Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review: Bathsheba

Bathsheba (Wives of King David - Book 3) by Jill Eileen Smith

Publication Date: March 2011
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group/Revell
Genre: Christian Fiction
Pages: Paperback, 346 pp
ISBN-13: 9780800733223

(Received for review from Revell Books)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository,, IndieBound

Jill Eileen Smith on the WEB: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter

The Wives of King David Website

Excerpt from Bathsheba

Synopsis (Book Blurb):


Bathsheba is a woman who longs for love. With her husband away fighting the king'a wars, she battles encroaching loneliness - which makes it all too easy to succumb to the advances of King David. Will one night of unbridled passion destroy everything she holds dear? Can she find forgiveness at the feet of the Almighty? Or has her sin separated her from God 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. You will never read the story of David and Bathsheba the same way again.


Jill Eileen Smith's latest novel in the Wives of King David series, Bathsheba tells the story of a lonely woman and how the consequences of one decision changed the course of Biblical history. Readers will find Smith's rendering of the story of David and Bathsheba to hold closely with the biblical account and yet, full of surprises. Smith's attention to the smallest of details gives this book a very authentic feel and readers will appreciate her knowledge of the customs and times of Jerusalem in 994 BC.

King David was a man after God's own heart, the bible says. And yet he was human. He had the same desires and emotions of any man. In a moment of weakness after the death of his beloved wife Abigail, David watches Bathsheba, the wife of his friend Uriah, bathe on the rooftop of her home. David tries to forget what he saw and felt but eventually gives in to his desires. Bathsheba, was a beautiful woman and loving wife, but she was lonely with Uriah fighting in King David's wars. She had been unable to bear him a child and was facing the ridicule of the other women. Her heart was in despair when David approached her. Two people with passionate feelings came together, in one act of sin. Can they still find the ultimate forgiveness?

Jill Eileen Smith's retelling of the biblical account of David and Bathsheba is almost heartbreaking to read in parts. It is such a poignant and compelling story. David was a warrior and a King. Used to getting everything he wanted and desired. When his desire fell on Bathsheba she was most likely helpless in the decision though it obvious that she had feeling for David as well. This one act would change the face of biblical history. But, it also showed the great forgiveness of God as well.

Smith gives readers a glimpse at what King David may have been thinking. What was going through his head, as he realized what he had done and what it meant. Not only had he sinned against God and against Uriah, but he had possibly condemned Bathsheba to death. The penalty for adultery was death. He had to think of a way to get her out of this predicament he had gotten her into. His feelings for Bathsheba were so strong he knew he had to protect her not matter the cost and that cost ended up being Uriah's life.

Smith's attention to detail is very meticulous and precise. She follows the biblical story closely, but gives the reader a chance to see behind the scenes. To think about how these decisions affected not only David and Bathsheba but the David's people as well. Readers will find her narrative style very readable and easy to follow. The story of David is one of the most beloved stories in the Bible and I think Smith really did it justice in this book. The series is exceptional and one of my favorites in the Christian Fiction genre. But, each book can be read as a stand alone as well.

I have always found myself wondering about Bathsheba, because so little is really said about her feelings or why she was receptive to David. I think the author showed great understanding and foresight in giving Bathsheba her own voice in this book. I also liked the fact that instead of ending the book with Uriah's death and David's subsequent repentance, Smith continued the story on into the childhood of Solomon. This gives readers a different perspective on David's relationship with Bathsheba and his son.

I loved the book and I think you will too. I recommend this one to readers of Christian and Biblical fiction. Or anyone who interested in the story of King David. This entire series is well written and gives a great fictional account of David's life as well as his loves.

Available March 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Jill Eileen Smith's research into the lives of David's wives has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill is the author of the bestselling Michal and Abigail and lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

1 comment:

Ann Summerville said...

This sounds like a good read. Thanks for the review.