.

They did not realize it at the time but they had just made one of the most remarkable archeological discoveries in recent years.

A few weeks after the discovery, officials from Iran's Ministry of Culture, vastly outnumbered by the local people, watched hopelessly as thousands systemically dug up the area. The locals set up a highly organized impromptu system to manage the looting: each family was allocated an equal plot of six-metres to dig.

This organized pillaging continued for an entire year. Dozens of tombs were discovered, some containing up to 60 objects, and thousands of ancient objects were removed.

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES FEBRUARY 2003

War in Iraq Would Halt All Digs in Region By John Noble Wilford

War in Iraq could halt archeology not just in that country but across the Middle East, experts say, and could result in some of the earliest cities of Mesopotamia being bombed or looted into ruins. Archeologists have set aside their individual concerns and have tried to alert American officials to the cultural devastation that war and its aftermath could bring to the land of the oldest civilization, where urban life and the written word originated some 5,500 years ago.

Archeologists and art collectors alike agreed that their greatest concern is looting after a war. In the Persian Gulf War of 1991, damage known to ancient sites was slight, but looting afterwards left museums and excavations in shambles. Assyrian sculptures in northern Iraq were sawed up so the pieces could be taken out of the country, archeologists said. Unexcavated sites in the south were bulldozed by plunderers, who hauled artifacts away in dump trucks. One expert said a diplomat's car was stopped from crossing the border from Iraq into Jordan with 80 illicit artifacts. The expert would not say what country the diplomat was from.

Dr. John Malcolm Russell of the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston said that in the last decade "a flood of many thousands of undocumented Iraqi antiquities has been surfacing on the market, visible at every level of the market from the big auction houses to eBay."

U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA) OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA) DECEMBER 29, 2003

On December 26, 2003, at 5:27 a.m. local time, an earthquake struck Kerman Province in southeastern Iran. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake measured 6.6 on the Richter scale and had a depth of 10 km. The epicenter was near the city of Bam, 180 km southeast of the provincial capital of Kerman and 975 km southeast of Tehran.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reports that an estimated 100,000 to 120,000 people live in Bam and the surrounding villages, all of whom have been affected by the earthquake.

International media reports estimate that the earthquake has resulted in the deaths of 20,000 to 30,000 people.

Government of Iran (GOI) officials estimate that 25,000 to 40,000 have been injured. GOI officials report that 80 percent of houses have been destroyed in the immediate area of Bam, and an estimated 70,000 residents are homeless.

MARCH 4, 2004 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ancient Diaries of Queen Esther Acquired

A twelve-year-old Iranian girl has offered for sale the publication rights to a box of antiquities that include the sealed scrolls believed to be the personal diaries of Queen Esther, who ruled in Persia approximately 480-465 BC.

The owner will not say how she came into possession of the artifacts. She was discovered by humanitarian workers after the December earthquake wandering in the streets with the box and a few belongings. Her family was killed by the earthquake, and she was seeking to sell the box to pay for transportation to another city to live with relatives.

The diaries, which are recorded on scrolls in Aramaic, the adopted language of the ancient Persian Empire, could bring in at least $130 million at auction.

Although it is difficult at this time to verify all details, media outlets have reported that the girl is now living outside of Iran, possibly in Paris with an unnamed relief worker, and has successfully negotiated with her former government to place the scrolls in Iran's national museum. Conditional to the museum acquiring the scrolls, they will be duplicated and published for public review. All royalties will be payable to the girl, who will also retain all future publication rights.

Fourth Day of the Month of Av Year 3414 After Creation

If you have opened this, you are the chosen one.

For this book has been sealed in the tomb of the ancients of Persia, never to be opened, I pray, until G-d has put His finger on a new woman of destiny, a woman who will rise up and change her nation. But we will not talk of your circumstances and the many reasons this book may have fallen into your hands. There are no mistakes with prayer. You have indeed been called. If this sounds too strange, if you must look around your room and question whether G-d's finger has perhaps slipped, if you are not a woman with the means to change a nation, then join me on a journey. You must return with me now to a place without hope, a nation that had lost sight of G-d, a girl with nothing to offer and no one to give it to.

I must introduce myself first as I truly am: an exiled Jew and an orphan. My given name was Hadassah, but the oppression of exile has stripped that, too, from me. I am now called Esther so that I may blend in with my captors. My people, the Hebrew nation, had been sent out of our homeland after a bitter defeat in battle. We were allowed to settle in the kingdom of Persia, but we were not allowed to truly prosper there. We blended in, our lives preserved, but our heritage and customs were forced underground. Our hearts, once set only on returning to Jerusalem, were set out to wither in the heat of the Arabian sun. My cousin Mordecai rescued me when I was orphaned, and we lived in the capital city of Susa under the reign of King Xerxes. Mordecai had a small flock of sheep that I helped tend, and we sold their fleece in the market. If times were good, we would sell a lamb for someone's celebration. It was always for others to celebrate. We merely survived. But Mordecai was kind and good, and I was not forced into dishonor like the other orphans I had once known. This is how my story begins, and I give you these details not for sympathy but so that you will know that I am a girl well acquainted with bitter reality. I am not given to the freedom in flights of fantasy. But how can I explain to you the setting of my story? It is most certainly far removed from your experience. For I suspect that in the future, women will know freedom. And freedom is not an easy thing to forget, even if only to entertain an orphan's story.

But you must forget now. I was born into a world, and into this story, where even the bravest women were faceless specters. Once married, they could venture out of their homes only with veils and escorts. No one yet had freed our souls. Passion and pleasure, like freedom, were the domain of men, and even young girls knew the wishes of their hearts would always be subject to a man's desire for wealth. A man named Pericles summed up my time so well in his famed oration: "The greatest glory of a woman is to be least talked about by men, whether they are praising you or criticizing you."

Our role was clear: We were to be objects of passion, to receive a man's attention mutely, and to respond only with children for the estate. Even the most powerful woman of our time, the beautiful Queen Vashti, was powerless. That was my future as a girl, and I dared not lift my eyes above its horizon. That is how I enter this story. But give me your hand, and let us walk back now, past the crumbling walls of history, to this world forgotten but a time yet remembered. Let me tell you the story of a girl unsparingly plunged into heartache and chaos, who would save a nation.

My name is Esther, and I will be queen.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Chosen by GINGER GARRETT Copyright © 2005 by Ginger Garrett. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 18, 2010

    CHOSEN FALLS SHORT OF THE GILDED CHAMBER

    Garrett is a good writer of prose, and a vivacious woman whose work you want to like. Unfortunately with Chosen, there are too many glaring factors that detract from her work.

    While the premise of Esther's lost diaries coming to light is a very creative approach, certain aspects of the book are head-scratchers: the dating system given before each chapter (off by many years from the Jewish calendar dates); the early and gratuitous depictions of Jews as money-grubby; the inaccurate reference to Persia as being under the Arabian sun; the strange use of the Persian name Cyrus for a Jewish character; the anachronistic mention of Jesus Christ; the highly diverting footnotes referring to Adolf Hitler and George W. Bush; and the very confused and confusing mesh of historical and invented news items that serve as front matter and an appendix to the novel, to name but a few. There is also the immediate anachronism on the cover picture for the 2010 David C. Cook edition depicting Islamic architecture for a story set 1100 years before Islam reached Persia - not a great start (the earlier NavPress edition's cover was better).

    The main problem, however, is that the book comes after The Gilded Chamber, a novel of which Chosen is highly derivative. Reading these back-to-back gives one the impression of plot plagiarism, in terms of what was added by each writer to the Biblical Scroll of Esther.

    Ostensibly, the only plausible reason to have written this work would be to Christianize it, portraying Esther as just another Jewish harbinger foreshadowing the supreme story of Christ, as certain evangelical (and other) Christians are wont to do. This fact looms large over the entire read and dooms the oeuvre from the outset, despite Garrett's prosaic talents.

    Ultimately, Chosen by Ginger Garrett has certain things going for it, and has a more YA fiction feel to it, but remains largely unnecessary as a subject matter in the wake of an earlier and better work: Rebecca Kohn's The Gilded Chamber.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Esther

    I have always loved the story of Esther and this book gave so much more than the average Bible lesson. My only dissapointment was at the end when the author leaves a note to readers informing them that only some of the events are true and that she does not want to tell us what isn't. I have no problem adding fiction to enhance a story, but it would have been nice to know what are the solid facts about Queen Esther.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2014

    I kissed my hand

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 11, 2013

    I had already read one of the other Lost Loves Of The Bible book

    I had already read one of the other Lost Loves Of The Bible books so I rather knew what to expect from Ginger Garrett. I wasn't disappointed at all by Chosen. I do have to admit that Esther was a bit easier to root for than Jezebel was.

    Not exactly your usual story of Esther. This Esther isn't quite so impossibly sweet and perfect. No, she sneaks out to spend time with the boy she hopes to marry, uses her feminine wiles, loves another even after she is married, and counts the dead enemies of the Jews. Chosen tells it more like it must have been, honestly, more like the Bible says. Things aren't sugarcoated, neither are they gratuitous.

    One of the things I found fascinating was the the entire process of beautification that these girls had to go through. This wasn't just a year of bubble baths, scented candles, and getting their nails done. These girls had to work hard! It's no wonder it took an entire year!

    Chosen chronicles Esther's life from life with Cousin Mordecai just before she is taken to Xerxes palace, through the year long process of beautification and learning how to seduce a king, on to Haman's dastardly plot and Esther's bravery, and finishing at the end of Xerxes reign.
    The book has some fascinating notes that inspired this history-lover to do some online research and reading about that era, Xerxes reign, and known family.

    A book well worth reading, Chosen will leave you wanting to re-read the book of Esther with new eyes and maybe a little different perspective.

    Favorite Quote from Chosen
    “G-d has left us no room for the awe of man” Mordecai pg. 181


    Note: This book has some subject matter that isn't suitable for children. Esther IS part of a harem after all.

    (I received this book from the Publisher through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 15, 2013

    Queen Esther is known as one of the most revered and respected i

    Queen Esther is known as one of the most revered and respected in Christendom. Her courage and dedication to her God set her apart and lift her up as an example for women everywhere. King Xerxes believes he has everything he could ever want until Esther teaches him, with her pure and honest heart, that satisfaction of the flesh is nothing compared to peace of the soul.
    The inspirational story of these Biblical characters in diary format is told in a way that lays Esther’s heart and soul bare to the reader. From her simple life as a teen experiencing the flutter of first love, through her dramatic lifestyle change as she is prepared for her night with the king, and on to her role as queen, Ginger Garrett explores Esther’s deepest fears, unfailing faith, and divine destiny.
    The author weaves a tale, based on Biblical truth, of love and devotion tainted by deceit and betrayal. Besides an entertaining read, this novel facilitates an understanding of the morality, politics, and religious beliefs of the times in ancient Persia.   
    The vivid descriptions of palace life were well done. Each character is depicted in such a manner that the reader is transported back in time. The vivid descriptions of palace life were well done. Each character is depicted in such a manner that the reader is transported back in time. I found the interactions between the characters to be believable due to Miss Garrett’s skilled use of realistic dialogue. 
    I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to supplement their study of the Bible with the enjoyment of quality Biblical fiction.
    I received this book from David C Cook through Fred St Laurent at The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 18, 2010

    CHOSEN FALLS SHORT OF THE GILDED CHAMBER

    Garrett is a good writer of prose, and a vivacious woman whose work you want to like. Unfortunately with Chosen, there are too many glaring factors that detract from her work. While the premise of Esther's lost diaries coming to light is a very creative approach, certain aspects of the book are head-scratchers: the dating system given before each chapter (off by many years from the Jewish calendar dates); the early and gratuitous depictions of Jews as money-grubby; the inaccurate reference to Persia as being under the Arabian sun; the strange use of the Persian name Cyrus for a Jewish character; the anachronistic mention of Jesus Christ; the highly diverting footnotes referring to Adolf Hitler and George W. Bush; and the very confused and confusing mesh of historical and invented news items that serve as front matter and an appendix to the novel, to name but a few. There is also the immediate anachronism on the cover picture for the 2010 David C. Cook edition depicting Islamic architecture for a story set 1100 years before Islam reached Persia - not a great start (the earlier NavPress edition's cover was better). The main problem, however, is that the book comes after The Gilded Chamber, a novel of which Chosen is highly derivative. Reading these back-to-back gives one the impression of plot plagiarism, in terms of what was added by each writer to the Biblical Scroll of Esther. Ostensibly, the only plausible reason to have written this work would be to Christianize it, portraying Esther as just another Jewish harbinger foreshadowing the supreme story of Christ, as certain evangelical (and other) Christians are wont to do. This fact looms large over the entire read and dooms the oeuvre from the outset, despite Garrett's prosaic talents. Ultimately, Chosen by Ginger Garrett has certain things going for it, and has a more YA fiction feel to it, but remains largely unnecessary as a subject matter in the wake of an earlier and better work: Rebecca Kohn's The Gilded Chamber.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 9, 2010

    Imagine yourself as queen...

    I've been captivated by the story of Esther since I was a preteen reading the Bible. When there are only a couple books of the Bible that focus on women and one of them deals with a girl who becomes queen, it held a special fascination. Chosen is Ginger Garrett's retelling of Esther from the premise that Esther's lost diaries have been found.

    As a history lover, I found the inserted articles from newspapers and journals confusing. I even emailed Ginger and asked her if any were real reprints. Some of which added to the mystic of the book.

    What I found entrancing about this book was the way that it swept me to a Persian palace. With each entry in the diary, I could imagine sitting with Esther in the harem and then in the queen's palace. I could imagine the beauty treatments and the complete lack of control the chosen had. The book is filled with intrigue and turned the short, ten chapter book of the Bible into a vivid 300 page novel. And I think it's one that even if you're not sure you like Biblical fiction you would enjoy. Who doesn't want to spend time imagining that she could be chosen above all others to be queen?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    "Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther" by Ginger Garrett

    I asked to review Chosen by Ginger Garrett in order to compare it to Hadassah, One Night With The King by Tommy Tenney.

    I found Ginger's novel of exquisite taste. I thoroughly enjoyed the diary format. It gave me the feel of peeking into Esther's long-lost diary. Ginger gave intimate details that would be sensitive to a woman's perspective. The intense communications between all the characters are so believable and dramatic. The addition of information at the back of book was of great interest as well.

    Tommy Tenney's book was equally satisfying, and had great characterization and drama.

    Both books have their place, and in reading both, you get a richer, fuller appreciation of Esther's circumstances. You are privy to their dependence of praying and listening to God's direction in each situation. I'd highly recommend both books. To accompany these two fine books, I would also recommend Finding Favor With The King by Tommy Tenney.

    Both novels deal with the travesty of young girls' abductions, but we are not to forget the young men who also were taken into captivity as well. Much like the human trafficking we see in today's society.

    I definitely look forward to reading Ginger's next books on Jezebel and Delilah, which are part of the Lost Loves of the Bible series. Be prepared for great reading!

    This book is based on the book of Esther in the Old Testament of the Bible.

    This book was provided by Audra at The B & B Media Group, Inc., for my honest review, and in this case to compare to another author. My thanks to Audra and B & B for the opportunity to bring your attention to another great novel

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reading what she thought

    The premise is that some of the diaries kept by Queen Esther have been found and are now being published. It was quite a different way to present the story of the biblical Esther but very appropriate with the focus on blogging today. The story reads just like diary entries, the situations are believable, the writing easy to follow as well as suspenseful. The details of the Persian court are facinating, her beliefs woven into the story without overpowering it. It is the story of a poor orphan who rises to the top to become queen because she is true to herself. A very good read.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a well written biblical biographical fiction

    In the month of Av in the year 3414 since the creation, Hadassah the orphan is a Jew in exile as the people lost the war and their homeland. She lives in Susa, the capital of the Persian Empire, with her cousin Mordecai who saved her life. However, her tale is that of her becoming Esther, one of the wives of King Xerxes and ultimately savior of her people.

    This is a well written biblical biographical fiction of one of the heroines of the Old Testament. Using the real recent flood of antiquity items sold in the black market as a way of having Esther tell her tale in her "diary", Ginger Garrett provides her audience with a terrific rendition of a strong woman whose heroism (along with that of her cousin) is celebrated as Purim; a holiday that Hitler wanted destroyed as he feared a second Esther rising from the ruins of his Final Solution.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted November 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Inspiring.

    Over all this book was very interesting. The story, of a girl named Esther, who was stolen from her home and forced to live in the kings palace. Given the horrible situation she has found herself in, she uses God as her rock. Its touching how intimate the diary entries seem to be, and it is definitely a heart-wrenching love story, filled with the love of God, the lost love of youth, and the newly unexpected love of the king. It was a bit dry and slow starting, but once the story gets going, it is a page turner. It is very inspiring, and i recommend all young women of God to read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2007

    Great book!

    This is a wonderful account of Queen Esther! It portrays her character and feelings excellantly! This is one of the best books I've ever read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 11, 2010

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    Posted August 8, 2014

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    Posted September 12, 2010

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