Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty

Written by ANGELA HUNT
Review by Susan McDuffie

996 BC, Jerusalem: Bathsheba is considered a tob woman, a Hebrew word meaning a woman of great beauty and sensual appeal, one who is highly desirable. The infant Bathsheba was presented to the prophet Samuel, who prophesied that she would be the mother of a great man who would be important to Israel. As a young woman Bathsheba happily marries Uriah, a Hittite soldier of King David, but her loveliness leads to disaster. King David himself spies on her while she bathes and, overcome by her dangerous appeal, he rapes her. Eventually David has Uriah killed and takes Bathsheba into his own harem.

This is a reverent retelling of the Biblical story of David and Bathsheba, and the reign of King David. I found the story of Bathsheba’s early life compelling and her response to her situation realistic and emotionally involving. However, as the years progressed I felt some of the emotional spark left the story. Bathsheba’s conflicts about her changed life seemed to get lost as the author continued the story of King David’s reign and the ascension of Solomon to the throne.

Angela Hunt has done a great deal of research, and a lengthy list of references is provided. Her portrayals of King David and the lovely Bathsheba are quite human, and lovers of inspirational fiction will no doubt enjoy this retelling of their story.