Do You Like Biblical Fiction?
June 17, 2013
Several years back, I really got into the novellas by Francine Rivers. My favorite of her two series was A Lineage of Grace that went through the five women in Jesus lineage. First was Unveiled about Tamar, Judah's daughter-in-law; and then, there was Unashamed about Rehab, the Jericho prostitute. The next year, Francine came out with Unshaken about Ruth, Naomi's daughter-in-law; then Unspoken about Bathsheba, King David's love affair; and last but not least was Unafraid with Mary, Jesus' mother. Each of these books uses the framework of the Bible stories for the novellas, then Francine researches the history, culture, and traditions to try to give you an idea of what their life was like.
Francine also wrote a series about little known men of the Bible. This series is called The Sons of Encouragement. These books are The Prophet with Amos as the key character; The Scribe with Silas; The Warrior was Caleb, Joshua's sidekick; The Prince is Jonathan, David's best friend and King Saul's son; and The Priest with Aaron, Moses' older brother. I have read the ones about Aaron and Jonathan and enjoyed them, but I just relate obviously with the women's struggles more. I still have the men on my to-read list though.
Last summer, I was looking for more books about women of the Bible in MCPL's system. I found a series by Jill Eileen Smith called The Wives of King David. They were incredible! And, of course, I could barely put them down!
The first book in this series is Michal, who was David's first wife. You might not remember her, as she was only with him a short while before her father, King Saul, wanted to kill him, and she sent David away to save him. Just like the story in the Bible, Michal was forced by her father to remarry. Eventually, when David became king, he reclaimed his wife Michal and forced her to return to his palace. This leads you through her emotions of feeling scared, abandoned, angry, lonely, and jealous of David's later wives.
Abigail took you through the lows of her first marriage and how she kept David from killing her husband. After her husband's sudden death, David wants her for his wife. After years on the lam with David, they move to his palace in Jerusalem with his other wives and children. It also uses this original Bible story as its framework, and I enjoyed reading along in it as I read this story of fiction.
The book on Bathsheba was about her marriage to her first husband, Uriah the Hittite. Then, of course, there's her catching King David's eyes while she bathed in her mikvah, his seduction of her while she was still married, and her finding out she was pregnant from the King! Then, her husband, Uriah, died in battle and she is called to the palace to marry the King. It's not your average love affair, and it made me think about her feelings about her first husband and family. Later, King David wants her son, Solomon, to be his successor even though her son was not the first. Talk about upsetting the other wives! The turmoil in Bathsheba's life is never ending.
Jill Eileen Smith has another series that looks interesting, too. It is called Wives of the Patriarchs and starts with Sarai, Abraham's wife. The newest, Rebekah, is on order in our system. I've already got my name on the holds list for it! Enjoy your summer reading of biblical fiction, I know I will.