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CarpeLibrum

Carpe Librum

Reviews and bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.

If I am lost, you will find me in medieval England.

You can also find me - and my books - on my blog.

Historical Novel Society

Currently reading

The Burning Land
Bernard Cornwell
As Bright as Heaven
Susan Meissner
7 Lessons from Heaven: How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy-Filled Life
Mary C. Neal, M.D.
The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America
Richard John Neuhaus
A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Carla Barnhill, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jim Wallis

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks

The Secret Chord: A Novel - Geraldine Brooks

I greatly admire Brooks' works and the voice she gives to historical characters, so I looked forward to seeing what she would do with the Biblical King David. Considering the drama of David's life, this novel was surprisingly uninteresting. 

 

Told from the point-of-view of the prophet Nathan, David's life is full of contradictions that are not fully explained. He seems much more an irreverent philanderer than the "man after God's own heart." Of course, David had his issues, but he doesn't seem to have any positive attributes in this portrayal of him, leading the reader to wonder why God would have chosen him at all.

 

It doesn't seem to be a question that Nathan ever considers, though he does take it upon himself to ensure that David's son, Solomon, becomes a better man than his father. I enjoyed the part of the book with Nathan mentoring the young future king.

 

This novel closely follows the Biblical account of David with many additional graphic sexual encounters that I could have done without. Some Christians will undoubtedly be offended by the author's decisions regarding some of David's relationships, but I was not particularly surprised by any of it. Even with the scandalous attempts to add to David's known story, I found this book a bit bland. Definitely disappointing coming from an author of such great skill.