Reviews

This is such a powerful read! The author grips the reader from the first page and the familiar story of Christ’s birth is expanded and brought to life in a way that brings the reader a front row seat to the action. Perfect gift to yourself, or someone else!    ~Brenda

I am impressed with the historically authentic background of this story. The author has a clear and accurate understanding of the culture of the day in which Mary lived. As I read this story, the vast differences between our modern culture and the culture of Israel AD seemed so foreign and strange, and yet the inner voices in the hearts’ of her characters seemed so familiar. Mary steps out of the ethereal clouds of religion, and becomes a sister you want to protect and a friend you want to spend and afternoon with discussing the mysteries of God. “I Am Mary” proclaims the truth God speaks of himself in Isaiah 55 when he declares”My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways.” Esther brings these mysteries to the forefront in her book that will renew your love for a good God and help you gain a new appreciation for the cost of true obedience and sacrifice.   ~ Linda

I loved reading “I Am Mary”! I have often thought of the “back-story” of Christ’s birth and wondered at the lack of detail in the Gospel accounts. Esther does a beautiful job of transporting us into the sights and sounds of the culture and time. I loved imagining with her how the details might have played out. Even more, though, there is such depth to the portrayal of Mary’s emotions and her journey through what was actually a very difficult time. I think many mothers (and those who have faced infertility) could relate and benefit from this beautiful story. This book is well-written and was a thought-provoking and engaging read.   ~Severin

The book was captivating! I found myself not only unable to put it down, but feeling like I was a real-life observer as the story unfolded. This book is unique in that it takes the reader back to the conception of Christ and “narrates” Mary and Joseph’s journey to his birth. The author has the rare ability to select words that paint such powerful images, as seen in the chapter that depicts Mary’s encounter with the angels Gabriel and Michael. This is a must-read for any small group or book club–as well as a perfect gift for anyone who wants to know Mary, the mother Christ.   ~ Terri Blackmon

I was captured within the first paragraph! Esther’s writing style and descriptions are SO captivating! She takes you on a journey of the woman, Mary, and what must have been going through her mind and the things she faced. The book got me in touch with the feelings that women everywhere, experience in some degree or another…I LOVED this book!!! AND it was a quick read, which for me, is awesome! Highlighted and underlined SO many nuggets of TRUTH to apply to my life within its pages. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE READ!!!   ~ Susan

I loved this book! This book is not only a must-read for the Christmas season… this “Mary” speaks to women in any season of the heart, any time of the year! The author has done a beautiful job balancing the flawless, holy Mary many of us grew up learning about with the Mary that surely must have struggled at times with what God was doing in her life. Get a copy for yourself and your church, book club, or small faith group.   ~ Suzie, author of Momma Prayers, Mama Wisdom

In a time where popular culture shouts that religion is counter productive in the lives of women, I Am Mary, shares a thought provoking perspective on the intentions of Christ Jesus toward all women. Esther Hawkins deals with sensitive women’s issues, with grace, and in a manner that speaks relevantly across cultures and age brackets. I Am Mary could easily be called I Am Woman… A must read for women everywhere.   ~ Elizabeth

I have read many fictionalized accounts of Mary, her situation, her struggle and the history surrounding the birth of Christ. This is by far, the most intense, personal and closest look we could have on her struggle with carrying a life within her, while seeing her own become so dark at times. I was challenged to seek and wait for God’s timing, plan and his love in the process!   ~ Melissa B

I loved it! The perspective this book is written from is very unique and I found myself completely engaged with the characters. I was both fascinated and moved as I read. Would have loved one or two more chapter, there is certainly potential for another story to follow this one and I’m hoping for more!   ~ Janice

This book is brilliant! I’m an avid reader and couldn’t put this one down once I started. It’s a beautiful picture of redemption and grace in the midst of struggle. This is a book that I could read more than once and be spoken to each time. It’s a definite must have for any library!   ~ Patti W

I’m now a raving fan of Esther! Please read this book, and it will forever change the way you think of the birth of our Savior.   ~ Kerry

This novel is as captivating as Esther Hawkins’ first book, Bedstemor. She easily pens the reader into the setting, so well, that I found myself immersed chapter after chapter. A wonderful read with beauty, passion, and pain on every page.   ~ Rachel S

I really enjoyed Bedstemor, the life story of Anni McCrum. Anni is faced with many obstacles in her life and it was interesting and inspiring to me to see how she overcomes each one. I enjoyed reading about how she became healthy after a very sickly childhood, and seeing how her understanding of family relationships develops over the years. This novel really is a story of redemption–it made me think a lot about my own family history and helped me to see the good in various situations. There’s also a little bit about how Anni’s family helped the resistance during World War II. I love history, so that was particularly interesting to me.        ~ Sandra, USA

This is a moving and very readable story based on the life of a very special grandmother – which all are. The other moving factor to me is that Esther honours a life that many might see as broken and troubled with the inevitable consequences for the rest of the family! What a beautiful thing to want to redeem someone’s life in order to be able to pass on the blessings and gifts that she carried in her life. It’s a remarkable and colourful novel – written with amazing empathy and love.     ~  David, UK

The story of Anni McCrum will bring laughter and tears as you read, and will cause readers to begin to look at the lives of their ancestors in a different way. Every time I read it, I find more that I can relate to in my own life and relationship with my mother and grandmother. Great stuff!   ~ Singingcreech, USA

Bedstemor is a deeply personal novel, birthed in pain and sorrow, yet pervaded by a rich sense of hope. Esther Hawkins explores the redemptive power of stories through a woman whose courage, stoicism and spirit of adventure lead her on a journey filled with pain, hope and wonder. The subtle lyricism and moments of joy and sadness make this a profoundly moving and enjoyable read. Highly recommended!    ~ TJ Elephunkle, UK

A well-written book, full of vivid imagery and incredible details of a life of trials and triumph. The author captured me quickly…one of those books you read for hours and look at the clock only to realize you’ve stayed up way past intended! I love both genres this book encompasses–historical novel and biography. Best of all, my heart was moved deeply by the main character’s life journey.   ~ Cristi777, USA

Such a beautifully written true story of the life of Anni McCrum. The author wrote it in first person form, and held me completely captive to the story of such an interesting woman, who endured unimaginable difficulties. A life story of disappointment, difficulty and determination, I am left with such admiration for Anni McCrum. I didn’t want the story to end!!! Esther Hawkins, don’t wait too long for your next novel, I will be standing in line for it! ~ Debbie W, USA

Bedstemor is an emotionally conflicting book. A story of brokenness begetting brokenness and ultimately the power of redemptive suffering transforming despair into hope. An engrossing read and one to be highly commended. ~ Vikki, UK

Once I had started reading this book I couldn’t put it down until I had completed it. It is a poignant story of triumph over adversity, how a lady who suffered incredible hardship left a long lasting legacy in the form of her wonderful family. A story of how a broken person, who had very little and suffered greatly did her best to provide a stable family home for her children. A wonderful book that speaks of hope, the power of redemption and forgiveness in the midst of pain and suffering. A remarkable book well worth reading. ~ Joy Swift, UK

Bedstemor is an unusual book based on the true life of the author s danish grandmother. It is a book that i didnt want to put down. Very proffesionally written. Engages your emotions and gives insight into human nature. Highly recommended ~ Olly, UK

My husband bought me this book from my children for Mother’s day and I have already finished it, I just could not put it down!! it was captivating and made me cry, sometimes for sadness and sometimes for joy. I felt that I was actually there with Anni living her life! What a gripping read. ~ Bex, UK

In Anni McCrum, I find someone not at all like myself. As a child, she’s shy, withdrawn. Yet Anni’s tenacity and courage make her the young adult I purposely am, the mother I try to be every day. Her love for her children, her ability to fight through challenging interpersonal relationships–all of these things make me love Anni through the first part of the book, yet this love is bittersweet, because I know the divide she ends up placing in her own family. How is it that we are faced with so much adversity, so much challenge, and yet something finally breaks us? In Anni’s case, the thing she fears the most is the thing that becomes her biggest regret. “Bedstemor” teaches us, though, that it’s never too late to make amends, it’s never too late to welcome others into our home, to love them as we originally intended to love them–to not push away those we want to hold the closest.
Bedstemor, Anni, is nothing like me, yet her struggles are, and I certainly hope the legacy and heritage she bestowed on her family will be mine, too. May we hold our children close enough so that they’re always free to go and live a legacy of love.
As a granddaughter, daughter and mother, I found this book to be a powerful reminder of the importance of family dynamics and how much of an impact all of my actions have on my children. It’s worth reading and worth sharing with a friend, too. ~ Katie Tonarely, USA

A beautifully written true story that goes to the heart of everyone’s story. In every past there is both pain and riches which can be passed down to the next generations. This book is a story of redemption and hope showing how good and healing can come even when you least expect it. For me, it has been revolutionary! Read this book 🙂 ~ Grace Alon

I believe that it is a goal of the author to not only write and describe details and story line but to also pull the reader into the story and create empathy for the characters. I found this excellent book to contain just the right amount of storytelling, description, emotion and imagination. Your heart breaks for Anni and then like a tapestry you see all the parts of her life that make up who she is, why she responds the way she does and how it affect generations after her. Esther Hawkins has captured a woman she hardly knew through research, family tales and knowledge of the time and place of the story. I am sure her Bedstemor would be honored and is proud of the way her life has been presented. Thoughtfully, lovingly and with honor and respect. ~ Melissa B, USA

Every chapter kept me on the edge of my seat wanting more…I really couldn’t put it down! I was swept up in the character’s life from the first pages. I found the author’s descriptive narrative of historical events and the life journey of a woman in all of her different roles as a daughter, sister, niece, mother, grandmother to be very enlightnening and often found parallel’s to my own life and struggles. A captivating book! I highly recommend the read!! ~ Susan P, USA

Esther captivates you from the first page to the last. Each page draws you in to the story of this family; the triumphs and tragedy. This is a well done novel. A quick read that will bring you joy. ~ MaryS, USA

This is a book that every mother, daughter, and probably son should read. This wonderful story of a Grandmother who’s dreams are being fulfilled this very day by her grandchildren. I laughed, I cried, and I self reflected all because of the story of Anni McCrumm. The author brings you in so deep that at one point I felt myself collapse inside right a long with Anni. This book has the potential to change your life. ~ Gwyn, USA

I just want you to know what a wonderful story your book was and it was written in a way that was easy to read. I found it hard  to put it down. I told my mother who is 84yrs old and now lives in SPAIN. As I am in Canada it’s hard to know what to send her, I told her about your book and she just wanted to read it so I sent it to her for mothers day and I know she will love it. She reads a lot, so thank you for your work in writing this book. ~Kate, Canada

Bedstemor redefined the word, “redemption”, for me. It gives a voice to the crushed, the mundane, the overlooked. I have always known that God redeems, but never did I fully comprehend that he redeems not because he has pity on us or must be charitable because humanity requires him to. He redeems because we are worth the ransom, worthy to be bought back, worth the payment. I saw a bit of myself in every single character of the book, and it was only because Bedstemor was so richly and deeply written. There were many times, that a particular event or feeling was brought to mind that was stuffed somewhere deep in my subconscious. This book had a way of drawing these recollections out and lay them open and raw for God to redeem and recover them. No one’s story is too boring, too humdrum, or too uninteresting. Regardless of your story, whether it’s closer to Anni’s, Mor’s, Andrew’s, or Far’s, it’s a “Life Worth Sharing”! ~ Rachel, USA

One thought on “Reviews

  1. i just finished reading Bedstemor last night and i was crying and could not go to sleep for a long while. it made me happy and sad at the same time, and sure made me in awe of these people that had to have the will to keep going.as much as i had compassion for anni; my heart went out to annette { your mom } ; i could feel her heart breaking and it must have been so hard to understand why she was being treated so bad. i felt like anni became her mor, the one person she had no respect for.
    thank you esther for autographing my book. i think you are not just an author, you are a great story teller, and that is the greatest of all.

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