Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Seduction of Esther--What Is Purim?

My contemporary romance, The Seduction of Esther, was released yesterday by Rebel Ink Press. The story takes place around the Jewish holiday of Purim. So, what’s Purim?

Purim is a holiday that occurs at the end of winter/beginning of spring. It usually falls around February or March, depending on the calendar. The holiday celebrates the saving of the Jews in Persia from the evil Haman, who wanted to annihilate them.

We celebrate the holiday by retelling the story—how Haman plotted to kill the Jews; how Esther, a Jewish girl, married the King and convinced him to save her people from Haman; and how Haman was punished. Anytime Haman’s name is mentioned in the retelling of the story, we blot it out with noisemakers.

We have a joyous celebration, where we dress up in costume and our children parade around the synagogue. We throw a big carnival and have a party. We eat yummy foods, including a special cookie called Hamentaschen—a triangular cookie filled with jam, prunes or chocolate.

Purim is a great holiday to incorporate into a romance, because one of the major themes of the holiday is hiding one’s identity. In Persia, Esther had to pretend she wasn’t Jewish in order to get the attention of the King and marry him. Only when she was faced with her people’s destruction did she finally admit to him that she, too, was a Jews. By then, he valued her so much that he immediately had Haman put to death.

In my story, The Seduction of Esther, both the hero and the heroine have something to hide, although admittedly, what they hide is not life-threatening. Nathaniel does not want to draw attention to himself. He was burned once before and made to look the fool in front of everyone. This time around, he wants to slide under the radar. Samara is the choir leader of her synagogue. Everyone knows her. She makes a fool of herself every time she’s attracted to a guy, and her actions with Nathaniel are no exception. Both of them need to learn to come out of the shadows in order to find true love.

I hope you enjoy it!


Debby said...

Purim is an interesting holiday. While I am not Jewish, I had a friend who is orthodox and she taught me a lot. fascinating.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Jennifer Wilck said...

Thanks for stopping by, Debby! Hope she introduced you to the food as well! :)

Lauren Linwood said...

Great explanation about Purim. I love that Samara is such a klutz. Makes her easy to identify with!

Jennifer Wilck said...

Thanks, Lauren!