Bathsheba by Jill Eileen Smith is the third book in the Wives of King David Series. Bathsheba is the beautiful young wife of Uriah, one of King David's Thirty, his leading warriors. War often keeps Uriah away from home, and Bathsheba is lonely and a bit angry that his absence has kept her from becoming pregnant. She knows a child would fill her heart and keep her from missing her husband quite so much, but Uriah is devoted to all of the various rules and rituals of the church, as well as his king. King David has just faced the death of his beloved Abigail, the only wife he has truly loved and the one that kept him from marrying other wives. Her faith in Adonai fueled his, but now that she's gone, David feels lost and refuses to lead his troops into battle in his depression. Smith has a wonderful talent for bringing to life the well-known stories of the Bible, breathing fresh air into them and giving readers new perspective and insight. The story is rich with historical detail until readers can practically see the bustling markets. King David's court is thick is manipulation and jostling for power from Ahithopel, Bathsheba's grandfather, to David's son's who fear any threat to their control. Smith makes Bathsheba and David both incredibly sympathetic and real. Even readers who are familiar with the story and know how it ends will find themselves holding their breath at each turn of the page. Smith is one of the best writers of biblical fiction today.
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Christy Lockstein (ChristysBookBlog1)
I'm a happily married mother of three. I review books daily on my blog Christy's Book Blog. I love to read, and I love the Lord. Those four things really define my life.
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*Starred Review* When King David�s beloved wife dies in childbirth, it seems that nothing can break through his cloak of grief�until he sees the legendary beauty, Bathsheba. Their affair, as well as David�s ruthless disposal of Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba�s husband and one of David�s loyal officers, are among the Bible�s biggest scandals. Smith puts a refreshingly different spin on this familiar tale of adultery, delving into the motivations and feelings behind Bathsheba�s and David�s actions within the context of the customs and religious expectations of the times. There�s plenty of suspense, court intrigue, and excitement in Smith�s rendering, especially when David�s other sons, worried that his child by Bathsheba, Solomon, will be king, lead a revolt against their father. Smith has a strong voice, and her seamless blending of David�s words from the Psalms with her narrative adds to the novel�s authenticity. Bathsheba will appeal to a wide variety of readers, including fans of Anita Diamant�s The Red Tent (1997). The third novel in Smith�s splendid Wives of King David series (Michal, 2009; Abigail, 2010), this works as a standalone, but libraries will want all three books. --Shelley Mosley