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A young woman survives the Jewish revolt against Rome in this stunning and emotionally satisfying tale of family and forbidden love in 1st-century Jerusalem. Esther dreams of so much more than the marriage her parents have arranged to a prosperous silversmith. Always curious and eager to explore, she must accept the burden of being the dutiful daughter. Yet she is torn betw A young woman survives the Jewish revolt against Rome in this stunning and emotionally satisfying tale of family and forbidden love in 1st-century Jerusalem. Esther dreams of so much more than the marriage her parents have arranged to a prosperous silversmith. 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. 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 thrilling 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.


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A young woman survives the Jewish revolt against Rome in this stunning and emotionally satisfying tale of family and forbidden love in 1st-century Jerusalem. Esther dreams of so much more than the marriage her parents have arranged to a prosperous silversmith. Always curious and eager to explore, she must accept the burden of being the dutiful daughter. Yet she is torn betw A young woman survives the Jewish revolt against Rome in this stunning and emotionally satisfying tale of family and forbidden love in 1st-century Jerusalem. Esther dreams of so much more than the marriage her parents have arranged to a prosperous silversmith. 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. 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 thrilling 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.

30 review for Rebel Daughter

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    It is not easy to write a review of book you love, hoping you will find just the right "buzz" words to convince readers this book is worth every page. Due to hindsight, please don't be surprised if you see this review edited a few times. So...If I were to write a stuffy review, someone might think this is boring book and doesn't warrant 5.5 stars. Yes, its that good. I was up to page 70 when I was interrupted by my husband asking me a question. I never heard him come in, nor did I hear the question It is not easy to write a review of book you love, hoping you will find just the right "buzz" words to convince readers this book is worth every page. Due to hindsight, please don't be surprised if you see this review edited a few times. So...If I were to write a stuffy review, someone might think this is boring book and doesn't warrant 5.5 stars. Yes, its that good. I was up to page 70 when I was interrupted by my husband asking me a question. I never heard him come in, nor did I hear the question he asked. For the first time ever - I found myself taken inside the book, similar to "Alice Stepping through the Looking Glass", and honestly, it took me a second to recognize what actually happened to me. How many authors are lucky to have this gift. "Rebel Daughter" is a historical novel about Esther and her family living through the destruction of Jerusalem. Yet at the same time, Esther fights many of the rules set by her family, culture and tradition. Hence; "Rebel" The author addresses specific topics throughout the book that are extremely relevant in today's climate. You will recognize that during this time period, these topics were a given, sadly overlooked by having to turn the other cheek - but through time, these same issues have become exacerbated and extremely current as we speak. History repeats itself; and most times if you want to know the future, read your history. Over the spans of time, the next generations in line were able react with actions of consequence that will not ignored; they are applauded. The detail of research is amazing; it is not a fact finding book and certainly doesn't read as such because it is a brilliant fictional story. This style of writing by the author blends and weaves her fiction with fact, never letting us down or falling short in any chapter. We know two Esther's. Which one is this? Even though "Rebel Daughter" falls into the Y/A genre; I as an adult, consider this a book to be read by anyone. I guarantee you will learn something new from this book. One fact I was shocked to learn from this book is ...that my daughter is quickly becoming a rebel. :) .

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook... read by Ellen Archer 10 hours and 32 minutes I listened to the audiobook for 8 straight hours today. I’m coming up for air now. It’s gorgeous, epic, historically brilliant, fascinating and educational, while at the same time emotionally intimate. The storytelling is simply ingenious. There are a-zillion-and-one things to say about this book.. but I’m exhausted— [in a ‘dreamy-land’ satisfying way] ...The storytelling is **juicy**!!! Lori Kaufmann paints a vivid portrait of EVERYTHING... i Audiobook... read by Ellen Archer 10 hours and 32 minutes I listened to the audiobook for 8 straight hours today. I’m coming up for air now. It’s gorgeous, epic, historically brilliant, fascinating and educational, while at the same time emotionally intimate. The storytelling is simply ingenious. There are a-zillion-and-one things to say about this book.. but I’m exhausted— [in a ‘dreamy-land’ satisfying way] ...The storytelling is **juicy**!!! Lori Kaufmann paints a vivid portrait of EVERYTHING... including the kitchen sink... love, war, birth, death, family, coming-of-age, heroes, villains, singing (only a few times), fabulous history, violence, slavery, injustice, morality, resilience, fear, hunger, shocking scenes of destruction, and tender heartfelt moments. This story is based on REAL CHARACTERS... ....Esther is a historically noteworthy character— strong, strong-will, serious, unyielding, marvelous, rebellious, an independent thinker, self-directed, sad, angry, passionate, understands the rules of her culture, but challenges it.... Yet... not always... She loves her family and will protect them with everything she has... Her desires for love against the practicality and security that marriage should be for a Jewish girl during biblical times, is scrutinized. “Rebel Daughter”, tackles the layered complexities of the Romans that destroy Jerusalem and 70 C.E. ... giving us dramatic history: friction, oppression, Jewish and Roman divides ... There is WAR... However, this novel is ridiculously addictive entertaining-*juicy*, and intimate. The reader literally begins to feel as though they’re transplanted back into another time. ONE OF THE VERY BEST JEWISH & ROMAN themed historical novels I’ve ever read. LOVED IT - RECOMMENDED IT. “What You Think You Know, isn’t always so”

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Rebel Daughter is a YA novel that will absolutely appeal to readers of historical fiction--in fact, I hope this is marketed or repackaged for adults as Rebel Daughter is an impeccably researched and well written book. In fact, if you (like me) were disappointed with one of last year's big titles, The Book of Longings, I strongly suggest you read this! While not set in the same time period, it takes place during the Jewish rebellion of Jerusalem--including all the infighting, the uprisings, and t Rebel Daughter is a YA novel that will absolutely appeal to readers of historical fiction--in fact, I hope this is marketed or repackaged for adults as Rebel Daughter is an impeccably researched and well written book. In fact, if you (like me) were disappointed with one of last year's big titles, The Book of Longings, I strongly suggest you read this! While not set in the same time period, it takes place during the Jewish rebellion of Jerusalem--including all the infighting, the uprisings, and the aftemath of the Roman army retaking the area after the death of Nero under Emperor Vespasian. Esther, the main character, is refreshingly real--she's not perfect, but loves her family and, as events unfold, to save what and who she has left. The historical detail is rich and deftly offset by the many twists and turns of the plot, all of which are fascinating. This isn't a "perfect happily ever after" story and I really loved that because it is realistic for the era and for what Esther endures. A compelling and utterly fascinating read, I hope this wonderful book (with a truly amazing cover!) finds the audience it deserves.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Orrelle

    This book transported me to the Second Temple in Jerusalem and I felt as though I was experiencing life there first hand. I loved all the salient details - the streets, the rituals, the food, the clothing, the smells, they were fantastic, very well researched. The young Jewish protagonist's struggle to save her family and her complex relationship with the Roman Centurian who could help, kept me reading to the end. Highly recommended. This book transported me to the Second Temple in Jerusalem and I felt as though I was experiencing life there first hand. I loved all the salient details - the streets, the rituals, the food, the clothing, the smells, they were fantastic, very well researched. The young Jewish protagonist's struggle to save her family and her complex relationship with the Roman Centurian who could help, kept me reading to the end. Highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann From page one to the last page of this book containing the author’s information, I was in this tale 100%. Jerusalem, busy and bustling. Jerusalem and the insult of Romans within. The fighting factions, factions within factions fighting. Jerusalem and the mighty fall of the Temple and Jerusalem itself. The scatter and fate of its people. One section that squeezed my heart had the Jews looking to hide everywhere, anywhere - like doves, nervous and fearful, but Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann From page one to the last page of this book containing the author’s information, I was in this tale 100%. Jerusalem, busy and bustling. Jerusalem and the insult of Romans within. The fighting factions, factions within factions fighting. Jerusalem and the mighty fall of the Temple and Jerusalem itself. The scatter and fate of its people. One section that squeezed my heart had the Jews looking to hide everywhere, anywhere - like doves, nervous and fearful, but hopeless as they watch predatory birds fight over them – they are going to die either way. So well described! Esther struggles with her family, and her own natural rebellions. Who wants to be told who they will marry? Reading of her wrestling with feelings as she meets the ordinary and extraordinary social upheavals of her life, with the setting in such a holy place, was a pull on my sympathies and mind. I read my mother’s copy of Josephus when I was in high school, so much of what I found in this story, felt familiar – and he is in this story! The characters are well drawn, and as I read, the scenes played out in my head in a cinematic way. . . .taking me back to all those big Bible movies of the past. (I sincerely hope someone is out there ready to turn this one into a movie!!!) Much study, research and time has been taken with this tale. After the conclusion of the novel there are notes to assist a reader know what is fiction and what is non-fiction – such notes always bring joy to my nerdy self because I want to know that and to have it immediately available is pure bliss. Best of all, Esther was real, with a monument of love and respect standing through the centuries on a hill that stands witness to her life – you can go there today and see it. A woman who survived the tumult and chaos that ended her family’s life in Jerusalem, who was enslaved, was freed and who someone loved enough to beg future generations to care for her monument and memory. I’m not a romancer, but oh, boy, this sure is a good one. And, it turns out, is true. Best of all. A stellar debut from Lori Banov Kaufmann. I look forward to whatever is next! A Sincere Thanks to Lori Banov Kaufmann, Random House Children's, Delacourte Press and NetGalley for an ARC to read and review. A Sincere Thanks to author Lori Banov Kaufmann for providing me an ARC to read and review. #RebelDaughter #NetGalley

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily Hill

    A stunning YA historical debut that was in turns heartbreaking and hopeful. I was absolutely blown away by this book. As a fan of young adult historical fiction, I entered into this story with anticipation and was not disappointed. This is a love story, but first and foremost is about a young woman’s journey to love herself. The characters, relationships, plot, and world were all developed with such incredible detail, care, and respect that I found myself feeling as though I had lived this alongs A stunning YA historical debut that was in turns heartbreaking and hopeful. I was absolutely blown away by this book. As a fan of young adult historical fiction, I entered into this story with anticipation and was not disappointed. This is a love story, but first and foremost is about a young woman’s journey to love herself. The characters, relationships, plot, and world were all developed with such incredible detail, care, and respect that I found myself feeling as though I had lived this alongside Esther. I was so impressed by the author’s willingness to directly grapple with such difficult subject matter, while still weaving in threads of hope. It is a beautiful thing to be given the chance to grow in empathy and understanding through a story, and I am so grateful to the publisher, author, and Netgalley for an e-arc. This novel is profound, moving, and unforgettable. An absolute preorder for me!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    This is a stunning debut about a Jewish girl living under the Roman oppression. It's one of those books that stays with you long after you've finished reading. The research is impressive, the writing so vivid you feel you are there. I honestly couldn't put it down. The mistreatment of women and slaves is harrowing, and told with both empathy and a matter of fact style: this is what really happened. I think that's what really got to me about this story, it's based on historical fact and historica This is a stunning debut about a Jewish girl living under the Roman oppression. It's one of those books that stays with you long after you've finished reading. The research is impressive, the writing so vivid you feel you are there. I honestly couldn't put it down. The mistreatment of women and slaves is harrowing, and told with both empathy and a matter of fact style: this is what really happened. I think that's what really got to me about this story, it's based on historical fact and historical figures, but it really could have happened. Esther and Tiberius were real people. If you're tempted, definitely give this novel a go.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lea Ann

    May be a repost! I remember posting this review a few months ago but now that the book is out, I wanted to make sure I did. Everytime I click my review it goes blank so here it is again!! Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann “I trust you,” he continued “and I can’t live without you. I love you. You said you… that you might love me too.” I could not put this book down! I started reading yesterday mid-morning and just finished reading today! I blew through 400 pages in less than 24 hours, it. Was. Tha May be a repost! I remember posting this review a few months ago but now that the book is out, I wanted to make sure I did. Everytime I click my review it goes blank so here it is again!! Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann “I trust you,” he continued “and I can’t live without you. I love you. You said you… that you might love me too.” I could not put this book down! I started reading yesterday mid-morning and just finished reading today! I blew through 400 pages in less than 24 hours, it. Was. That. Good! If you are a lover of historical fiction, you need to read this book. If you are a lover of strong, fearless women, you need to read this book. If you are a lover of books, you need to read this book! Esther is a young Jewish woman living in the year 65 CE where her only concern is getting herself out of a marriage contract to a man she feels she could never love. As Roman forces get closer to her home, threatening everything she loves, Esther soon learns that there are worse fates than not marrying for love. When I read the synopsis for this book, I had assumed this was a romance story. And it is, but its more a tale of a young girl and her will to survive and do anything to protect her family. Esther is brave, strong, and beautiful. Exactly the kind of roll model I love reading about in YA fiction. Speaking of that, I am surprised this book is being marketed as YA. There are a lot of heavy themes in this book. Murder, death (sometimes graphic), slavery, abuse, etc. Not for the faint of heart. When I say that Esther is strong, I am not kidding. The losses she suffers are incomprehensible to me. I couldn’t imagine living through her life, but I’m so glad I got the chance to read about her. It really makes me appreciate the life I have today. Did I mention this book is “based on a true story” which just makes it that more powerful. The ending is perfect. I do not want to spoil anything but I feel like Esther got the ending she deserves. An absolute 5 star read for me! I cannot wait for this book to come out in hard copy! It will make a beautiful addition to my Roman Fiction shelf! February 9, 2021 cannot come soon enough! Be sure to add this to your 2021 TBR! Thank you Netgalley, Lori Banov Kaufmann, Random House Books, and Delacorte press for this gifted digital copy!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marti Leimbach

    I got an early peek at this tale set in biblical times of family, passion & resilience. The story is packed full of well-researched details, bringing the period of 70 CE & the destruction of Jerusalem to life. I read an author interview that Kaufman worked closely with some of the world’s leading archaeologists and scholars while researching for the book, spending years learning more about this time period. The result is a story that is beautifully realised without feeling as though we're gettin I got an early peek at this tale set in biblical times of family, passion & resilience. The story is packed full of well-researched details, bringing the period of 70 CE & the destruction of Jerusalem to life. I read an author interview that Kaufman worked closely with some of the world’s leading archaeologists and scholars while researching for the book, spending years learning more about this time period. The result is a story that is beautifully realised without feeling as though we're getting a history lesson. Kirkus Review says the book is "remarkable, mysterious, and meticulously researched. I have to agree. The book gets lots of stars for the research, clarity of prose, and the sheer chutzpah of embarking on so ambitious a story...I'm not sure I could swing it! Also because I'm very much a lover of contemporary work which means getting me to read and enjoy anything that is set earlier than, say, Tuesday is near-impossible. So, three cheers and five stars for Lori Banov Kaufman! YA but would also suit adults.

  10. 5 out of 5

    G.J.

    I received an ARC of this debut novel in exchange for an honest review. It is stunning at many levels. Set in the first century over five years when Rome oppresses and then destroys the small but thriving Jewish homeland, Kaufmann puts readers into the story. We feel the weather, get scratched by the thorns, gag at the foul smells. The main character, Esther, is easy to like. Beautiful daughter of a high priest, she grows up in relative luxury but is too soon forced to survive violence, depravat I received an ARC of this debut novel in exchange for an honest review. It is stunning at many levels. Set in the first century over five years when Rome oppresses and then destroys the small but thriving Jewish homeland, Kaufmann puts readers into the story. We feel the weather, get scratched by the thorns, gag at the foul smells. The main character, Esther, is easy to like. Beautiful daughter of a high priest, she grows up in relative luxury but is too soon forced to survive violence, depravation, and loss while holding her family together. The secondary characters are interesting and all too human. Charm and good looks too often cover up treachery. True integrity is masked by an unattractive body. The research is evident on every page and enhanced by headings of quotes from ancient writings that relate to the story. More than just a good and entertaining read, this one will linger for a long time and become part of any reader's education about a real conflict, ruthless power, human suffering and resilience that resonate into present day.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tamar Feder

    Received an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review. Loved it. Couldn't put it down. Transported me to a different time and place, utterly engrossing. Cared deeply about the characters even though, given that I live as a free woman in the modern world, likely have little in common with them. The relationship between Esther and her brother was particularly poignant. Strongly encourage others to read and enjoy. Received an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review. Loved it. Couldn't put it down. Transported me to a different time and place, utterly engrossing. Cared deeply about the characters even though, given that I live as a free woman in the modern world, likely have little in common with them. The relationship between Esther and her brother was particularly poignant. Strongly encourage others to read and enjoy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Margot T.

    Since I finished Rebel Daughter by Lori Benov Kaufman more than a week ago I've been trying to figure out how to describe it. I don't feel like I read a book - I feel like I went back in time. So many books about this time period (actually, maybe most historical fiction except for Hillary Mantel's) have characters who sound like they live today, but are just dressed in long robes. The author throws in a few "set pieces" so we know it's A LONG TIME AGO, but it's not very authentic or convincing. Since I finished Rebel Daughter by Lori Benov Kaufman more than a week ago I've been trying to figure out how to describe it. I don't feel like I read a book - I feel like I went back in time. So many books about this time period (actually, maybe most historical fiction except for Hillary Mantel's) have characters who sound like they live today, but are just dressed in long robes. The author throws in a few "set pieces" so we know it's A LONG TIME AGO, but it's not very authentic or convincing. Rebel Daughter is in a completely different league. You feel like you're back in time, walking through the ancient alleys of Jerusalem. For me - and I know not everyone will feel the same way - I was there! My heart pounded as the Romans broke through the walls of Jerusalem and stormed the Temple. I was devastated and overjoyed and sad and elated as the story played out. I don't want to give away anything by being more specific. But it was definitely an emotional ride - but in a good, very satisfying way. The way books used to make me feel. I usually am mindful of how many pages I have left in a book (well, I read this on my kindle...) because I'm in a rush to finish and get on to the next book but this time, I kept looking to see how much longer I could stay in the first century. I didn't want to leave the characters. My only complaint is that the book ended too soon.I could see this as a movie.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julie Gray

    I really like history, biblical archeology and YA, so this book really has it all. Kaufmann really managed to add so much depth and detail to this heroine's story; her meticulous research is evident throughout and I found myself cheering for the main character, all the way. Especially in these stressful and chaotic times, I found Rebel Daughter soothing, in that way that YA can soothe one, with good guys and bad guys and character arcs that are satisfying and meaningful. Rebel Daughter is not ju I really like history, biblical archeology and YA, so this book really has it all. Kaufmann really managed to add so much depth and detail to this heroine's story; her meticulous research is evident throughout and I found myself cheering for the main character, all the way. Especially in these stressful and chaotic times, I found Rebel Daughter soothing, in that way that YA can soothe one, with good guys and bad guys and character arcs that are satisfying and meaningful. Rebel Daughter is not just YA, it's historical fiction that anyone interested in antiquity will really enjoy! (My thanks to the publisher for an advance copy.)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Allegra Goodman

    Esther is such a brave and intelligent character. Kaufmann does a wonderful job bringing that dramatic and tragic period to life. I think young readers will find the book riveting, and adults will too.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mandi Murphy

    Content: mature themes including war, slavery, rape, and molestation - Roman culture 16+ I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I've never read anything set in this time period before. I don't know of anything else that's been written. I have always had a special interest In history and recently it has taken a turn toward the Jewish culture, particularly around the time of Christ. When I stumbled on this book I knew I had to read it. As a Christian, I have Content: mature themes including war, slavery, rape, and molestation - Roman culture 16+ I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I've never read anything set in this time period before. I don't know of anything else that's been written. I have always had a special interest In history and recently it has taken a turn toward the Jewish culture, particularly around the time of Christ. When I stumbled on this book I knew I had to read it. As a Christian, I have a deep appreciation and reverence for the Jews. I feel great compassion and sadness for all of the suffering they have experienced. But I don't possess a lot of actual knowledge about their history between the time of Christ and WWII. This book was very educational. The history is well documented and supported. The fiction is lovely, realistic, and promotes buy in from the reader. The reader gets all the feels. I am not a cryer, but I teared up. I got angry. I felt betrayed. I was repulsed. I felt what Esther felt. I have only one complaint and that is the passage of time. Meaning, it's sometimes difficult to tell how time is passing during the story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    I love historical novels and Rebel Daughter covers a time that you rarely read about . Right from the start I was immersed into a fascinating time and place – 1st century Jerusalem. The descriptions are vivid and the historical detail is fascinating . This a riveting story based on real characters which follows Esther, the heroine, braving a turbulent period of the Jewish revolt against the Roman empire, destruction of the second temple and slavery in Rome . A great debut novel and I look forwar I love historical novels and Rebel Daughter covers a time that you rarely read about . Right from the start I was immersed into a fascinating time and place – 1st century Jerusalem. The descriptions are vivid and the historical detail is fascinating . This a riveting story based on real characters which follows Esther, the heroine, braving a turbulent period of the Jewish revolt against the Roman empire, destruction of the second temple and slavery in Rome . A great debut novel and I look forward to reading more from this author. Highly recommended.

  17. 5 out of 5

    G.F. Miller

    I feel like I got a Master's-level course on first century history and ancient Jewish customs. The amazing historical detail in this book indicates an obsessive amount of research went into it. And it paid off—the world was layered and immersive. I wasn't sure how I would connect with characters living in 65-70 CE, but Banov Kaufman brought them to life in a way that made them feel relatable. I was also grateful that, while giving a very accurate account of the incredible hardship and inhumanity I feel like I got a Master's-level course on first century history and ancient Jewish customs. The amazing historical detail in this book indicates an obsessive amount of research went into it. And it paid off—the world was layered and immersive. I wasn't sure how I would connect with characters living in 65-70 CE, but Banov Kaufman brought them to life in a way that made them feel relatable. I was also grateful that, while giving a very accurate account of the incredible hardship and inhumanity that occurred during the Roman siege of Jerusalem and the characters' time in slavery, Banov Kaufman didn't make me live through graphic scenes of rape and violence. She struck an amazing balance there. I would highly recommend this book for fans of historical fiction or anyone interested in Jewish history.

  18. 4 out of 5

    E.B. Roshan

    Before I learned that the story of Rebel Daughter was inspired by the actual inscription on an ancient tombstone, I wanted to read it, and after that, I REALLY wanted to read it. In fact, my only concern about was the title—it made me wonder if Esther, the heroine, was going to be another unfortunate iteration of the same 21st century girl, who, though she changes her dress and physical appearance now and again as she travels through history, remains at heart the same disgruntled misfit. I am d Before I learned that the story of Rebel Daughter was inspired by the actual inscription on an ancient tombstone, I wanted to read it, and after that, I REALLY wanted to read it. In fact, my only concern about was the title—it made me wonder if Esther, the heroine, was going to be another unfortunate iteration of the same 21st century girl, who, though she changes her dress and physical appearance now and again as she travels through history, remains at heart the same disgruntled misfit. I am delighted to say this was not at all the case in Rebel Daughter. Esther was wonderful—intelligent, brave, and free-spirited, yes, but at the same time, the faithful daughter of a 1st century Jewish priest down to her core. That sense of "otherness" is what makes the discovery of common ground between people who could not be more different so satisfying. A shame more writers of historical fiction do not understand this. But I digress... Rebel Daughter is beautifully-written, but at the same time, it's a tragic story, full of violence and one shattering loss after another. I think it would be practically impossible to write a realistic story set in the time of the destruction of Jerusalem that wasn't, but through it all, Esther's faith and strength of spirit shine through, just like a star. She fits her name. It was a delight to watch her grow and persevere. The two main characters in Rebel Daughter, Esther, and the Roman freedman Tiberius, are inspired by real people—the Jewish captive who ended her days in Italy, and the man who set up a gravestone for her. Another major character is also real—but I won't spoil the pleasant (or not so pleasant) surprise of who that is. The author spent years researching this book, and it shows—in a good way. Without being heavy-handed, she weaves in all kinds of tiny historical details that lend depth and a sense of true authenticity to the story—like layers of real dust on a movie set. The smells, sights, and even the atmosphere of 1st century Jerusalem come alive. I received a free copy from the other in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    QC Librarian

    I wasn't sure I'd be interested in a story set in the first-century but I was wrong! I loved Rebel Daughter! The story is so lively told that one can't put the book away. For those who don't know too much history, it's a wonderful way to get to know what happened. It was heart-warming how this girl was protecting her family and to see how important family was. Esther's story is so well interwoven with historical events that it makes the book extremely readable and I just couldn't stop reading. I I wasn't sure I'd be interested in a story set in the first-century but I was wrong! I loved Rebel Daughter! The story is so lively told that one can't put the book away. For those who don't know too much history, it's a wonderful way to get to know what happened. It was heart-warming how this girl was protecting her family and to see how important family was. Esther's story is so well interwoven with historical events that it makes the book extremely readable and I just couldn't stop reading. I binged-read this book. I read through the entire weekend. You come away uplifted. It leaves you with the feeling that you traveled back in time. The writing was beautiful and I found myself reading over some passages a few time just to savor the words. Thank you to netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    As someone from a religious background, I found this female perspective of this historical event fascinating. Lori Banov Kaufmann brings the era to life in her book Rebel Daughter. Highly recommend. Big thanks to the publishers for an advanced copy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight How do I even begin to do this lovely book justice with a review? No really, accepting tips! Instead, I shall just do a list of what made me fall so in love with Rebel Daughter, and why you need to read it too! (I will caution, there are parts that are incredibly dark and difficult to read, as well as some certain triggers, including slavery, rape, and murder/death.) ►I don't know how You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight How do I even begin to do this lovely book justice with a review? No really, accepting tips! Instead, I shall just do a list of what made me fall so in love with Rebel Daughter, and why you need to read it too! (I will caution, there are parts that are incredibly dark and difficult to read, as well as some certain triggers, including slavery, rape, and murder/death.) ►I don't know how to explain how much Rebel Daughter broke my heart then put it back together over, and over, and over. It's such a gutting, heart-wrenching story, but it's also a story of hope and survival and the strength of the human spirit. So basically, it's incredibly emotive, and will own your soul. ►To say the author did her research would be a gross understatement. "Research" is the wrong term here, but I don't know the correct one. The author breathed life into Esther's story. The details, from the bigger historical elements down to the most minor details of everyday life were incredible. I absolutely felt immersed into this first century Jerusalem, in a way I never imagined I could. Often in historical novels, I have a vague sense of the world, but cannot truly feel myself in it. Not so here. And as a reader, I could genuinely tell that the author poured her soul into every page of this novel. There's truly no better way to explain it. ►I adored Esther with every fiber of my being. Esther herself is just such a well-rounded, well-developed character. When we first meet her, she's so relatable, worries about boys and spends time with family and does chores. And as her life unravels before her eyes, we see the loveliness of her spirit persevere, despite the overwhelming odds against her. There's a quote, one that really struck me, that sums it up so much: "But someone had to gather the eggs and milk the goats, check the wood pile and fetch the water. Not having a choice didn’t make her strong. It made her tired." But the truth is, as much as she didn't feel it, she was strong. Just being able to keep going is strength, and one we should give ourselves credit for, even when we don't think we deserve it. Because in the moment, I knew that Esther could have chosen differently. She could have given up, threw up her hands in disgust, but she didn't. She kept going, because she wanted to live, wanted her loved ones to live. It speaks volumes about who she is as a person, frankly. ►Not only did I love Esther, but her family and their relationships as well. It was great to see that they were all loving and caring, but that they did have their issues as well, aspects that were complicated and messy. None of them was perfect, but they were all good. Decent people, trying to get through everyday life, then trying to get through something far worse. Their love for one another was so incredibly uplifting. ►I learned so much about this time period that I'd never known. I don't know about your education, but my crappy American one basically brushed past the history of everyone, in every time, because we are gross. Like did I know that the Romans were kind of the "big bad" of the era? Sure. Did I know the extent? Goodness, no! And I think it's so important to know the atrocities mankind has inflicted on each other. It made me so angry, frankly. That, sometimes, is worth holding onto.  ►Telling Esther's story as something beautiful instead of solely tragic is worth everything. Was this a tragic time period for the Jewish citizens of Jerusalem? Of course, I don't think "tragic" is even a severe enough word. It was inhumane, frankly. And the author certainly did not shy away from these atrocities, not at all. But to show the love and hope that Esther and her people unarguably possessed was equally important, and this book somehow managed to incorporate both.  Bottom Line: I genuinely cannot remember the last time a book has affected me this much. Esther's story, and the story of her people, owns my whole heart. This is truly a book I'll never forget.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Haley

    I LOVE that this book was inspired by a first-century tombstone that revealed clues to a bygone love story. The author turned meticulous research into a captivating and gut-wrenching tale that I could not put down. I was living and breathing in ancient Jerusalem as I followed Esther's incredible journey. I'm always happy when I thoroughly enjoy a book and learn something new about history at the same time. Congratulations to the author on such an amazing debut! Thank you to NetGalley and Delacort I LOVE that this book was inspired by a first-century tombstone that revealed clues to a bygone love story. The author turned meticulous research into a captivating and gut-wrenching tale that I could not put down. I was living and breathing in ancient Jerusalem as I followed Esther's incredible journey. I'm always happy when I thoroughly enjoy a book and learn something new about history at the same time. Congratulations to the author on such an amazing debut! Thank you to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for access to this arc.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shawna Goodman

    Rebel Daughter transported me to another time in history and filled my thoughts with romance, intrigue and suspense. I literally could not put the book down and felt an immediate connection to Esther and her will to live and to do "right". The author manages to bring us along to each scene of the story through a detailed analysis of the everyday and how life was-I especially appreciated the details towards medicine, food and every day survival. SO much has changed yet so much the same-the powers Rebel Daughter transported me to another time in history and filled my thoughts with romance, intrigue and suspense. I literally could not put the book down and felt an immediate connection to Esther and her will to live and to do "right". The author manages to bring us along to each scene of the story through a detailed analysis of the everyday and how life was-I especially appreciated the details towards medicine, food and every day survival. SO much has changed yet so much the same-the powers of familial bonds and the responsibility to our communities, the deep connection of women and how they support and nourish our souls and the will to be alive and to connect to each other. A beautiful time travelling book that forces the reader to experience the rigor and simplicity of life's challenges with great perspective of the importance period of history. It leaves you wanting more and triggered a curiosity to go back to sources and to approach them from a more humanistic manner.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Wexler

    I am utterly in awe of the research that went into Rebel Daughter. Kaufmann expertly tells the story of Esther, a Jewish girl living in Jerusalem during the Jewish revolt against the Roman empire. Esther is a compelling and strong-willed heroine. I quickly fell in love with her and this story. Esther is easy to root for and kept me turning the page. The writing is vivid and descriptive, transporting me to the first century. The historical detail in this novel is mind blowing and impressive. Five I am utterly in awe of the research that went into Rebel Daughter. Kaufmann expertly tells the story of Esther, a Jewish girl living in Jerusalem during the Jewish revolt against the Roman empire. Esther is a compelling and strong-willed heroine. I quickly fell in love with her and this story. Esther is easy to root for and kept me turning the page. The writing is vivid and descriptive, transporting me to the first century. The historical detail in this novel is mind blowing and impressive. Five stars from me – an unforgettable debut! Thank you to Netgalley for providing a copy!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lewis Schrager

    In REBEL DAUGHTER, Ms. Banov Kaufmann tells the compelling tale of Esther bat Hanan, a daughter of one of the high priests of ancient Israel, as her world crumbles under the assault of the Romans against the Jewish revolt from 66 - 70 CE in what has become known as the Jewish War. Esther is a character drawn from history, a mere shadow, a weathered name on a tombstone on display at the Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah in Ferrara, Italy -- a captive brought from Jerusalem to Rome during th In REBEL DAUGHTER, Ms. Banov Kaufmann tells the compelling tale of Esther bat Hanan, a daughter of one of the high priests of ancient Israel, as her world crumbles under the assault of the Romans against the Jewish revolt from 66 - 70 CE in what has become known as the Jewish War. Esther is a character drawn from history, a mere shadow, a weathered name on a tombstone on display at the Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah in Ferrara, Italy -- a captive brought from Jerusalem to Rome during the Roman conquest of ancient Israel. Ms. Banov Kaufmann breathes life into this shadow, a life that she creatively and realistically intertwines with some of the major historical figures of that era, including the leaders of the Jewish rebellion, members of the Jewish priesthood, Roman emperors, and Josephus, whose writings have provided the clearest picture of the momentus events of those days. Ms. Banov Kaufmann actually creates two worlds, that of Jerusalem during the years leading to the Roman conquest, and ancient Rome itself, a notable achievement. This fast-paced book will enlighten any young adult reader to this historically important yet under-appreciated time, while pulling them along in the compelling story of personal courage and fortitude in a teenage girl as her world disintegrates around her.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lorre Goldberg

    There is so much I loved about this book. From the get go, the reader feels that Lori Banov Kaufmann respects your time because of all the thought that went into the book. There are many details that make the book whole. The best way to address people is to tell them what you're going to say, to say it and then to summarize what you've said. The Rebel Daughter does just this beginning with the forward which sets the scene for the story. Then the story unfolds. It is engaging from the first pages There is so much I loved about this book. From the get go, the reader feels that Lori Banov Kaufmann respects your time because of all the thought that went into the book. There are many details that make the book whole. The best way to address people is to tell them what you're going to say, to say it and then to summarize what you've said. The Rebel Daughter does just this beginning with the forward which sets the scene for the story. Then the story unfolds. It is engaging from the first pages. The characters are real (literally!) and share many of our dilemmas even though they lived thousands of years ago. Lori concludes her book with a fascinating explanation of her research. She includes historical notes from Professor Jonathan Price who verifies and further explains the historical period. Details such as Roman numerals for the chapters and quotes from scriptures available and very possibly referenced by the characters in their learning and studies adds tremendously to the authenticity. This book will appeal to a wide audience including young readers, people interested in history, religion, ancient Israel, the ancient Middle East or those simply looking for an engaging story based on fact.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Caity

    I really enjoyed this book. It is a darker period of history and the violence may be hard for some readers. That said I thought the author did a great job of balancing the need to be honest and show the horror people who lived through this war went through without being gratuitous and also keeping it age appropriate. I really loved the main characters they had a great family dynamic that was really interesting to read about and highlighted the roles each member of the family occupied in society I really enjoyed this book. It is a darker period of history and the violence may be hard for some readers. That said I thought the author did a great job of balancing the need to be honest and show the horror people who lived through this war went through without being gratuitous and also keeping it age appropriate. I really loved the main characters they had a great family dynamic that was really interesting to read about and highlighted the roles each member of the family occupied in society in that time. I particularly loved the relationship between Esther and her sister in law and how different their views were but also how much they tried to support and protect each other. Esther is an amazingly brave character and I appreciated getting to see both her strength and her flaws and fears. Her journey and character development was so well done. All around this is a great look at the time period and loved learning about the real inspiration for this story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Berenson

    A great read! Although this book is described as YA (young adult), I am 60-something and loved it! Kaufmann has developed complicated, interesting, memorable characters who live in Jerusalem (and then Rome) during Jewish-Roman War of the first century A.D., when the Roman army captured Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and killed or enslaved many Jews. The events depicted in this book are commemorated in the famous Arch of Titus, which still stands today in Rome. The title character, Esther, grow A great read! Although this book is described as YA (young adult), I am 60-something and loved it! Kaufmann has developed complicated, interesting, memorable characters who live in Jerusalem (and then Rome) during Jewish-Roman War of the first century A.D., when the Roman army captured Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and killed or enslaved many Jews. The events depicted in this book are commemorated in the famous Arch of Titus, which still stands today in Rome. The title character, Esther, grows from an impulsive girl of 14 to a mature woman of 19 during the course of the novel. Esther interacts with a fascinating crew of both fictional and historic characters, including Joseph/Josephus. Her relationships with her parents, brothers, and sister-in-law are vividly described. Watching Esther come to finally understand her mother was one of my favorite scenes. Through her eyes, the reader can practically hear, see, and smell Jerusalem during the first century A.D.. An excellent historical note provides helpful context for those who wish to learn more. I am recommending this book to my book club.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carol Cohen

    Lori Banov Kaufmann has written a winner of a book, and one that will appeal to adults of all ages, not only “YA” readers! Rebel Daughter is targeted at Young Adults, but this Older Adult found it gripping, complex and rich with period detail and historic references. I highly recommend this swift-moving historical novel, led by the protagonist Esther, as we experience her world through her eyes. I was drawn in immediately, as Banov Kaufmann skillfully introduces three men who could be the young E Lori Banov Kaufmann has written a winner of a book, and one that will appeal to adults of all ages, not only “YA” readers! Rebel Daughter is targeted at Young Adults, but this Older Adult found it gripping, complex and rich with period detail and historic references. I highly recommend this swift-moving historical novel, led by the protagonist Esther, as we experience her world through her eyes. I was drawn in immediately, as Banov Kaufmann skillfully introduces three men who could be the young Esther’s future husband, and reveals the striking personalities of her immediate family. We discover the intricate connection between the characters, including several with surprise agendas. The story unfolds in the midst of the turmoil around Esther as Romans and rebels battle over the destruction of Temple in Jerusalem in the first century. Excellent!   

  30. 5 out of 5

    Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader

    https://thecaffeinatedreader.com/2021... Wow, what an interesting story! I cannot even begin to fathom the amount of time and research 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. 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 https://thecaffeinatedreader.com/2021... Wow, what an interesting story! I cannot even begin to fathom the amount of time and research 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. 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 deeper 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. 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.

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