Smiths work of biblical fiction is firmly grounded in the scriptural account, weaving the emotional drama of Michals life together with the pivotal historical events that occurred during her lifetime. I have never read a book that has dealt with Michals life in such an authentic, and caring manner. From Smiths descriptions of life as the daughter of a deranged and wildly unpredictable king, to her grief at the deaths of her nephews, we are taken as readers into the previously unexplored emotional vistas of this princess of Israel.While greatly enjoying this fresh look into the life of Davids first wife, I wasnt overly fond of Smiths David, preferring the passion of the king found in Eleanor Gustafsons The Stones. Large jumps in time (three years, five-years, six-years, and so on) succeed in facilitating the progression of the timeline, but make the development of Michals bitterness as evidenced in her response to Davids joyful procession before the ark somewhat choppy. Likewise, her first years in the home of Patiel (the cuckold) are entirely missing, robbing readers of Michals struggle to adapt and come to care for this new man.Still, Smiths work was pleasant, and even thought provoking, providing a womans reflections upon the inner life of this first wife of King David. After all, who among us hasnt wondered how we would have reacted in Michals place to Davids sizable collection of wives?Clearly, I feel that Michal could have been a stronger novel, but still, Im looking forward to reading Abigail Smiths recently released story of Davids second wife. Smiths writing is solid, just not spectacular, so Im looking forward to gleaning more of her imaginings of the lives of the women who shared parts of the heart of the man whose heart was likened to that of God Himself.
I was a little disappointed. I found the writing style & use of language to be poor. A rather plodding account- this tries, at least, to follow the Biblical account- but somehow just goes on and on.. in a silly sort of language. I have read far more creative historical novels, relating to King David- one being (in Hebrew)- The Days of David by Ibn Zahav... but there are quite a few good historical novels on this period- and sadly, Michal, is very much on the lower end, re writing skills. I do not look forward to Abigail at all.
Michal and David's is one of the most exciting and romantic plots of all time, and it should be. God is the author with Jill E. Smith creatively filling in the missing details for our imaginations to feast on.1023BC isnt the best time to be alive. There are giants, crazed kings, and brutal enemies bent on Israels destruction, but all Michal wants is a life with the only man her heart has ever wished for--David.David, on the other hand, has a kingdom to win, a God to please, and a murderer to avoid. He loves Michal, but having a few other wives is convenient too.In the Bible, Michal and Davids story is spread out over so many years and between so many momentous events its hard keep it together on your mind. The author did a fine job of taking all the bits and pieces and tying them together in a neat little package. Michal is written in a clear voice and concise plot which is entertaining and easy to follow.Michals development from bratty younger sister to woman of God was a joy to witness. Id never fully grasped what a hard and trying life she led. Being the daughter of a crazy king had to have been rough. On top of that, she was forced to relinquish the man she loved. They were reunited years later but Michal had to share him with other wives. Not fun.Michal is a story of Gods perfect timing, of his moving in and through our lives to carry out his plan on earth.One of the disadvantages of reading Biblical fiction is the reader probably already knows the plot bringing the surprise level to zero. In this case, the bond the reader develops with the characters is worth the sacrifice of the element of surprise. From now on, when I read 1 Samuel, Ill look at Michal differently, with a bit more respect and a touch of awe.I look forward to the next book in the series Abigail, recently released through Revell.Reviewed by April W Gardnerwww.aprilgardner.comWounded SpiritsNovember 2010
I highly recommend this novel. This novel is a fictionalized account of Michal, David's first wife and Saul's daughter. It follows her through her teen years with a crazed father, her early life with David when he had to flee for his life from her father's hand, her married life with a man her father gave her to against her will to keep her from David, and her troubled marriage after her reunion with David. It has all the intrigue, suspence, and suspence you would expect from the events surrounding King David from the perspective I never before considered, the wife who fell out of favor with him and with God. It was a great read that kept me on the edge of my seat.
If you love Biblical Fiction, you will love this book. Jill Smith does an excellent job of transporting you back in time so that you feel as if you are actually present with the characters. She is also true to Scripture-there is not a disconnect between what the Bible says and what Jill writes. She just embellishes the story with believable conversation. Fascinating, exquisite writing!