Another breathtaking journey into the life of King David. Once again, Ms. Pozanski has given us a glimpse onto the life and times of this inscrutable near myth, turning him into a real man. Her language is his language making his thoughts, his desires, his ambitions vividly alive, beckoning us into his world from the onset..."A long time ago I used to think that my youth was to blame for failing to understand my wives. No longer can I use that excuse, because I know all too well, there is no youth in me anymore. Which leaves me as baffled as ever, especially when it comes to the one woman I adore: Bathsheba." And just like that we are swept into his world.
And though the book revolves around his love for Bathsheba, it is so much more, fraught with wondrous and sumptuous language..."The hours swell into a day, and the day drains into night, during which the shadow dissolves." He speaks of the familiar scent of soil, the intoxicating smell of jasmine blooming in the air, and the gleam of the setting sun as it runs down the curve of his steed's neck.
But my favorite parts are when he wonders about death, and what will happen to his dreams when he is gone? "Will they fizz out, too? . . . What will last, when I am swallowed by the void? Who will be left to imagine her, rising from the foam?"
When he engages in repartee with his advisors, especially the religious ones, and when he questions Abiathar regarding a military prophecy, I was in stitches... "Circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees.” said Abiathar, "Really? God mentioned poplar trees?” asked David. “He did,” said Abiathar..." the whole conversation between them is almost as it would have been lifted from my own brain, as David continues to wonder at the precise instructions, but hesitates to ask, “Really?” again, because "The last thing I wished to do was clash with an extremely devout person." I know that the last thing I WANT TO DO IS ARGUE WITH AN EXTREMELY DEVOUT PERSON!
I love when he wonders at how a woman, " is likened, in our culture, to an ox or donkey." Then declares, "If I were a woman, which— thank God!— I am not, I would riot in the streets over this."
And how, "As a poet I play with flowery expressions. As a politician I arm myself with them to achieve my goals." He also likes to use poetic language to skew and manipulate the truth just a bit, especially when dealing with his wives. It makes him so much more real.
I could go on and on, but I won't because you must experience this for yourself, bathe yourself in this exotic world and take A Peek at Bathsheba.
I also have the audible version which I most highly recommend. Justin Harmer's voice is like molten chocolate, lending a rich and evocative tone to Ms Pozanski's gorgeous prose.