Thursday, October 27, 2016

Geraldine Brooks - The Secret Chord

Geraldine Brooks writes erudite and wonderfully crafted literature -- I really enjoyed her Caleb's Crossing. She writes historical fiction that is a clear step above a lot of the stuff out there, both in terms of its research and the mastery with which she practices her word-craft.

In The Secret Chord, she takes on the ambitious goal of retelling the story of the biblical figure King David, a hugely challenging task, considering the length and polyvocality of the original account in the Bible . She chooses to use a 1st person POV of Natan (Nathan) one of the seers who lived with David and his household and sets the whole story within a frame tale reflecting backward on David's life.  For me, unfortunately, this way of organizing her retelling makes the story feel too distant and not engaging enough for me to want to keep reading through the bloodshed and horror (especially for women) during Biblical times.

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