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Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty (A Dangerous Beauty Novel, Book Two) by Angela Hunt: A Book Review

Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty (A Dangerous Beauty Novel, Book Two)
Author: Angela Hunt
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian, Biblical Fiction
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: One of Ancient Israel's Most Famous Women-- As You've Never Looked at Her Before

     One of the Bible's most misunderstood and misjudged women, Bathsheba comes to life in this new biblical reimagining from Angela Hunt. Combining historical facts with detailed fiction, this is an eye-opening portrait that will have you reconsidering everything you thought you knew about her. 

     After receiving God's promise of a lifelong reign and an eternal dynasty, King David forces himself on Bathsheba, a loyal soldier's wife. When her resulting pregnancy forces the king to murder her husband and add her to his harem, Bathsheba struggles to protect her son while dealing with the effects of a dark prophecy and deadly curse on the king's household. 

     My Review: Most everyone knows about the story of Bathsheba and David. It is one of the most scandalous moments in the reign of King David. Yet, it is also a story of repentance, forgiveness, and redemption. It is a story that shows God’s love for us. Yet there has been a controversy as to whether Bathsheba was a willing participant or a victim. In this retelling, Bathsheba is a victim, and it is a journey of forgiveness.

     Bathsheba did not have it easy in this novel. It was prophesied in the beginning that she would give birth to a great son who would rule the Israelite land. Yet, she does not know how the prophecy will be fulfilled. She marries Uriah, and the marriage is happy until David spots her. Because he is the king, Bathsheba is forced to do David’s bidding. This has traumatized her and when she is found pregnant, she knows that she is doomed. She hates David for what he has done to her. Over the course of the novel, she goes on a quest to forgive him.

     David in this novel is guilty for what he has done. He knows that he has to kill Bathsheba’s husband to protect her reputation. He makes her his wife and decides to make Solomon his heir out of guilt. His guilt becomes love. Throughout the novel, he is not only seeking forgiveness from God, but also from Bathsheba. Therefore, he is on a quest to redeem himself.

     Overall, this novel is about repentance, forgiveness, redemption, and love. The message of the story is there is always hope and redemption. The story is told in first person from Bathsheba and Nathan, the prophet. I did feel that this story was slow moving. There were some unnecessary details that did not contribute to the plot or to the characters and should have been left out. I also felt like there should have more character-development, especially with Nathan. Still, this book is very meticulously-researched and well-written. I recommend this to anyone, not only interested in Christian and biblical fiction, but also to those who want to read a unique retelling about the legend of King David and Bathsheba.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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