Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty by Angela Hunt

A Dangerous Beauty Novel, book 2
Category:  Christian fiction, historical fiction, literature/fiction (adult)
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date:  September 1, 2015
My Rating:  4 Stars

Description:

One of Ancient Israel's Most Famous Women As You've Never Looked at Her Before

One of the Bible's most misunderstood and misjudged women, Bathsheba comes to life in this new biblical reimagining from Angela Hunt. Combining historical facts with detailed fiction, this is an eye-opening portrait that will have you reconsidering everything you thought you knew about her.

After receiving God's promise of a lifelong reign and an eternal dynasty, 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.

Review:

Angela Hunt brings biblical persons to life. This is highly evident in the story of Bathsheba whose life is intertwined with King David. You cannot write about Bathsheba without also writing about David. Hunt uses the biblical text as a framework wherein she weaves deductive imagination and biblical narrative into a tapestry of their lives. You feel as if you know David and Bathsheba; you feel their joy and pain.

King David stands out as more than a king. He is shown to be a Godly man who sins. A man taken in by passion and lust who allows his fear of the consequences to drive him to commit murder. David is a man heartbroken by the consequences of his sin; the death of his children and betrayal by those he loves. Hunt doesn't whitewash David's suffering but she also shows throughout Bathsheba that in both the good times and the bad David never forgets his Lord. He continually pours his heart out in supplication to God knowing that He is his defender, provider, and Lord. David worships and serves the God of his ancestors.

As a book named Bathsheba would infer, the primary focus is of course Bathsheba. She is physically beautiful but more importantly she has a beautiful and Godly character. Bathsheba is greatly loved, a strong and wise leader, and a role model. She had to be strong after being raped by King David and then having her husband murdered by her rapist because he made her pregnant.  I only have one little niggling concern regarding the portrayal of Bathsheba. There were moments when I believe she was portrayed as too strong. I can’t help but think that she was given too much credit for leading David towards a number of his decisions. David was a king. A mighty king. A king renowned for his leadership in battle.  David followed God and was able to make wise decisions.

Writing a fictional biography about a person whose life has been deemed important enough by God to add to the biblical narrative cannot be easy. This book is written using the authors understanding of scripture and her creative imagination. Only God is infallible. I wish to exhort you to always seek God's Word first and foremost; read the biblical narrative and compare it with the fictional portrayal. What an adventure.

I received a galley in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My thanks to NetGalley, the author, and publisher.

A Dangerous Beauty series

Angela Hunt

Angela Hunt

Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over four million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.