The Anointed by Michael Arditti
Michal is a princess, Abigail a wealthy widow, and Bathsheba a soldier’s bride, but as women in Ancient Israel their destiny is the same: to obey their fathers, serve their husbands and raise their children.
Marriage to King David seems to offer them an escape, but behind the trappings of power they discover a deeply conflicted man. The legendary hero who slew Goliath, founded Jerusalem and saved Israel is also a vicious despot who murders his rivals, massacres his captives and menaces his harem.
Michael Arditti’s masterly new novel centres on three fascinating, formidable women, whose voices have hitherto been silenced. As they tell of love and betrayal, rape and revenge, motherhood and childlessness, they not only present the time-honoured story in a compelling new light but expose a conflict between male ruthlessness and female resistance, which remains strikingly pertinent today.
This is the retelling of the story of King David, but this is no ordinary retelling as the story is from the perspective of three women. The Anointed (Arcadia Books) by Michael Arditti. Novel rich in history of biblical times as Michal, Abigail and Bathsheba all formidable women give voice when at a time women were silenced and to obey their fathers and serve their husbands. But this is the story of the three women.
All three women were married to King David, Michal is a princess and daughter of Saul, Abigail is a wealthy widow of Carmelite Nabal and Bathsheba was a soldiers wife, before King David she was married to Uriah before being widowed. Now all three are married to the hero who slaid Goliath and went on to found Jerusalem and hero of Israel.
But there is more to King David as he is brutal despot who murders anyone who is against him and then there is the massacres, and the story tells of how he treats his wives. The women silenced but this is their story and it a story of long ago but one that is important today.
The women tell of love, rape, betrayal, sorrow, childlessness, and revenge. A story from the women’s perspective is a strong one and is thought provoking as we look at King David in a new perspective.
It is though Bathsheba who will come out of this story as the stronger and more powerful she will have a son who will be called Solomon who will be just as cruel and brutal as his father.
But there is something else within King David that only one of his wives can seem to be able to see. Despite the horrors and how he treats his wives there is real sadness in David a tragic sadness perhaps, it is Abigail that only sees this through her own eyes.
Although this is a retelling of the story of King David, it is a powerful historical story that brings the story of King David to life. A man who believes he was the chosen one by the Lord.
Thought provoking and challenging but I really enjoyed The Anointed by Michael Arditti. If you like your historical novels then I will recommend you read as historical Israel is brought to life.
My thanks to Amber Choudhary and Midas PR for the review copy of The Anointed by Michael Arditti
The Anointed by Michael Arditti is published by Arcadia Books and on 20th May 2021 and is available to order through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop or through Bookshop.org that supports your local independent bookshop. UK Bookshop.org
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