Against the backdrop of raging wars within the land and without, David is growing into the mantle of leadership. Between his anointment as a tribal king and his anointment as the king of all of Israel, he uses wisdom and cunning, and his own understanding of the forces of history, aiming for high ideals: uniting the nation and bringing about healing and peace. But then, having reached his peak, David falters. He makes a serious error that threatens to undo his political success, and cost him not only the adoration of his people—but also the sense of being sustained by a divine force. That error is most torrid tale of passion ever told: his deliciously forbidden love for Bathsheba, and his attempt to cover up the ensuing scandal by sending her husband—who serves him faithfully in his army—to his death. This is volume II of the trilogy The David Chronicles, told candidly by the king himself. David uses modern language, indicating that this is no fairytale. Rather, it is a story that happens here and now, calling for reflection. Listen to his voice as he undergoes a profound change, realizing the magnitude of his sin, and the curse looming over his entire future.
“A Peek at Bathsheba” by Uvi Poznansky is yet another one of her great Bible-inspired books. Nobody understands better to utilise existing stories that many of us are familiar with already – at least to some extent – and give them a new lease of life, a new angle and makes us see different sides to those historical, religious and mythical characters. Who was David really? A hero or a product of his circumstances, of coincidence and skilled manipulation? The bible and history books had their say; now Poznansky adds some new ideas and interpretations to the myth. Her David is a fascinating character, evolved from “The Rise to Power” with plenty of new material and story to cover.. In this second book about King David we follow him as he battles the tribe of Benjamin, hoping to unite all the tribes and make peace. All told in his own words with honesty and without pretence. He is shown as an anti-hero who is often weak and distracted by things other than politics and the benefit of all. We watch him and his wives, see him fall in love again, we see him suffer personal tragedy yet witness him almost unimpressed by political achievements. Some readers may find this controversial, I find it inspired and fascinating. This book covers one era in David’s life, one of many, one during which he has ‘mastered many skills’ and brings him in his own words to the “prime of his life”. All the while reading I was trying to remember what I know about David and Bathsheba, about the uniting of the tribes and what I shall expect in the next book in the series. Beyond the historical value the book has a great story at heart, that of a man whose roles and position brings complications and demands. The love story and the influence of Bathsheba on David are neither glorified nor trivialised; they brought alive in a unique and inspired way. Few writers can engage me with such sharp characterisation, witty and poignant dialogue, intriguing angles and ideas and incite a lust for knowing and understanding history. Poznansky writes with exquisite prose and elegant style, yet delivers piercing truth and insights into the human psyche on the way. A wonderful read.