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The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
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The Secret Chord

by Geraldine Brooks

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8515815,881 (3.79)98
  1. 00
    Queenmaker by India Edghill (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: In these historical novels, the Biblical King David emerges as a complex, flawed man willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his ambitions. The Secret Chord is framed as the prophet Nathan's chronicle; David's first wife Michal narrates Queenmaker.… (more)
  2. 00
    The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Transcending their scriptural origins, the subjects of these biographical novels become complex, flawed human beings whose strengths and weaknesses shape their lives. The Secret Chord depicts King David of Israel; The Red Tent introduces Dinah, daughter of the Biblical Jacob.… (more)
  3. 00
    The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (novelcommentary)
    novelcommentary: Similar narrative idea
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» See also 98 mentions

English (57)  Italian (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
This book was well-written but left me with mixed feelings. It gives an interesting look at one possible view of culture in the Near East of about 4000 years ago, but is also disturbing. I wonder how much the idea (or problem) of being alone was a problem, as in Turkish culture (seen even in popular TV shows like Sihirli Annem, particularly in episode 38 https://www.kanald.com.tr/sihirliannem/38-bolum/2567?p=3).

26 Jan. 12017 HE
Shira ( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
I always look forward to reading a book by author Geraldine Brooks, and The Secret Chord was another story where this author breathed life into history by telling an ancient biblical legend, the story of David. Told through the eyes of his profit, Natan, we see a young shepherd’s boy rise to be the chosen one of God. He has style, charisma and a savvy knowledge of people and their desires. He is able to gather men to him, bind the various tribes and city states of Judah together into the country of Israel.

Unfortunately David’s downfall turns out to be his family. He had been an unloved child of a drunkard, so when he had sons of own from his various wives, he pampered them and allowed no one to cross them. This in turn yielded a group of princes who were spoiled and jealous of one another. Like many great men, David could not see the weaknesses in his sons and this in turn lead to fratricide, treason and betrayal.

This story of a magnetic yet flawed warrior king is exciting, interesting and a very good read given the author’s restraints of having to follow what the bible has laid out as key points in David’s life. The Secret Chord served to remind me why I remain a huge fan of both historical fiction in general and Geraldine Brooks in particular. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jan 28, 2019 |
Another good story told by Geraldine Brooks. She brings the people and places of history to life with her excellent writing and storytelling skills. ( )
  thejohnsmith | Oct 27, 2018 |
Told through Nathan, the book follows the story of David's rise to power and the consequences of his murder of Uriah. While the plot is well-known, the treatment of David as both a charismatic leader and a flawed human being offers a more human view of this great king. ( )
  4leschats | Oct 22, 2018 |
I love Brooks, but for me this is not her best work. I never felt engaged with the characters and would have preferred a different narrator. Worth reading, but usually Brooks transports me, this time it was not happening. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
"It isn’t for me to argue with Scripture, but I will say that Geraldine Brooks’s latest novel, “The Secret Chord” — a thundering, gritty, emotionally devastating reconsideration of the story of King David — makes a masterly case for the generative power of retelling."
 
"Though she offers no compelling alternative read of David, the fact that she manages to faithfully reconstruct the story is itself something of a feat, as is her evocation of a highly complex character in a manner that is at once critical and also deeply sympathetic."
 
"But in making David so satisfyingly human, Brooks has crafted from The Secret Chord a compelling read, contemporary in its relevance."
 
"From the texture of wool tunics, the fragility of clay tablets, and the easy grazing of goats to the outsized pride of the men, the unquestioned subjugation of women, and the hot brutality of the nonstop battles, Brooks’s vision of the biblical world is enrapturing."
 
"In many ways, “The Secret Chord” reads like a prose poem, with battle after battle recounted in detail, but it’s a page turner of a poem."
 
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Epigraph
"Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the words of Samuel the seer, and in the words of Nathan the prophet..." I Chronicles 29
"Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the history of Nathan the prophet..." 2 Chronicles 9:29
Dedication
To Nathaniel...
"...the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not."
First words
There was an almond blossom, yesterday.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670025771, Hardcover)

A rich and utterly absorbing novel about the life of King David, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of People of the Book and March
 
With more than two million copies of her novels sold, New York Times bestselling author Geraldine Brooks has achieved both popular and critical acclaim. Now, Brooks takes on one of literature’s richest and most enigmatic figures: a man who shimmers between history and legend. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.

The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David’s life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected.  We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him—from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 23 Mar 2015 10:48:43 -0400)

Traces the arc of King David's journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.

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