Ester's Child

Ester's Child

5.0 9
by Jean Sasson, Janice Phelps

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


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 their family members to the holocaust that destroyed Europe's once vibrant Jewish communities. Now lonely holocaust survivors living in Palestine and fighting for the dream of a Jewish state, the young couple are anxiously awaiting the birth of their third child.THE Antoun Family: During the heated battle for the hillside city of Haifa, Palestine, George and Mary Antoun are forced to flee the only home they have ever known. Not allowed to return home even at war's end the Palestinian couple are forced to raise their extraordinary son, Demetrius, in the Shatila refugee camp in Beruit, Lebanon.THE Kleist Family: Even as the Arabs and Jews collide in their struggle for control of Palestine former S.S. officer Friedrich Kleist's life is fueled by haunting nightmares of the atrocities he witnessed while serving as a German guard in the Warsaw Ghetto. When his daughter Christine travels to Beiruit to volunteet as a nurse at Shatila Camp, she falls in love with Demetrius Antoun. This love leads Christine to a remarkable story that happened in Poland a generation ago.When these three families are united in a searing drama you will never forget, readers are taken on an emotional roller-coaster ride of tradgedy, hope, and ultimate renewal. The exceptional medley of dazzling story-telling historical purity and exhilarating adventure that Jean Sasson captures in this memorable epic make Ester's Child impossible to put down.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"...Straight to the bestseller list!"
Booklist Starred Review
"Penned with compassion and set amid the war-torn backdrop of Europe and the unfolding military and political drama of the postwar Middle East, this absolutely riveting cross-cultural saga will have readers eagerly turning the pages in order to reach a suitably stunning conclusion."
Library Journal
In light of the recent attack on the World Trade Center, Sasson's story is keenly relevant, as it exposes the downward spiral of irrational hatred and the bitter seeds sown in its path
Library Journal (starred review)
Sasson (Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil) weaves a remarkable tale of three families the Jewish Gales, the Palestinian Muslim Antouns, and the German gentile Kleists whose lives intertwine in mysterious ways for more than half a century. Interned in the Warsaw Ghetto, Joseph Gale briefly meets Friedrich Kleist, an SS officer who decries the horrors he witnesses. After the war, Joseph and his wife, Ester, among the few members of their extensive families to have survived the Holocaust, settle in Israel. Jump forward in time, and Demetrius Antoun is a Palestinian doctor who hates the Israelis for murdering his friends and family. Michel Gale, son of Joseph and Ester, is an Israeli officer who hates the Arabs for trying to deny him a Jewish homeland. His sister, Jordan, and Christine Kleist, a German nurse seeking to make amends for her father's Nazi past by working in a Lebanese refugee camp, are caught in the middle. In light of the recent attack on the World Trade Center, Sasson's story is keenly relevant, as it exposes the downward spiral of irrational hatred and the bitter seeds sown in its path. A timely addition to all collections, especially where Brock and Bodie Thoene's "Zion Legacy" series is popular. (Library Journal, Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Historical Novels Reviews
...for anyone who ever wanted to know how Israel came into existence and why the Palestinians wish it hadn't.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A sprawling novel of historical intrigue that spans the years from 1938 to 1983 in Europe and the Middle East. The families of Moses Stein, a devout Jew from Poland; of Benjamin Gale, a secular, assimilated Jew from France; Freidrich Kleist, a German SS officer; and George Antoun, a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon become entwined through an amazing set of circumstances. Readers are introduced to the families in 1948. In Jerusalem a second son is born to Ester, daughter of Moses Stein, and Joseph Gale. The child is kidnapped. In Haifa, George and Mary Antoun, Palestinian refugees, learn that their family has been killed in an Israeli attack, and in East Berlin, Freidrich Kleist is haunted by a dream of his involvement in the death of Jews in Warsaw. The prologue gives readers tantalizing clues to the identity of Ester's child and clarifies the history of the four families and the ways in which World War II and the establishment of the state of Israel have affected them. How the fate of the families binds them in lasting relationships is described in an exciting narrative of suspense, intrigue, and romance. Each chapter is preceded by a clarifying historical account of the events, a helpful listing of the many individuals included in the story, and attractive black-and-white illustrations. Teens will find the plot involving and feel compassion for the characters, most of whom are unwilling and tragic victims of political extremes and human misunderstanding. The story ends on a note of hope and renewal.-Jackie Gropman, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Windsor-Brooke Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.46(h) x 1.44(d)

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Please see Author's Bio from Princess

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Ester's Child: None 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With Arafat and Sharon fighting it out in Israel & Palestine, every person on earth should have curiosity as to how all this came about. If you want to know the background of one of the most important issues of the day, then ESTER'S CHILD will provide you with knowledge and great entertainment. The author gives great insight and the actual history of this weary conflict through the eyes of some of the most interesting characters I have come to know since Herman Wouk & Leon Uris wrote their great stories about Jewish issues. We chose book this as a Jewish book club selection and to a person, everyone said this was their favorite book in years. That says a lot since so many members were concerned about Ms. Sasson's link with the Arab Middle East. She surprised us all with a fair look at a very complicated situation. I grew to care about the Arab characters and that was a shocker for me since I have become angry with the 'Arab street' regarding their violence and hatred... Do yourself a big favorite and buy this book today. It's a surprising 'great' book...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Sasson's latest masterpiece, Ester's Child, is one that will haunt you long after the story ends! The story is amazingly told. The historical events are real. The ending is unforgettable.The tragedy continues....Yet we have a better understanding of why peace has not been reached. Ms. Sasson offers an amazing insight and understanding about the culture of Arabs and Jews. Most of all, she offers the readers hope for change. This one is a work of art!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Sasson does what so few writers have ever done: She creates an awareness of a situation that has been in the hands of very self-serving writers up to this point. I heard this author speak at a book signing in Detroit, Michigan and was suprised to discover that she had a unique view of the Arab world: She lived in the Muslim world for 12 years; and still continues to travel to the area--even Iraq! She was married for ten years to a European Jew, yet was once in a long-term relationship with a Lebanese Christian. She has now written this book which is so revealing of her character: This lady LIKES people and CARES about people of every nationality... She spreads goodness with this book and I only hope that young Americans will read Ester's Child so they can determine that all Arabs are not terrorists, all Jews are not trying to run Arabs out of Palestine, and even that all Germans were not happy with Hitler's policies in WWII. This may sound too 'sweet' of a writer for you, but believe me, that is not the case. It is simply that you read about a terrible conflict but come away knowing that most people kept their sense of right & wrong--we only hear about the fanatics--on both sides... Take my recommendation and go and buy this book asap--you will not regret it--you'll marvel at the ability of this writer to tell a story that will keep you up at night until you finish the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great story such as this one comes only every so often. Ms. Sasson has maybe found the solution to the age-old strife between Jews and Arabs. The way this story unfolded to come to an astounding conclusion greatly touched me. Although this is fiction, the author shows factual knowledge of the history of these two cultures. I recommend this book to people of all persuasions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book ¿ in fact I did not put it down. I was not disappointed when I reached the end ¿ the emotions this book managed to touch within me showed not only that the author had paid attention to historical detail but also to the detail of human nature and the depth of Joy and Sorrow that a living being can experience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding work. The ending twist was really exciting! We loved the detail of the emotional history given as it provides a foundation that keeps the story moving. Well conceived, written and executed. Jean Sasson will become one of our regularly read writers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished Ester's Child on Monday. The terrorist attacks on our country was on Tuesday. Because of this book, I had a better understanding of why so many Arabs think of us as their enemy. It did not make me feel any better, or any less determined for justice, but at least I better understood the background of this horrible situation. I hope many Americans read Ester's Child. It will increase our awareness--we are too innocent of the realities of the world. As I am haunted by our national tragedy, I am haunted by this book. It is truly a treasure of a book. Well written--filled with wonderful characters--it will make you think and care about people of all cultures. I recommend it to all people. You will not be sorry you took my recommdation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ester's Child is a historical-fiction book, written by Middle East expert and women's rights advocate Jean Sasson. It's about two Semitic families; one Jewish and one Palestinian, and takes place many decades ago during the Second World War. Their personal stories of triumph and tragedy are both harrowing and inspirational. Both families are very different but they are also very similar in many ways. Even though the book is historical-fiction there are many true elements in it about the Middle East. I believe this is because the author knows so much about this region of the world so well. Jean Sasson lived and traveled throughout the Middle East for 30 years. I really enjoyed reading Ester's Child because it was so fascinating and it had such a shocking ending. I sincerely hope the author writes more historical-fiction books in the future because this is truly the very best of its kind that I have ever read.