Abigail's hopes and dreams for the future are wrapped up in her handsome, dark-eyed betrothed, Nabal. But when the long-awaited wedding day arrives, her drunken groom behaves shamefully. Nevertheless, Abigail tries to honor and respect her husband despite his abuse of her. Meanwhile, Abigail's family has joined David's wandering tribe as he and his people keep traveling to avoid the dangerous Saul. When Nabal suddenly dies, Abigail is free to move on with her life, and thanks to her brother, her new life includes a new husband--David. The dangers of tribal life on the run are serious, but there are other dangers in young Abigail's mind. How can David lead his people effectively when he goes against God? And how can Abigail share David's love with the other wives he insists on marrying?
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Abigail's marriage to Nabal was doomed to failure from the beginning. A handsome man, Nabal arrested her attention from the first and gave her hope for their future together. But when he begins their marriage by behaving shamefully, she still strives to honor her husband despite his drunken revelries almost every night and his blatant disrespect of Adonai.
David and his band of men protect Nabal's herds from being harmed in the wilderness, and when Nabal hears of it, he refuses to recognize David's service to him and recompense the men for their trouble. In a fit of anger, David orders Nabal and all the men of his house to be executed. Abigail intervenes by bringing food to David and his men, successfully keeping them from killing the men of her household. When Nabal dies suddenly, she is free to become David's wife. But some serious problems remain in her way: how can God bless David if he continually goes against His commands? And how can she be happy to share her husband with all the other women David keeps on marrying? Was she really better off the only wife to a man that abused her, rather than one of the wives of one of a future king?
This was an interesting twist to the well-known story of Abigail in the Old Testament. While we do not know if the real Abigail struggled immensely with having to share the king with his other wives, it stands to reason that women have not changed much over the centuries. This being the case, it was probably very hard to share David. Somehow, it was important to have her story included in the Biblical narrative, and Smith does a wonderful job of bringing her story to light, giving Abigail a voice that clearly echoes a desire to please the Lord in all things.
The second book in the Wives of King David series was as good as the first. It stayed true as did the first book. I liked that interaction between David and Abigail. A lot of the story takes place while David is in the desert on the run from Saul. There were times I felt sorry for Abigail, she seemed so out of place, but there was lots of dialogue that keep the story moving along. You don't have to read these books in order, but it would be helpful because there are a few things in Abigail that reference back to Michal, but nothing that would disrupt the storyline. Although I wasn't as fascinated with this story as I was with Michal, it was still a wonderful book. I do recommend it.
I loved this story. Jill gives a really good image of what it must have been like for Abigail being married to a king and how hard it must have been but also how much she loved him. She really goes in depth to make you see you know the character and feel what she feels. I love the way she includes scripture and I can't wait to read her next one. Thank you for using your gift that God gave you to make us see these Biblical characters clearer.
I have really enjoyed reading this series and it has opened my eyes to the lives of some of the women of the Bible. It has given me a lot of information about Biblical customs and has made me go back to my Bible and reread so much of the life of David. I received the items quickly and was kept informed of the process through my e-mail. Thank you for a good job. I especially like being able to read excerpts from the book on your site.
If you want the people of the Bible, particularly King David and his wife Abigail, to come to life as flesh and blood people who live, love, and make mistakes like we do, you can't go wrong by reading the novel, Abigail. Abigail is the second novel Jill Eileen Smith wrote about some of the wives of David. I loved the first novel, Michel, and wondered if the author could write as compelling a story about Abigail. She has exceeded my expectations.
Abigail is a woman who wants to serve God but has been frustrated by what life has thrown her. She is married to an abusive man and can see no way out. But when her husband suddenly dies, she's approached by David, the man Samuel anointed as king. She follows her heart and marry David. But life doesn't get any easier when you're on the run with a future king. But it's even worse to share the man you love with other women.
Any woman who wants to honor God but has been frustrated with the men in her life or who has been thrown some curves will relate to this wonderful story. I highly recommend it and can't wait to read Jill Eileen Smith's next novel about the life of Bathsheeba.
Abigail by Jill Eileen Smith is the second in The Wives of King David series. The author stays true to the biblical account and fills in a believable story of the women we know little about. It's a tricky task, to say the least, to stay true to the historical context when writing about multiple wives. But Jill treats the subject with care, centering on the feelings and struggles of these women. The story unfolds so that even those who know the biblical account of David and Saul will keep reading to find out what happens, and most likely readers will want to look up the biblical account and read it again, as I did.I loved the first book in the series, Michal. Many times the second book in a series will not live up to the first. Not so with Abigail. I loved it just as much. I look forward to the next one.Cindy ThomsonAuthor of Brigid of Ireland: A Historical Novel(copy received from publisher for review)
Jill Smith does an excellent job of developing biblical characters and inventing a supporting cast. She has skillfully woven together a multi-faceted story to create a compelling, touching drama of Israel's most beloved king. Abigail's early struggles with her foolish first husband, Nabal, reveal her grace and composure under pressure; but her wisdom and love of YAHWEH ultimately set her apart and win David's devotion. The reason I read biblical fiction is to send me deeper into the lives of biblical characters. I want the author to challenge me to see something new in the history or in a character that I haven't perceived in my daily perusal of the Scriptures. Jill Eileen Smith has done that with King David and with Abigail. In both of these characters I saw their spiritual struggles with God. I felt their emotional battles and their victories. This book turned my heart back to David's Psalms for comfort and to 1 & 2 Samuel for clarification. Bravo, Jill! I'll be recommending these books heartily!
I love this series by Jill Eileen Smith. Not only is it an incredibly interesting time period, but Jill has a way of getting inside the heads of these people and making you feel a part of the story. My caution is that anytime you are reading Biblical fiction you have to remember that the author is writing their interpretation of true events. It can be difficult to separate the fiction from the fact, but I think that good Biblical fiction is invaluable for making old stories current and relevant to our lives now. With that being said...Abigail is a fascinating woman. She is in a horrid marriage to a stupid man and she goes behind his back after he insults David and she rescues the lives of all the men on her husband's estate. Instead of letting anyone kill him, she continues to honor him and God takes care of the situation. At that time she becomes David's next wife. Little understanding just how difficult that would be years later. Would she regret her decision later? She could never be David's one and only love, but she could be a woman of grace and strength.I can not recommend this series by Jill Eileen Smith highly enough!
Jill Eileen Smiths second story in the Wives of King David remains more than faithful to the Word. She reminds us that society has not changed since the fall. Our natural tendency toward sin is no excuse, and everyone around us suffers when we fail as children of God.Smith paints Abigail, widow of Nabal of Maon, as a woman chosen by David as a wife for love, not contract or obligation. Smith recreates a believable description of life with the fool, the meaning of Nabals name. When Abigail hears of Nabals refusal to gift the exiled David and his men with food, even though the men have protected Nabals sheep and crops from marauders, Abigail rushes to offer food to ward off Davids impending revenge. Nabal is struck by the hand of God and dies. David moved quickly to acquire Abigail, and Nabals wealth.Although Abigail falls in love with David, she sometimes feels as though shes exchanged a life of violence with Nabal to one of jealousy and sorrow with David, as she knowingly enters a polygamous relationship and often admits her disappointment. The painful description of life on the run, of warfare, kidnapping, betrayal and murder made Smiths tale occasionally haunting to read. Even as Smith has her hero promise to try to be faithful to God above all and not hurt Abigail, whom he favors as wife, he realizes and confesses his weaknesses. Much as I enjoyed this book, it was difficult to live vicariously with Abigail. I can hardly imagine how Smith will treat Bathsheba, but I know Ill want to read it.
The Bible is a wonderful book which provides us with many details about the lives of many people. Jill Eileen Smith is a wonderful author who is providing us a fictional glimpse into several of these people in her The Wives of King David series. The life of 'Abigail is chronicled in the Bible primarily in 1 Samuel 25. Jill fleshed out her story using a lot of research. She studied the Bible and visited Israel for her research, and I would assume she also used some extrabiblical resources. As a seminary student, I was very impressed with the detail in this book. She did a wonderful job of transporting back one thousand years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. Jill paints a wonderful and solid portrait of a faithful, honorable, beautiful and intelligent woman. David is portrayed in a very complimentary light. He is definitely a man after Gods own heart (Samuel 13:14). His decisions are made with Adonai as his main focus. He comes across as handsome and charismatic just as I am sure he was! I appreciate Jill helping to bring the people from the Bible into more vivid life and light. It's always helpful to flesh out the stories so that they're more available for the current readers who may have little knowledge of daily life in the period of the Old Testament. The characters in the book are 3D. In addition to Abigails beauty & intelligence, Jill is not afraid to show her as being selfish & jealous at time. And David, in addition to his charisma & battle acumen, has bouts of pride & lack of faith. I am grateful that Jill adds dimension to Abigail and to David, while not adding to or detracting from Scripture. The next book in the series will be entitled Bathsheba. There has been so much speculation on the motives of that wife of David; that will definitely be an interesting story! This book was provided to me by Revell for review purposes.Reviewed by Andrea Schultz Ponderings by Andrea
Abigail's story touched my heart, inspired me, and made me want to love people more. I also loved the multiple love scenes between Abigail and David. Hot, but tasteful, which is the way it should be. Very realistic and just edgy enough to make me want to say, "Go, Jill!" Most young people watch movies and read books that make this look mild in comparison, so it was very suitable for teens, IMHO, because it gives the right message. The way the author illustrated Abigail's marriage to Nabal was great, but it was even more exciting when her life touched David's. And when she had her first child I was impressed with how she showed David's handling of the situation and her misunderstanding it. Here is the best part! Unlike a lot of secular Biblical fiction authors, Jill Eileen Smith shows David's imperfections and those of his wives with great taste and in a way that honored God. He was easy to love in spite of his flaws because she handled his character development so well, while at the same time keeping it true to the Scriptures. One of my favorite aspects of this story was how the author sprinkled various Scriptures into the scenes when they were appropriate. Wonderful, wonderful book and highly recommended.
The second installment in The Wives of King David trilogy, Smith has chosen to pass over Davids second wife the even less frequently mentioned Ahinoam in favor of the woman who clearly possessed a great deal of personal fortitude to move in direct opposition to the wishes of a foolish husband. Told in a tighter time frame, Abigail benefits from richer character development and a fuller ability to understand this woman, than did the series debut Michal which covered a larger span, leaping past decades at a time.Through Abigail, Smith is able to more deeply explore the struggles women in polygamous marriages may face on a daily basis. Though the third of Davids wives, Abigail was present for the addition of each of his other spouses while Michal was absent for the majority of those marriages. Smith eloquently captures the unquenchable longing of a woman for her husband, resulting in a deeply sympathetic characterization.Smiths writing jumps from formal phrasing more in line with historical fiction to surprisingly modern turns of phrase, an irritating inconsistency. Generally true to the biblical narrative, Smith fills in the blanks believably but stretches it once towards the end in a way that I felt was unjustified.The multi-layered tapestry that Smith is weaving with this series is coming into clearer focus. Characters only briefly mentioned in Michal are seen with additional depth through Abigails eyes. When the two novels are read in conjunction with one another multiple points of view on certain events are available for reflection.Each story in The Wives of King David stands alone, and yet each is linked to the other. It will be great fun to read through the series again once its complete applying the character insights and events of the later novels to those read earlier.
When I picked up the book of Abigail I could not put it down. Abigail's life begins with her marriage to Nabal. She had a dreaded fear for her life. This is not what she dreamed marriage to be. She seemed to have lost herself in this marriage and finds herself following David and his tribe. Abigail is brought to life right before our eyes and in our hearts. This story is powerful, thought provoking, and inviting. It carries with it details into her life and the ways of the time in which she lived. This book carries us back to ancient times, to life, death, betrayal and love. We can see deep into Abigail's heart as we walk with her through her journey. These rich visions of the past hold us throughout the whole book. I enjoyed reading Abigail. It gave me an even clearer picture of her and what she went through. It drew me in and grabbed my heart, as we women can relate to her so well. She went through many struggles and she finally captures love, but has she had to give to get there? Come and take a walk with Abigail and see her story come to life. This book was given to me as a gift for review from Revell.
Abigail was an enjoyable novel that brought to life the story of Abigail and David. Jill does a wonderful job of unpacking the details of culture and life in Biblical times that we do not always understand in reading the Biblical account. This books gives dimension to the felt Sunday School character you learned about as a child and brings color to the black and white pages of the Bible you read today. I thought that Jill did well including all the Biblical information we have available through Scripture, but one needs to be cautious to remember through out reading this story that the majority of it is still fiction. Abigail is a wonderful book for any woman who wants to better understand the Bible times and enjoy a relaxing read at the same time. However, I am not sure that the emotional issues of this story are appropriate for younger teen girls. I would highly recommend Moms to read this book before allowing their teen daughter of to do so and then, if so, I encourage you to take advantage of the conversation that can come from having both read the story.
I love the cover of this book. Covers are a big thing to me. Right away I want to open the book and start reading. Of course since I read Michel, the first book in The Wives of King David series I already know I like Jill's writing style. I am surprised that I can relate to these women who lived so many years ago. Jill makes the people and the times come to life. Her research skills show.
The exciting second book in THE WIVES OF KING DAVID series swept me back to ancient Israel as King Saul seeks Davids life. Jill Eileen Smith made me feel as if I were there in the hillside caves with David and his soldiers, hiding from Sauls army, and dealing with the sometimes unsettling effects of having wives and children in tow.Abigail, a beautiful fifteen-year-old Israelite, is sold to handsome but cruel Nabal, to reduce her fathers debt to Nabals father. And although she bristles at Nabals mistreatment, she finds solace in her secret garden, longing to be loved. That will come, but not without difficulties. Perhaps loveat any priceis worth it.Expertly researched and skillfully written, Abigail and David became real people with real faith in God and real weaknesses. I loved this book! 375 pages.