Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Review: Abigail by Jill Eileen Smith

About the book:

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?

Jill Eileen Smith, bestselling author of Michal, draws on Scripture, historical research, and her imagination as she fills in the blanks to unveil the story of Abigail and David in rich detail and drama. The result is a riveting page-turner that will keep readers looking forward to the next book in this trilogy.

My thoughts:

Abigail, as well as book one in the Wives of King David series, Michal, are hands down two of the best Biblical fiction books I've read in a very long time! I have always wanted to know about David and his life from his boyhood all the way to his place as Israel's king. Both of Ms. Smith's books give tons of insight on what it might have been like back then, and more specifically, what it might have been like to be the wife of a king.

I have to admit that I struggled with this book a little bit in the beginning. Before I tell explain the reason why, I have to commend the author for keeping up with three overlapping storylines that span over both of her books. You see, Abigail does not pick up where Michal left off. Rather, it tells each story as it happened while providing little snippets here and there of what's happening elsewhere. While telling Abigail's story, the author kept me up to date with what was currently happening with David as he continued to flee for his life from King Saul. During David's portions of the story, he would occasionally allude to missing Michal, and how he wished he had taken her with him when he first fled from King Saul. I didn't mind that the story kept going back and forth between Abigail and David, but I found myself wanting to know more about Abigail and less about David hiding out in one cave and then another. That part seemed to be a little repititious since so much of it was already covered in the first book.

I thought the author did a wonderful job portraying Abigail's internal struggle between wanting to please God by honoring her marriage vows, and her desire to be free of her abusive husband, Nabal. Right after their wedding, Abigail was very outspoken with her belief in God and His laws, but Nabal does not want to hear any of it, and instead, he basically beats her to shut her up. As time goes by in their marriage, Abigail quickly learns that she's better off to keep silent and try to avoid the beatings if at all possible. I felt an incredible sadness when reading this because as we all know, not much has changed through the years with those types of relationships.

The most moving part of the book for me was after Abigail and David were married and she was with child. During that time, the author wrote that David penned Psalm 139 which is the psalm about how God knit us together in our mother's womb. Now I don't know if that timeline is accurate, but how it appeared in the story was simply beautiful. It was gradual, giving just a little taste here and there, and by the time the full psalm was written in the story, I was so overcome with emotion thinking about how God above truly does care about us from the very first moment of our lives.

There are some authors out there that, when they find their niche in writing, they need to stick with it. So, um, Ms. Smith....don't stop what you're doing! I was so impressed with your storytelling abilities as well as the loads of time you spent doing research to get everything just so. You definitely have great talent with this particular genre, and I can't wait to read what you've got in store with your next book...I'm really hoping it will be about Bathsheba. :o)

**Thanks to Revell for providing a free copy for review!

For more information, including a peek at the first chapter of Abigail, please visit http://thewivesofkingdavid.com/abigail/.

Click here to purchase your own copy of Abigail, or here to purchase Jill's first book, Michal.


  1. Great review ~ I've heard good things about this whole series. :o)

  2. This series is popping up everywhere. Thanks for another wonderful review. :)

    I have an award for you here:



  3. I am almost done wtih this book. I struggled a little bit with this book in like you said she did a little bit too much of David hidding out in the caves. I felt the same way wanting to know a little more about Abigail. I will probably be writing my reveiw of this book this week. I'm excited to start on the third book in this series. :)


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