Monday, August 31, 2015

Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty

Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty
A Dangerous Beauty Novel
Angela Hunt
(Bethany House)
ISBN: 978-0764216961
August 2015/384 pages/$14.99

One of Ancient Israel's Most Famous Women--
As You've Never Looked at Her Before

One of the Bible's most misunderstood and misjudged women, Bathsheba comes to life in this new biblical reimagining from Angela Hunt. Combining historical facts with detailed fiction, this is an eye-opening portrait that will have you reconsidering everything you thought you knew about her.

After receiving God's promise of a lifelong reign and an eternal dynasty, King David forces himself on Bathsheba, a loyal soldier's wife. When her resulting pregnancy forces the king to murder her husband and add her to his harem, Bathsheba struggles to protect her son while dealing with the effects of a dark prophecy and deadly curse on the king's household.

Read an excerpt.


The author of more than 100 published books and with nearly 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty. Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, Angela completed her PhD in biblical studies in theology. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs. She can be found online at


I've often said that I normally give Biblical fiction a wide berth, but if it's written by Angela Hunt, I know it is steeped in research and Biblical truth. The first of her Dangerous Beauty novels, Esther: Royal Beauty, captivated me (my review is here), and I was intrigued by the concept of tob beauty as Angela Hunt explained it when I interviewed her last summer. This new novel is just as compelling. Much of the story of David and Bathsheba in the Bible focuses on David, and Hunt's portrayal of Bathsheba's persepective fascinated me. Bathsheba and Uriah's deep love for one another and Uriah's steadfast loyalty to the king he served make David's actions even more reprehensible. Hunt's commitment to accuracy combines with her gift of story as she depicts Bathsheba's life before and after she entered palace life. I ached for Bathsheba as she was plucked from her home in the midst of her grief and placed among the unwelcoming concubines and wives. Her strength and reliance on HaShem and his promises inspired and reminded me of God's sovereignty and ability to redeem the worst of man's sins. Angela Hunt remains firmly among the top five of my must-read author list, and I can't wait to read the final novel about Delilah, coming in 2016! Don't miss Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Enjoy this mini-interview with the author, provided by the publisher:


1. Biblical fiction readers always want to know how much of the novel is true and how much is fiction. How much did you have to invent for Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty?
Not much. In my biblical fiction—in all my historical fiction, really—I take pains never to contradict the historical record. And since the Bible is the alpha historical record, I took great pains not to contradict anything in it. Example: I didn’t realize that Bathsheba had three other sons until my third or fourth draft, so I had to go back and write them in! It would have been easier to simply focus on David, Bathsheba, and Solomon, but that wouldn’t have been accurate.

Scripture doesn’t tell us much about Bathsheba, but it tells us a great deal about David, Solomon, Ahithophel, and all the other players, so it wasn’t difficult to put all the pieces together and then imagine what Bathsheba must have been feeling and doing in those situations. It’s a fascinating story when you consider what life in David’s palace must have been like.

2. Readers have noticed that you always include a bibliography at the end of your historical novels. Why?
Because it’s so easy for readers to assume that I simply made things up. I started my career as a nonfiction writer, so everything I write is based in reality (probably why I don’t write fantasy). Novels may not be actual, but I believe they should deal with facts and truths. The “fictional” parts that I have to create have their roots in facts, logic, and probabilities.

3. What sort of historical novels do you like to read?
All of them! I haven’t yet found a time period that didn’t interest me. The only books that don’t interest me are those in which too much is “made up.” I would never use a novel for research, but as a writer, I want to believe that other writers did the necessary homework.

4. Which do you like better, writing historicals or writing contemporary novels?
I have to say that I don’t have a preference. All of my novels have required research of some sort (I love research!), because my contemporaries are usually about something interesting—to me, anyway. The two genres require exercising different creative muscles, so I enjoy mixing them up. After a few historicals, I yearn to write contemporary; after a few contemporaries, I’m ready to go back into history again. (And when I’m tired of writing, I pick up my camera!)

5. Is there a genre you haven’t tried yet but would like to tackle?
YES! Time travel. I’m itching to write a time-travel novel or maybe a series.


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