Literary Insights

Literary Insights: A Book Lovers Review

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Michal: A Novel (The Wives of King David) By Jill Eileen Smith

         As the daughter of King Saul, Michal lives a life of privilege, one that is haunted by her father's unpredictable moods and by competition from her beautiful older sister. When Michal falls for young David, the harpist who plays to calm her father, she has no idea what romance, adventures, and heartache await her. As readers enter the colorful and unpredictable worlds of King Saul and King David, they will be swept up in this exciting and romantic story. Against the backdrop of opulent palace life, raging war, and desert escapes, Jill Eileen Smith takes her readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride as Michal deals with love, loss, and personal transformation as one of the wives of David. A sweeping tale of passion and drama, readers will love this amazing story.
            Though Michal's life has been reduced to mention in only a handful of verses, she witnessed an incredible amount of history and heartbreak.  Smith brings Michal to life, from her early years as a young princess in Saul's court, in love with David the simple shepherd, to the unfathomable tragedy she witnessed as Saul's family fell from power. Smith’s narrative closely follows the Biblical account of David's life and rise to power found in 1 and 2 Samuel. In many cases, she incorporates the actual dialogue from the scriptures which adds further authenticity to the novel.

            Smith’s depiction of the many cultural and social standards a woman in Michal's position dealt with seem so foreign today. Seeing Saul's descent into madness from the perspective of a daughter was absolutely terrifying, especially since as a woman she was wholly subject to his dictates as her father and king. In a culture that placed a premium on a woman's ability to provide her husband with children, Michal's struggles with anger, fear, and bitterness over the uncertainty of her position at court are heartbreaking. Her journey towards redemption, and a personal relationship with David's beloved God after enduring so much heartbreak and horror was beautiful to witness. Michal does not get your typical happy ending, but for her story, offering the hope and restoration that only a relationship with God can supply to a life torn asunder by circumstance. 

            This is a fictional account of David the King of Israel with the focus on Michal one of his wives. The story stays true to Scripture and brings to life the customs and way of life back in Bible times. It is very well written. I highly recommend this book, reading 1st and 2nd Samuel again will be even more vivid after reading Smith's first story of the wives of David. Smith’s imagination in taking a bit of fact and a couple of lines from the Book of Samuel, weaves an interesting story and an excellent read.  

I received a copy of book from the publisher for my review. 
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