Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther

Written by Ginger Garrett
Review by Nancy J. Attwell

The oft-told story of Queen Esther is one of the most compelling human dramas in history. Esther, a beautiful Jewish girl, is plucked from her village and forced to compete in a beauty contest for the opportunity to marry King Xerxes and become queen of Persia. With the assistance of one of the eunuchs, she wins the coveted crown. When a plot to kill all the Jews within the kingdom is exposed, Esther risks her life to seek the salvation of her people.

As Garrett tells it, the queen’s diary was recently discovered in Iran. Esther’s voice rings across the centuries, telling us not only of kings and politics but also of concubines and secret loves. By interjecting news briefs and modern commentary into the reading of the diary, Garrett adds layers of meaning to the ancient story. Although the last few entries feel more contrived than those that go before, this diary of a Jewish woman who once ruled in the Middle East is a fascinating read.