Always curious and eager to explore, she must accept the burden of being the dutiful daughter. Yet she is torn between her family responsibilities and her own desires; she longs for the handsome Joseph, even though he treats her like a child, and is confused by her attraction to the Roman freedman Tiberius, a man who should be her sworn enemy.
Meanwhile, the growing turmoil threatens to tear apart not only her beloved city, Jerusalem, but also her own family. As the streets turn into a bloody battleground between rebels and Romans, Esther’s journey becomes one of survival. She remains fiercely devoted to her family, and braves famine, siege, and slavery to protect those she loves.
This emotional and impassioned saga, based on real characters and meticulous research, seamlessly blends the fascinating story of the Jewish people with a timeless protagonist determined to take charge of her own life against all odds.
Title: The Rebel Daughter
Author: Lori Banov Kaufmann
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Page Count: 400
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Wow, what an interesting story! I cannot even begin to fathom the amount of time and research that went into this book (but apparently it was ten years’ worth if you’re ready to be in awe). The fact that this is based on real people that were lost to history and time made it a really strong choice for me to read.
Esther is the MC and it’s her saga that we are given privy to, her life and times. Because this was so thoroughly researched it was a solid plot. There were no plot holes or missing elements to the story, which can happen easily when you span so much time and so much history in that amount of time. Good on Kaufmann for pulling that off!
Why wasn’t this a higher rating for me? Though Esther is our MC and the timeline we follow, I feel we do not get to know her as much as I would like. I wanted to know her on a very deep level but it felt rather shallow in the depth we get to see of her. BUT, that doesn’t mean she’s a shallow character! There are many things happening to her, I just found myself wishing to know more of her emotions than the ones that we expect given her situation.
I did enjoy the cast of characters but they aren’t the focus of the story, and they serve their purposes well in moving things along. Well, we do get to see more of Tiberius and Matti and they were actually my favorite characters! Tiberius had a depth to him that I had wanted from Esther and Matti made you see more dimensions of Esther herself. I also really felt Esther’s grief concerning the lost of a certain family member that I will not spoil for you all. It is one in particular though unfortunately there is quite a bit of grief for Esther.
Esther overall didn’t connect as well as I had hoped with the other characters, but as I said that wasn’t always the case. I did hope we would have seen more of a connection for Esther and Tiberius but the ending was exactly as you hope it would turn out for Esther after all she goes through.
Still, well written, a well laid plot, and a good SOLID read. There isn’t a reason I wouldn’t recommend this book to someone who enjoys historical fiction and I was so happy to find a YA targeted one.
3/5 cups of hot chocolate (my coffee cups return next month) from me! Thanks so much to Delacorte Press and Netgalley for an eARC of this in exchange for my honest review.