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King David

June 2, 2016

How many times can you read about someone from the past with mythical status? The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks is a novel about King David that uses the biographical information contained in the Bible to piece together his life.

If the Bible doesn’t provide the most information and details about all stages of David’s life than anyone else, he certainly ranks in the top two or three. Well, Ms. Brooks uses what we already know and provides skin, bones, heart and emotions as well as lovers, friends, enemies, anger, ruthlessness, jealously, revenge, piety, respect and leadership to make David into a person that lives between the covers of the book. I know the story and know what happens but I couldn’t wait to find out what was coming next; and I thank the craft of the author for an enjoyable, and somewhat educational and inspiring page turning biography.

Rather than tell you more about this book, that I highly recommend, I want to quote from the beginning pages.

“Your line will not fail. Yet memory surely will. Your sons – what will they remember? Or their sons, after? When all who knew you in life are but bleached bone and dust, your descendants, your people, will crave to understand what manner of man you were when you did these deeds, first and last. Not just the deeds. The man.”

“It is true, what you say. When I was a youth, learning war, I often thought of it. We hear of men like Shalmanezer or Sargon, who won great battles. Of Ramses, who built the mighty temples on the backs of our ancestors, or of Hammurabi, who, they say, ruled with wise laws. But these are names only. It would be something to, to know their nature. To know them as men.” He paused. “To be known as a man.”

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