After sending his army to besiege another king’s capital, King David forces himself on Bathsheba, a loyal soldier’s wife. When her resulting pregnancy forces the king to murder her husband and add her to his harem, Bathsheba struggles to protect her son while dealing with the effects of a dark prophecy and deadly curse on the king’s household.
Combining historical facts with detailed fiction, Angela Hunt paints a realistic portrait of the beautiful woman who struggled to survive the dire results of divine judgment on a king with a divided heart.
The author of more than 100 published books and with nearly 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty. Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, Angela completed her PhD in Biblical Studies in Theology. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs. She can be found online at http://www.angelahuntbooks.com.
The best biblical fiction will send its readers to the ultimate authority, God’s Word, to find out what really happened. As I read Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty by Angela Hunt, I found myself referring to the biblical record over and over. I began to view the story of Bathsheba in a new way — the characters became multi-faceted with emotions and motives I had not considered. Hunt is faithful to scripture, but fills in the what ifs realistically. My book club is discussing this book later tonight. Have you read it? We would love to hear your thoughts.
The story opens with Bathsheba’s wedding day to Uriah the Hittite. Eager to embark on a new life, the new bride is filled with the anticipation of a life of love and joy. A year and a half later, Bathsheba finds herself raped, her husband murdered and pregnant by a man she hates — the King of Israel. David loves Adonai, but he is a man who is deeply flawed. How can God redeem the brokenhearted and bring forgiveness and healing?
Pages and pages have been written about the relationship between David and Bathsheba. Scholars are in disagreement about what really happened. Did David rape Bathsheba? Or was she a willing seductress? I think Hunt gives a balanced and unbiased explanation of what might have happened. Based on her own research into what scripture has to say about the incident, she has created a sympathetic character who must make a future despite abuse, violence and grief. David is Israel’s anointed king, a man after God’s own heart, but also a man who doesn’t rule his own household wisely and gives into lustful passions. This story doesn’t end here though. The turbulent history of the later years of David’s reign are told in a flowing narrative from the first person perspectives of Bathsheba and Nathan the prophet. The two viewpoints give unique insights. Others that play pivotal roles during this time in Israel’s history — David’s wives, sons, advisors and military leaders — are written with depth.
Intrigue and betrayal are hallmarks of the time of David. His sin brings calamity down on his own house and the nation of Israel. Sin is never secret — a theme that is played over and over in Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty. David often acted according to his own desires because ” . . . he believed he would get away with sin”. Aren’t we all guilty of that? Repentance and forgiveness are the remedies, and this novel portrays that as well. If there is a take away from this novel it is that there is sorrow in sin, but joy in the Lord.
Faithful to scripture and written with historical detail and a heart for the subject matter, Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty is a highly recommended read!
Great for Book Clubs.
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(Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)