Monday, February 22, 2010

Abigail by Jill Eileen Smith

Biblical fiction at it's best--today's feature: Abigail by Jill Eileen Smith.

First, the back cover copy:

Abigail's hopes and dreams for the future are wrapped up in her handsome, dark-eyed betrothed, Nabal. But when the long-awaited wedding day arrives, her drunken groom behaves shamefully. Nevertheless, Abigail tries to honor and respect her husband despite his abuse of her. Meanwhile, Abigail's family has joined David's wandering tribe as he and his people keep traveling to avoid the dangerous Saul. When Nabal suddenly dies, Abigail is free to move on with her life, and thanks to her brother, her new life includes a new husband--David. The dangers of tribal life on the run are serious, but there are other dangers in young Abigail's mind. How can David lead his people effectively when he goes against God? And how can Abigail share David's love with the other wives he insists on marrying? Jill Eileen Smith, bestselling author of Michal, draws on Scripture, historical research, and her imagination as she fills in the blanks to unveil the story of Abigail and David in rich detail and drama. The result is a riveting page-turner that will keep readers looking forward to the next book in this trilogy.

And now, my review:

David is one of my biblical heroes, so reading Jill Eileen Smith’s fictionalized accounts of his life has been enjoyable. Smith is insightful, her research thorough.

As happens with heroes, flaws are often missed. Especially with someone tagged by God Himself as “a man after God’s own heart.” But just because David acted in a certain way doesn’t mean he was right to. Smith demonstrates that with David’s contriteness and repentance in a few instances covered by the scope of Abigail’s story. She shows us a tenderhearted king, and in the case of Abigail, a lovesick one.

This book is a standalone, though it covers the next chapter in David’s life following Michal’s story. Readers will find they can read this novel without feeling “lost” if they haven’t read the first in this trilogy.

Whether the biblical accounts are familiar to readers or not, these novels (The Wives of King David) will interest those fascinated by history, by King David, or simply wanting a good story based in truth. So, whether readers are looking for biblical fiction, romance, adventure or women’s fiction, they’ll find this series enjoyable.

Abigail’s story is full of heartbreak and tragedy, triumph and love. And this novel is an enlightening account of her story. Bravo, Jill!

I’m looking forward to reading Book 3: Bathsheba.

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