The Secret Chord
written by Geraldine Brooks
published by Penguin Books, 2016
About the book – from Goodreads: 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.
“A thundering, gritty, emotionally devastating reconsideration of the story of King David…I dare readers to take in Brooks’s rendition of [David’s life] without crying at least once. (I did, three times.)” —New York Times Book Review
“A page turner… Brooks is a master at bringing the past alive.” —Washington Post
“It’s this David — gifted artist, vainglorious alpha male, conflicted husband and father — that we meet in THE SECRET CHORD, the beautiful, subtle, grave new novel by Geraldine Brooks. For Brooks, a former journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize for March (2005), David is interesting not for his status as the most beautiful man in art history but, rather, for his matrix of contradictions, his prodigious talents at least balanced, if not nullified, by his instinct for self-gratification.” —USA Today
“The best historical fiction. . .Brooks gives the whole king his due. . .It’s a tall order to breathe life into such a human being, and she manages it admirably.”—NPR.org
“There’s something bordering on the supernatural about Geraldine Brooks. She seems able to transport herself back to earlier time periods, to time travel. Sometimes, reading her work, she draws you so thoroughly into another era that you swear she’s actually lived in it. With sensory acuity and a deep and complex understanding of emotional states, she conjures up the way we lived then. . .Brooks has humanized the king and cleverly added a modern perspective to our understanding of him. . .[Her] vision of the biblical world is enrapturing.” —The Boston Globe
About the author: Geraldine Brooks is the author of four novels, the Pulitzer Prize-winning March and the international bestsellers Caleb’s Crossing, People of the Book, and Year of Wonders. She has also written the acclaimed nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Caleb’s Crossing was the winner of the New England Book Award for Fiction and the Christianity Today Book Award, and was a finalist for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction. Born and raised in Australia, she lives on Martha’s Vineyard with her husband, the author Tony Horwitz.