Monday, February 22, 2010

Blog Tour: Abigail (Review)

From the pages of the Bible and the research of Jill Eileen Smith comes the tale of Abigail, one of the wives of King David.

Abigail's story begins when her hopes are dashed after her dark-eyed, yet drunken betrothed, Nabal, begins a pattern of abuse and shameless treatment.

Nevertheless, as Smith weaves her story about Abigail, she shows how the woman tries to honor and respect her husband despite his abuse.

As Abigail struggles to stay in her abusive marriage, her family flees the clutches of Nabal to join David's wandering tribe.

When Nabal suddenly dies, Abigail can move on with her life - and is suddenly given the opportunity to become David's newest wife.

Throughout Smith's tale, she examines the dangers of tribal life for David and his followers, and David's relationship with his wives - specifically with Abigail - and above all, his relationship with God.

She asks two questions throughout her novel: 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?

Pulling from both scripture and in-depth historical research - along with a vivid imagination - Smith attempts to tell Abigail's story from an unique perspective.

What I Thought
Wow. I truly loved this book.  Not only did Smith weave a tale that is gripping, but it truly made me stop at times, to grab for my Bible.

I mean, I've read the story of David, but this made me want to say - wait a minute - what does the Bible say. Is that really in there?

While Smith admits she draws on research and inspiration, the basis of her novel is true and pulled from the Biblical text.

Abigail's story examines the power of choices - both good and bad. It examines how a single choice (in Abigail's case, marrying David) can have a life-long impact.

I really liked this book, and now want to go back and read Michal's story. I can't wait to see what Smith develops in Bathsheba's story - book three of the Wives of King David - which is set for a 2011 release.

Find Abigail:
and your local bookstore.

The First Novel: Michal
Can their epic search for true love survive a father’s fury?

The daughter of King Saul, Michal lives a life of privilege–but one that is haunted by her father’s unpredictable moods and competition from her beautiful older sister. As a girl, Michal quickly falls for the handsome young harpist David. But soon after their romance begins, David must flee for his life, leaving Michal at her father’s mercy in the prison that is King Saul’s palace. Will Michal ever be reunited with David? Or is she doomed to remain separated from him forever?

Read the first chapter, and find some book club discussion questions here.
What's Ahead? 
Book Three: Bathsheba: A Novel
She longs for love, but succumbs to his charm – can she ever regain all she’s lost?Coming 2011

Find out more about the Wives of King David Series

More about Jill Eileen Smith
When Jill Eileen Smith isn’t writing, she enjoys time with her family, reading great stories, trying new recipes and snuggling her two adorable cats. Jill’s research into the lives of David’s wives has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Her collection of Bible study helps and books on culture and history, along with an abundance of novels fills at least one shelf or bookcase in nearly every room in the house.

She loves movies, travel, dark chocolate, black tea, stories with great characters and plots twists, and nights when she doesn’t have to cook! She and her husband Randy have been married for 32 years and together they have three grown sons. During 12 years of homeschooling, Jill studied the craft of writing with her eye on a future career. She has visited most of the continental United States (with the exception of the East Coast) along with Hawaii, Canada, and Israel. She has taught women’s Bible studies and piano and enjoys mentoring young writers. She lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Abigail, book two in The Wives of King David series was actually written before Michal, book one, during the first five years she homeschooled her three sons. Upon completion of the manuscript, Jill submitted Abigail to one editor at a  CBA publishing house. The editor took the book to committee, but the story was turned down because they were no longer looking for biblical fiction. Jill tucked the book away after that and turned to writing in other genres. But Abigail’s story has long been on her heart.

After she finished the draft that has become this book two in The Wives of King David series, Jill read a true-life story, Shattered Dreams, My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife. She was amazed to see how much the character she envisioned as Abigail carried similar feelings of frustration and distress as a modern-day woman caught in the life of polygamy. For women today who have suffered the anguish of sharing their man, either through infidelity or polygamy, Abigail’s story shares that pain.

When asked whether she writes from experience, whether Abigail’s story reflects her own life, Jill responds:

“Fortunately, no. I have never faced the pain of infidelity or even known anyone who shared her husband with another wife (as in polygamy) as so many biblical women did. But I have known women who have lost their husbands to another women in divorce and can imagine how awful that would feel. I’ve watched it happen to too many people I love.

“I have long been interested in examining the motives behind the actions of biblical characters. What made them tick? What was it about their culture that put women in such positions? How did they feel about the circumstances they were faced with? It always amazes me how closely the lives of biblical men and women parallels our modern lives today. Human nature does not change despite the centuries that separate us.”

To learn more about Jill or follow her musings, visit her personal

About Revell, The Publisher
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet. For more information, visit

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

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