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Abigail: A Novel (The Wives of King David) Paperback – February 1, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 211 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Wives of King David Series

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

David. It had to be.
The sight of the king's son-in-law was nothing like she had imagined. In the stories she'd heard of him, he was the shepherd and singer and the man who would kill to marry the woman he loved. The last thought should have warned her of the fierce warrior who strode down the hill, gaze angry and proud. He was more handsome than Nabal, but his expression was as dark as Nabal's had been the night he had assaulted her the first year of their marriage.
Adonai, help me! Her knees grew weak, and she wasn't sure they would hold her, but she reined in her donkey just the same and slipped from its back. David's pace didn't slow until he stopped within an arm's length. She sucked in a startled breath. He was so close she could feel the strength of him, smell his sweat. Unable to stand without swaying, she fell to her knees and lowered her face to the dust.
"My lord . . . please, let me speak to you. Hear what your servant has to say." She stopped and waited for his response, her heart pounding.
Silence spanned between them like a wide chasm. She felt his touch on her head. "Rise and speak." His voice was quiet and hoarse, as though he didn't trust himself to say more.

From the Back Cover

What price must she pay for true love?

Her days marked by turmoil and faded dreams, Abigail has resigned herself to a life with a man she does not love. But when circumstances offer her a second chance at happiness with the handsome David, she takes a leap of faith to join his wandering tribe. Still, her struggles are far from over. How can she share his love with the other women he insists on marrying?

Abigail follows the bestselling Michal and continues Jill Eileen Smith's rich story of David's wives.

"With skill honed by years of historical research, made sharper still with a gifted passion for storytelling, Jill Eileen Smith crafts the story of Abigail in a way that takes us deep into the heart of King David and into the heart of a woman determined to follow God's will, no matter the cost to her--or to the man she loves."--Tamera Alexander, bestselling author of From a Distance and The Inheritance

"Smith's writing swept me back to ancient days and brought Abigail and David's love story vividly to life."--Deborah Raney, award-winning author of Almost Forever and the Clayburn Novels

"A rich tapestry of an era filled with love and longing that rings true across the centuries."--Siri Mitchell, author of Love's Pursuit

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling author of Michal. Her 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. Jill lives with her family in Michigan.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Wives of King David (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Revell; Reprinted edition (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800733215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800733216
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
This novel should be on the NY Times best-seller list. I'm not kidding! In fact, I don't think I've ever said this before about any book I've reviewed. For people who love Biblical fiction, this story should knock their socks off. I'll tell you why...

I was totally entrenched in the lives of the characters and the setting the entire time I read this book. I would've read it straight through if life hadn't gotten in the way. I loved the realism, the emotion, the romance, the way the characters communicated. And the whole multiple wives and the jealousies between them was masterfully done. The writing in this book was also top-notch. It was gripping and smooth with no jarring moments or clunky writing phrases. Can you tell I loved this book?

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!" 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.
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Format: Paperback
Jill has written this book with excellent attention to detail and obviously, after a great deal of thought and study. I had a lot of trouble with excessively heavy biases in all the books in this series. I will not be reading further books, as I have Jewish roots and do not wish to read about my forebears in this manner.

While it can be of inestimable value to take those whose lives are described in the Bible and tell their story in fiction, it is an area which is problematic. In building plot and understanding, we can misrepresent those people. Judgements and inaccurate motivations can be assigned to people (not 'characters,' those in the Bible are people deserving respect) without intention to offend. These stay in the mind's of readers and can have a negative effect on their reading of the Word.

The constant, hostile interaction between David's wives, and some of the more intimate aspects of the book, made me cringe. David was constantly portrayed in a negative, one dimensional way, which made no sense it the light of his documented spiritual character. I skipped over many parts and would dearly have loved to see Abigail portrayed as the capable woman she was; not a modern version with 21st century values and less backbone.

BUT if you take fiction as that: a wonderful story with grains of truth, then Jill's books are a great read. They do make you think deeper.

God bless you Jill. I am sorry I couldn't say something more positive, I have really battled with these reviews... But at the end of the day, this is my blood family and loyalty won out.
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