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Queenmaker: A Novel of King David's Queen

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  1,320 ratings  ·  118 reviews
The only woman in the Bible who is noted to have loved a man, Queen Michal was King David's childhood sweetheart, his first wife, and daughter of his great friend and greater enemy, King Saul. Married to and then abandoned by David at age 14, Michal is forced to marry him again and become his first queen ten years later. Thrown into transition and turmoil, Queen Michal res ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by St. Martin's Press (first published December 1st 1999)
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Having studied the story of David very closely, I was delighted to see that India Edghill’s story deftly releases the inherent tensions hidden in the conventional biblical accounts of this hero of the Old Testament. No one could be that powerful and "heroic" without also being ruthless and self-centered! Not only are is the era (ca. 1000BCE) drawn in a palpable, realistic, sensual way, but also the behind-the-scenes motives and machinations which help explore and fill in the gaps between David t ...more
My husband spotted this book on the library shelf and handed it to me. When I read the inside cover, I was really intrigued - a novel that shows King David's life from the perspective of Michal, his first wife. That should be interesting!

Well... I didn't like the narrating style. This tells the story of Michal and also of David's rise to power but it was narrated from the perspective of Michal's final days of life, as if she was looking back on her life. Therefore, there was a lot of "I thought
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Heather Zuber-Harshman
India Edghill paints a vivid picture of life and love during the reign of the Biblical King David. She draws the reader along on every step she takes, generally giving only enough description for you to "see" what is occurring.

She creates true characters that have flaws, admirable qualities, fears, frustrations, and desires. Ms. Edghill also artfully entices you from one chapter or section to another. She frequently ends with a sense of foreboding, keeping you wondering what will happen.

The th
This is an imaginative (and dare I say it?) realistic take on King David; quite honestly, I've never been able to read the Psalms or the portions relating to David the way I used to before reading this novel. I think this speaks to the way the author weaves Biblical accounts in and out of a deep understanding of the culture of the times and the relationships between men and women, fathers and children, kings and their subjects.

However, the hardback edition I read was in serious need of an editor
In the spirit of The Red Tent, this novel tells the story of of a Biblical woman, Michal, the daughter of King Saul and the wife of King David. As women's roles in the Bible are often vague and overshadowed by men's, this attempts to tell some of the stories from the Old Testament how Michal must have experienced them. The author has some great historical research tied in and the story is engrossing. It is also a very harsh criticism of David, the man, and brings his legend under the shadow of h ...more
Although I was delighted at the premise of this book, I find that I ended up quite disappointed. The thing that annoyed me the most about the book is the Biblical inaccuracies. Although the Bible provides many details about David's story, very little is known about Michal and their relationship. Additionally, little is known about Bathsheba. As such, it seems that the author would stick to the few facts provided and use her creativity to fill in the rest. Unfortunately, she seems to have thrown ...more
Anne Fine
Excellent characterization, excellent story, excellent historical accuracy. So why not a 5 star rating? I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was refreshing hearing the familiar story through the perspective of David's first wife, Michal. However, I really disliked the author's depiction of King David as a one dimensional character. One of the Bible's most revered and beloved characters is turned into a completely wretched and unlikeable person. The reason David is so beloved is BECAUSE he is such ...more
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Zohar -
I enjoyed India Edghill's Delilah: A Novel very much so I figured I'll pick up her novel "Queenmaker" as a follow-up.

The book is a first person narrative of Michal, King David's first wife (out of several) and the one to hold the title of Queen. The book follows the biblical books of Samuel and II Samuel from Michal's perspective; from her humble beginning as a daughter of Saul, a humble farmer, through his ascension to king, wars and madness. After marrying her father's harper / war hero David
With an abundance of historical and biblical fact, a bit of speculation and a dash of supposition, India Edghill has created an exciting and admirable character in Michal, daughter of Saul (Israel's first King)
and first wife of David. We are introduced to Michal first as the naïve farmer's daughter who, through a prophetic event, realizes every young girls dream when she becomes a princess. She meets David, the handsome, charismatic young Shepard and slayer of giants (a man who her father views
Beth Cato
This is a work of biblical historical fiction, and I bought it solely because the cover blurb said it was on the same level as The Red Tent, one of my favorite books of recent years. Unfortunately, it's not anywhere near as good as that book.[return][return]The story is a first-person account of Michal, daughter of King Saul and first wife of David. At heart, it's a story about the power of men and how they abuse that power, and how even repressed women can earn power in their own right. This in ...more
Can we stop trying to re-write "The Red Tent" and just shoot for interesting female characters with brains and hearts who don't necessarily have to be "ahead of their time" to the point of absurdity or living in worlds populated solely by oppressive, barbaric, idiotic men who's only goal in life is to subjugate women under the guise of either beating the shit out of them or "taking care of them?" I KNOW Christianity is inherently misogynistic (I seriously just spent 10 minutes trying to spell th ...more
The story of King David told from the perspective of his first wife, Michal. Narrated in first person Michal narrates the entire story of their relationship from when she volunteered to be David's consolation wife (when her father Saul refused to allow a marriage between David and his elder daughter), to when David fled leaving her behind, their subsequent marriages to other people, David's demand that she return to him, her hatred and resentment towards him, and ultimately her plotting to ensur ...more
Debra Track
I enjoyed it. Easy read. Writing was at the level I expected for the "weight" of the novel. Some turns of phrase are out of place for the setting of the story bit they didn't bother me nor detract from my enjoyment of the storytelling.

One of the elements I did appreciate were the portions of biblical passages at each chapter head. CAVEAT: I'm in NO WAY a religious zealot or anything resembling that ilk AT ALL. I liked these chapter "starters" (whatever they're called) simply because as I read t
Similar to The Red Tent, but not as good. Although it took big liberties with the biblical story, it did keep me reading to the end, because the writing overall was good. Michal was an engaging character, she was strong and feisty, but I was very unhappy with how David was portrayed. This was too one-sided a story, and the author had some sort of personal agenda she was promoting. I don't recommend it unless you are a flaming feminist, which I'm not.
Ashlee Willis
One of my favorite books from one of my favorite authors. India Edghill is an superb writer - she has a way with words that can send shivers of pleasure up my spine. I floated straight into "Queenmaker" and didn't come up for air until I was finished.

I grabbed this book initially to read because I had always felt a bit sorry for David's queen, Michal. I thought a book written from her POV would be intriguing. I was not disappointed. I cannot vouch for the book's absolute Biblical accuracy, but w
Disappointed. The author deviated so much from the original story that I found it hard to digest. I understand that it's fiction based on history, and I enjoyed the author's thoughts on how David's first wife may have felt, it was too far fetched. Her LOVE and adoration for Bathsheba was not believable, and David is cast so ugly that there is no loving him at all.
Nyneve Beebe
Mar 24, 2008 Nyneve Beebe rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: open-minded people looking for a good story
I was somewhat concerned going into this book. Having read the little bit of Michal's story that the Bible had to offer, I dreaded what I knew would happen.

This was a great story. I knew going into it that it was a fictional account of the life of King David's first wife Michal. I wasn't expecting it to be otherwise. With that in mind, I was able to truly enjoy it for what it was. It also gave me an interesting view of the story. Too many times the women in history are overlooked. People don't
When I first started this book, I partially expected this novel to take a Harlequin romance detour. I was, however, pleasantly surprised when I was engulfed by this fascinating biblical era when Kings began to rule in Israel. Told through the words of King David's first wife and Queen, it is a fascinating tale of Kings (David, Saul and Solomon), prophets and the women behind them. Once I picked it up, I find it hard to put down and I finished it within a 2 days!

There style of this book is simila
I really enjoyed this book - it made David out to be a "real" man - not some idealized version of the perfect man. Even biblical accounts render him as a man after God's own heart - because he turned from his mistakes. However, we don't see much of his "turning" in this book. It is from his wife's point of view, and I seriously doubt he had deep religious conversation with her - considering the views on women of the day. She had more power than most women at the time. She is a very believable ch ...more
(copied review) Michal, first wife of the biblical King David, takes the stage in author India Edghill's reworking of an ancient story. When her father, Saul, becomes king of the Israelites, Michal's life changes dramatically: formerly a simple farmer's daughter, she is now a princess. She falls for and marries the charming but ruthlessly ambitious David, who will change the entire course of her life in ways she never could have foreseen. When David seizes power from Saul, Michal ascends to the ...more
The book is great! I recomend to every woman to read this book because is very enlightening in many ways! And that's the point of books to learn something from them!
I just got into the Biblical fiction, and I like it so far. I read The Red Tent right before this one. I have read about David in the Bible and this is a far cry from the character in the Bible, BUT-while I believe the Bible, I also know that he was a person with many flaws, and this fictionalized account of his life and his queen's life is someone's imagination. Having said that, I think it was a great read. I think it is great to get a woman's story out of the Bible-so much is about the men. A ...more
Gordon Ehler
Excellent novel that paints an interesting persona for King David of the Old Testament. The character of Michal is well-drawn. An enjoyable read.
India does an amazing job of putting together persona with little known history. She creates characters that share stories in a way that we are drawn into them and want to learn more. Great Job! Although much of what she wrote was very well done, there was a few portions of this particular book that I did not link to actual scripture. She discusses the story of Amnon, Absolom and Tamar. The word is clear that he raped her and Absolom was angry of it. Could he have wanted kingship and it was simp ...more
I enjoyed the book! The story is told by Michal, daughter to King Saul and eventually the wife of King David. She starts the story as a young girl and continues through her life, after King David has died. I am not very familiar with the stories from the Bible so all of Michal’s story was new to me and I did not know what to expect. I enjoyed the writing style and how the events moved quickly and through the years. The book is similar to The Red Tent but I think those people who had some difficu ...more
Queenmaker is the story of Machal, the queen of the great King David. It is the tale of a woman who has to deny love and happiness for her own sanity, a woman who has to choose to live within the confines of her King, or so he thinks. A strong woman who stands above others in this biblical time where women serve men. Michal is no ordinary woman but a wise woman, a sounding board for her husband who has much to gain later. It is an enjoyable historical/biblical novel, however it's accuracy is que ...more
Fast read and very interesting. It is told in the first person.. It is fiction but interwoven with facts.
Mary Webner
The author does a great job of weaving a story. You can tell she is influenced by Anita Diamant, not just in subject but in the emphasis on themes and motifs. I feel like explanations could have been made a little clearer for some of the political moves in the story, but I understand the need to not give too much away. There were a lot of typos in this book, which don't generally bother me, but we all know how to run a spellcheck.
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A reference librarian by profession, India Edghill's interest in history is long-standing; her father was a major history buff whose favorite authors were Will & Ariel Durant. India inherited his love of research and history. Her favorite areas are the Ancient Near East, Victorian England, and India at any period. India lives in upstate New York, USA, with a comfort of spaniels, a lounge of ca ...more
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