Of the scant female biblical characters, few are as intriguing as Avishag the Shunammite: a young girl brought from obscurity to the court of the aged King David, to warm the king's bed and stir his aged blood. Though 'exceedingly fair', she does not become the King's concubine. Reticent and loyal to David, she becomes an unwitting magnet, drawing the attention of the kingdom's most powerful men. As the sons of David - Adonijah the Judean and Solomon the Wise stake their claims, it is Avishag who will play the decisive role in the bloody rivalry for the succession
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The author is a well educated Israeli woman who has researched the story in the original Hebrew and doesn't appear to be pushing any agenda of her own. She gives historical background for her novel and includes some opposing viewpoints. There are only a few obscure lines about Avishag in the Bible but in Lotan's novel she comes alive as an intelligent resourceful young woman. Batsheva, on the other hand, comes across as rather evil.
Great Reading !!!! Apr 14, 2003
The author writes from a knowledgable standpoint in the eyes of a handmaiden often forgotten until you re-read the Bible itself. While it is not as sensous as the Red Tent By Anita Diamant, the story sheds light on the period of instability when David's sons vied for position. Add this to your library of biblical fiction.
Pure fun Jan 1, 2003
ItÕs a wonderful escapist book. Just lie back and enjoy the sounds, smells, and feel of ancient Jerusalem. Growing up reading the bible, this book brought all the biblical characters of this period to life in vivid colors and made them human and real. Avishag is a beautiful character, the exact opposite the stereotype of the biblical concubine. SheÕs smart, independent, resourceful and powerful. If I were a teenager she would be a role model.