Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty Book Review

I’ve started a new category on my blog: Movie and Book Reviews. You might wonder, isn’t there enough resources out there, already? Why bother? I’m assuming you are like me. You’d prefer to have those reviews from people you know and can trust, rather than from strangers. So here is my review on the novel Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty

What I didn’t like

It was a bit slow going, for me. I like to be gripped by whirl-wind and left breathless from beginning to end. Perhaps because I know the Biblical account so well, I wasn’t on the edge of my seat enough.

What I liked

There seems to be an unspoken rule amongst many Christians. We feel a need to protect some of our favorite Bible characters. King David, for example. I’m always confused when his wrong-doings are minimized. I often wonder, why cover up what God exposed?

Simultaneously, I get indignant when people blame Bathsheba. They think, why would she take a bath outside, in broad daylight? She must have known David didn’t go out to battle with the rest of his army. She likely knew he would be watching. In addition, David was a man after God’s own heart. Therefore, Bathsheba had to have played a role in the adulterous affair. Even though the Bible gives us no such details, we presume Bathsheba was partially responsible.

In the pages of scripture, we grieve with David during the illness and subsequent death of his infant son. However, rarely do we consider the depth of pain Bathsheba endured. We’re given details on David’s struggles as King over Israel, but never hear about Bathsheba’s. We know of David’s courage. However, seldom do we give thought to what life would like as a member of David’s royal harem.

As a result, most people think David is the main character in the story. Hunt uses her artistic license to add elements of romance, conflict, and some suspense. However, this novel clearly exposes some central truths for life.

Hunt reminds us that God – not man – is the main character in every story. Without God’s divine power, forgiveness toward others is not possible. No matter how great we fail, redemption is the bi-product of God’s mercy. For every truly repentant heart, God’s grace is sufficient for total restoration.

Final Comments

I’m often cautious when I read Biblical fiction. Bathsheba, by Angela Hunt, took me by surprise. This is a beautifully written, thought provoking, story. The historical context is factual. Each of the characters are portrayed in a realistic way. It’s obvious Hunt did her research. This book is a worthwhile read!

I’m honored to be part of Ellen Graf-Martin’s Ellen’s Picks. Ellen’s efforts to resource women leaders are so appreciated. I love the community she is building too!

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