Sunday, August 29, 2010

Review: Queenmaker by India Edghill

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, 2002

The story of Michal, King David's first queen.

Daughter of King Saul and sister to Jonathan , Michal becomes the first wife of the young favourite of the king, David. Together for only one night before David falls from grace and is forced to flee leaving Michal behind. Her father then marries her to an older man, an obscure farmer and she is abandoned as an outcast for over ten years. Although initially grief stricken at her separation from David, over time she learns to love her husband and to find happiness in her simple life. Until David, now king of Israel , and despite having a harem of wives ,decides he wants her back and she is taken to his court where she will spend the rest of her days.

I loved this book and became completely immersed in Michal's life. Each chapter begins with a simple bible verse  like this one from Samuel 1 " And Michal Saul's daughter loved David....." and from these few words India Edghill creates a rich biblical background and vivid characters that truly brings this long ago time to life.

As Anita Diamant does in The Red Tent she gives a voice to the women...........takes the reader into their everyday lives.........the clothes, the food and the conflicts, jealousies and unhappiness of being one wife of many sharing one man.

I liked the way she interprets David's character. We remember him as the lad who slayed Goliath, the beloved friend of Jonathan and the gentle psalmist who sang at the king's feet but a man must have a certain of ruthless ambition to rise from a shepherd's son to be man who united Judah and Israel and become a great king.
Michal loved him but she learnt to know his see the the truth behind the songs of praise and the selfishness behind his beauty.

From a young girl betrayed by the man she she loves to a woman of great strength and wisdom - this is the story of Michal , King David's queen.

Recommended to all historical fiction lovers.

Historical Tapestry ABC Challenge

Q is for Queenmaker

1 comment: