The Song of Solomon, a book of poetry from the Old Testament, is used as a basis for this biblical novel. The author creates a vivid image of a younger Solomon and brings his character to life as his father King David’s life comes to a climactic end. The battle for power among the king’s sons is set against a backdrop of civil unrest and famine. The people wish for King David to appease the fertility gods by marrying a young, vital woman in hopes of bringing an end to the crippling drought. Enter Shulamite as this woman proposed for King David, but Solomon sees her first, and they fall in love – which sets off a chain of events including jealousy and betrayal, but this doesn’t break through their pure love.
Readers of the author’s previous recent reissue, David and Bathsheba, will enjoy this next installment in the chronology of the Bible, though sometimes the writing comes across as too matter-of-fact when it’s supposed to be a love story. However, the total package soars above due to its unforgettable characters and important topics.