Against the backdrop of wars, raging within the land and without, David is growing into the mantle of leadership. Between his anointment as a tribal king and his anointment as the king of all of Israel, he uses wisdom, cunning, and his own understanding of the forces of history, aiming for high ideals: stopping the bloodshed, uniting the nation, and bringing about healing and peace.
But then, having reached his peak, David falters. He makes a serious error that threatens to undo his political success, and cost him not only the adoration of his people - but also the sense of being sustained by a divine power. That error is the most torrid tale of passion ever told: his deliciously forbidden love for Bathsheba, followed by his attempt to cover up the ensuing scandal by sending her husband - who serves him faithfully in his army - to his death.
This is volume II of the trilogy The David Chronicles, told candidly by the king himself. David uses modern language, indicating that this is no fairytale. Rather, it is a story that is happening here and now. Listen to his voice as he undergoes a profound change, realizing the magnitude of his sin, and the curse looming over his entire future.
©2014 Uvi Poznansky (P)2014 Uvi Poznansky
Inventive. Intimate. Surprising.
Poznansky's work with biblical characters is a modernist look at ancient tales, which few do as well today. If I had to compare it to other works, I'd choose John Barth's Chimera, for the way both authors give a surprising immediacy to the story and remake the characters with more modern sensibilities, or The Last Temptation of Christ by Kazantzakis for its use of graphic language.
I had not heard Justin Harmer's work before I listened to the Bathsheba sample, when I marveled at what a perfect choice Poznansky had made to narrate this book. His delivery is smooth and always appropriate, his pronunciations correct, and he adds his own verve. Having read the book previously, I will say that Harmer made the story different from the way I heard it in my head, bringing out surprising nuances. I'll need to listen to other books that he's narrated and I have read make comparisons.
Wonderful melding of story and narrator. Recommended for YA and adult readers comfortable with strong, modern language in a biblical setting.
Captivating and memorable!
One of my favorite scenes is the one when King David tried to manipulate Uriah to sleep with Bathsheba when he already knew she was expecting his child. Uriah refused to go to his wife despite King David's urging. Perhaps, this added to the King's desire to do away with his most loyal soldier.
The death of King David's and Bathsheba's son...how devastating it was for them both.
A Peek at Bathsheba (The David Chronicles Book 2) by Author Uvi Poznansky
She's done it again! Author Uvi Poznansky has succeeded in taking a somewhat familiar Bible story and turning it into a present day masterpiece.
"A Peek at Bathsheba" is the second novel in the trilogy series Rise to Power (The David Chronicles Book 1). In the Prologue, Kind David is an old man who has experienced great passion with his numerous wives. However, none compare to his love for Bathsheba. So smitten was he for Bathsheba that he sank so low as to steal her from his most loyal soldier, Uriah. Setting no moral boundaries for his lust, he sends Uriah into harm's way to make sure that he does not return from battle. King David does not only succeed in stealing his wife...he also succeeds in having Uriah slain in the prime of his life. A king capable of such betrayal...
In Ms. Poznansky's portrayal of King David, the reader gets a glimpse of his all-too-human side. His alleged weaknesses hang out like a sore thumb and make it difficult to admire him as King of the House of David who reigns over the tribe of Judea. He has every ambition to influence the other eleven tribes and perhaps rule the nation. Although King David craves a peaceful resolution, his chief general Joav chooses disastrous triumphs" in his effort to accomplish victory in "his ill-advised civil war against the eleven tribes of Israel". With the untimely death of Joav's younger brother Asahel in one such battle, King David is advised to no longer trust Joav in what appears to be his own quest for power. King David himself is already having his own doubts and fears about Joav but now one of his spiritual advisors has confirmed his very thoughts. But soon it appears that Joav is not his only concern...
King David with his many wives, materialistic cravings, and perceived desire for power are only surpassed by his covetous nature in his pursuit of Bathsheba. He is obviously not above adultery and although Bathsheba does little to ward off his advances...how could she possibly refuse a King?
Although Biblical in its origin, in my opinion..."A Peek at Bathsheba" is a finely penned work of fiction whereby Author Uvi Poznansky has expertly used her creative abilities to explore any or all possible facets of the personalities that she is effectively describing. She is a gifted writer and artist capitalizing on what she does best...crafting and honing her skill with the talent that has been given to her. No more....no less. One must take into consideration that in similar artistic works, as an audience we do not all envision the artist's intent nor fully realize exactly what they hope to project. To utilize a common cliché...beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. Isn't that what true artistic talent is all about? We, as individuals, have the inherent right to choose to appreciate and value the creative abilities presented by an artist regardless of how others may view any particular piece of work. Individual taste and interpretation is merely the flip side of the same coin in any creative endeavor.
In "A Peek at Bathsheba" as in Rise to Power (The David Chronicles Book 1), the reading audience has once again been expertly drawn into the head of King David in order to get a bird's eye view of how he might have thought...a rare opportunity to assess the possible impetus behind his decision making...and to better know him in the 21st century! What's next in store for King David? I am sure in the third and final book of this trilogy, we are about to find out!
Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte
Getting to look at behind the scenes moment with his wives
King David himself, he really seemed to embody the character.
while most historical books are not something I'm a fan of, Uvi takes a new refreshing look at historical beings. In this second story we King David anthe rise and fall of him. This is a great look into history without seeming to be a lecture or class. Fantastic read cannot wait to read more by this author. I listen to this book on audible, the narrator did a fantastic job.
I am a audio book lover turned Audio Book Reviewer since Nov '14. Love it and now started my own review blog featuring all the reviews here!
A Peek at Bathsheba, The David Chronicles, Book 2 by Uvi Poznansky. Performed by Justin Harmer. This nearly 7 hours audio book really took me by surprise.
Uvi's way of weaving a flow of words that brings to life the greatest love story that most may have missed in our lives. How we heard about David killing the Giant. Or how Bathsheba the most beautiful women of her time. This tale is of how even the best of us can fall into the sin of that forbidden love. With someone already married and by the law of God untouchable. I love the way the words unfurl themselves as they are spoken by David. His way of expressing himself thru his poetry and telling of his tales of the past.
Knowing that he is only a man. Yet an anointed King of Israel, he must keep up all appearances. David speaks about his love for his wives. How they bring out the best and sometimes the worst of him. Telling of how each one of them became his bride and the challenges he met to win them over and sometimes not even then. For each one of the wives holding their place in his heart and succession of heirs they bear. Then, one day looking from his balcony he sees her, Bathsheba. The most beautiful woman he has ever seen. However, this adoration that must be seen from afar has now consumed him. He must have her. Yet, this was the wife of one of his soldiers. The passionate affair with her now has David now sending her husband in the way of harms way in battle. His way of covering this scandal.
Uvi choice of words has David speaking in such a way that you can feel the passion in her words. The words as they are spoken by James Harmer. Soft spoken yet with enough forcefulness to hold you captive for that moment in time. I enjoyed the way the story unfurled itself piece by piece. A huge puzzle gently put together and over time, you feel the pain that Bathsheba has at the loss of their son. How David deals with that death. How he feels that this is God's way of punishing them for their indiscretion. How James over the course of the book the change in his voice as it grows older and weary over time.
This story has been beautifully written. It has been narrated/performed to perfection giving that passive tone needed for such a tale.
This book was provided to me by the author for an honest review. However, at the time I did not have the first part of the David Chronicles. So I purchased that book so I can give a review of part one of this extraordinary story. All views above are solely mine and no way effected by others or their comments. Please take the time to let me know if this review was helpful or not. Always cherish comments as well.
A Peek at Bathsheba: The David Chronicles, Book 2, is a literary gem. Ms. Poznansky has paired her luscious telling of the life of David with a narrator most worthy. Mr. Justin Harmer's voice is liquid gold, with intonations so deft and moving that it's hard to imagine anyone else telling this story.
The story of David continues from Book 1, Rise to Power, through the third of the series, Edge of Revolt, just released. I plan to listen to the last book and hope Mr. Harmer will narrate this one as well.
David, the powerful narcissist who can wipe out entire villages with not a shred of guilt, yet who adores his (many) wives and children with most surprising tenderness, grows from youth to old man within the series. We experience frequent flashbacks or references to his youth in this story as well, which ties his life together very nicely.
I love Ms. Poznansky's evocative writing, and here is just one of many poetic scenes that moved me, describing David watching Bathsheba when she first came to his chambers:
"I sit at the edge of the bed, utterly fascinated by her beauty. Her
lashes are long, they flutter over her cheeks, and her hair waves
around her face with the rhythm of her steps. It glows like copper
under the flaming sconces, but when she crosses in front of the
window it turns blue against the moonshine."
You can call me a romantic, but this scene came alive for me with these and all of the well-chosen words in this novel.
Thank you, Ms. Poznansky, for allowing us to continue to believe that America still has great writers who carefully construct each sentence, and who can tell a great story at the same time.
- Highly recommended by Aaron Lazar
“A Peek at Bathsheba” is an enjoyable and thought-provoking book made even more engaging with Justin Hammer’s narration. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and I know that a narrator can make or break a book. In this case, Justin Hammer’s delivery is a wonderful match to Uvi Poznansky’s writing: his delivery is clear, emotional yet subtle, his transitions between different characters and the narrator make the book easy to listen to (even while driving!) and enjoyable to follow.
Uvi Poznansky makes the story of King David accessible and interesting. King David is very much a human being before he is King and, like all people, he has human struggles and emotions, eternal and ever-lasting.
While Uvi Poznansky’s book clearly stems from her extensive knowledge of the biblical story, research, and art history (she’s an artist herself, too!), this book is a work of fiction, written in a contemporary voice that makes it much easier for today’s readers to relate to the story and to King David. As in her other books, her descriptions in “A Peek at Bathsheba” are beautiful, vivid, majestic and poetic. The book is a work of art but it is also an engaging story – what a treat! I love Uvi Poznansky’s subtle humor and insightful commentaries. I’m curious to see how the change in Bathsheba that is beginning in this book will play out in the next book in the David Chronicles series.
lover of life and God
I find it fascinating to consider what the back story might have been of people whose lives are a well-known part of history. Ms. Poznansky does an excellent job of coloring in the intimate details of the lives of King David and his wife Bathsheba, which fits comfortably into the documented facts. While I believe this "man after God's own heart" experienced a more loving, trusting, personal relationship with Jehovah than is depicted here, I found the depicted perceptions and motives that the author intertwined into fostering the political climate and its resulting effects upon individuals and kingdoms alike, to be very plausible and added so much more realism and humanness to an otherwise dry historic account. Justin Harmer's luxurious accent was easy to listen to, with excellent timing and expressiveness. Poznansky is obviously one highly gifted writer, and I look forward to experiencing more of her exceptional work.
Another breathtaking journey into the life of King David. Once again, Ms. Pozanski has given us a glimpse onto the life and times of this inscrutable near myth, turning him into a real man. Her language is his language making his thoughts, his desires, his ambitions vividly alive, beckoning us into his world from the onset..."A long time ago I used to think that my youth was to blame for failing to understand my wives. No longer can I use that excuse, because I know all too well, there is no youth in me anymore. Which leaves me as baffled as ever, especially when it comes to the one woman I adore: Bathsheba." And just like that we are swept into his world.
And though the book revolves around his love for Bathsheba, it is so much more, fraught with wondrous and sumptuous language..."The hours swell into a day, and the day drains into night, during which the shadow dissolves." He speaks of the familiar scent of soil, the intoxicating smell of jasmine blooming in the air, and the gleam of the setting sun as it runs down the curve of his steed's neck.
But my favorite parts are when he wonders about death, and
what will happen to his dreams when he is gone? "Will they fizz out, too? . . . What will last, when I am swallowed by the void? Who will be left to imagine her, rising from the foam?"
When he engages in repartee with his advisors, especially the religious ones, and when he questions Abiathar regarding a military prophecy, I was in stitches... "Circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees.” said Abiathar, "Really? God mentioned poplar trees?” asked David. “He did,” said Abiathar..." the whole conversation between them is almost as it would have been lifted from my own brain, as David continues to wonder at the precise instructions, but hesitates to ask, “Really?” again, because "The last thing I wished to do was clash with an extremely devout person." I know that the last thing I WANT TO DO IS ARGUE WITH AN EXTREMELY DEVOUT PERSON!
I love when he wonders at how a woman, " is likened, in our culture, to an ox or donkey." Then declares, "If I were a woman, which— thank God!— I am not, I would riot in the streets over this."
And how, "As a poet I play with flowery expressions. As a politician I arm myself with them to achieve my goals." He also likes to use poetic language to skew and manipulate the truth just a bit, especially when dealing with his wives. It makes him so much more real.
I could go on and on, but I won't because you must experience this for yourself, bathe yourself in this exotic world and take A Peek at Bathsheba.
I LOVE this audible version. Justin Harmer's voice is like molten chocolate, lending a rich and evocative tone to Ms Pozanski's gorgeous prose.
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