Book Recommendation: Bathsheba by Jill Eileen Smith

Back cover blurb:

Bathsheba is a woman who longs for love. With her devout husband away fighting the king’s wars for many months at a time, discontent and loneliness dog her steps–and make it frighteningly easy to succumb to King David’s charm and attention. Though she immediately regrets her involvement with the powerful king, the pieces are set in motion that will destroy everything she holds dear. Can she find forgiveness at the feet of the Almighty? Or has her sin separated her from God–and David–forever?

With a historian’s sharp eye for detail and a novelist’s creative spirit, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the passionate and emotional story of David’s most famous–and infamous–wife. Smith uses her gentle hand to draw out the humanity in her characters, allowing readers to see themselves in the three-dimensional lives and minds of people who are often viewed in starkly moralistic terms. You will never read the story of David and Bathsheba in the same way again.

Narelle: I really enjoyed Jill Eileen Smith’s fictionalised account of Bathsheba’s story. The story opens with Bathsheba’s struggle to overcome loneliness and disappointment over not providing an heir for her husband, Uriah. Uriah was one of King David’s mighty men who was often away at war, and Bathsheba didn’t have children to distract her from missing her absent warrior husband. We journey with Bathsheba as she makes choices that will ultimately have devastating and deadly consequences.

We also gain an insight into both King David and Bathsheba’s faith and relationship with God. We meet two people who, despite loving the Lord, are human and flawed like the rest of us. I recommend this book to those looking for a fascinating and insightful Biblical fiction story.

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Book Recommendation: The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David by Eleanor Gustafson

Back cover blurb:

With comprehensive detail and flowing prose, Eleanor Gustafson crafts the retelling of King David s life from his teenaged anointing to his death as seen through the eyes of Asaph, a Levite historian. Fictional in scope, yet with amazing scriptural accuracy, The Stones provides a revealing, behind-the-scenes glimpse into biblical history with all the twists, turns, thrills, and romance of the world s great drama.

You will be there as:
A young teen collects stones to take on a giant.
A prideful rebel takes count of his fighting men.
A fallible leader succumbs to lust, temptation, and deceit.
A poet and musician grows closer to God through prayer and worship.
A man after God s heart discovers the unfailing love and forgiveness of his Creator.

The Stones is an epic adventure of man s innate need to worship God and rely on Him for strength and how badly things can go when he fails to do so.

Narelle: I really enjoyed reading The Stones. The fictionalised story of King David’s life provided a fascinating insight into a famous Biblical character that could be equally enjoyed by male and female readers.

We gain an insight into what made David tick, including his close walk with the Lord and the very public consequences of his sin. We discover a man who had a difficult relationship with King Saul before receiving a kingship and multiple blessings from the Lord. Yet David was human like the rest of us and we witness his struggles to remain obedient to God in all areas of his life.

The story follows the events in 1 and 2 Samuel. I liked learning more about the lives of the people who were close to David, especially his wife Abigail and David’s commander in chief, Joab. Joab was a fascinating and complex character, and the narration provided by Asaph added an authentic flavour to the story.

The battle scenes were realistic and we are given a birds eye view of the mighty warrior men and the people who surrounded David, both friends and foe. We learn about David’s complex relationships with his many wives and children, and how his deceit with Bathsheba led to dire consequences. I highly recommend this book to those looking for a fast paced and action packed Biblical fiction story about one of the greatest men in Israel’s history.

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