Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Roberta Kells Dorr
Publisher: River North
“There’s no hope for love between us. You will be married to my father, the king, and once you’ve been taken in to him, no other man can ever touch you,” Solomon explains to Shulamit in Roberta Kells Dorr’s novel, Solomon’s Song.
Correlating the Biblical story in First Kings of King David marrying young Abishag of Shunem for warmth in his old age to Solomon’s protagonist lover in the Songs of Solomon, Dorr weaves a fictional tale of unadulterated love between two people kept apart due to cultural and political rules.
In this story, beautiful thirteen year old Shulamit lives in the northern part of Israel with her well-to-do but greedy father who calls her Abishag, meaning “our father’s error.” When her parents and brothers learn King David’s wife, Bathsheba, and his two sons are coming to their small town to seek a young wife, she is sent out to shepherd sheep.
While his brother, Adonijah, enjoys watching the town’s maidens parade by for viewing, Solomon wanders the outlying area and meets Shulamit, thinking she is a shepherdess. Instantly captivating each’s attention, they fall in love, unaware of the other’s true upbringing.
After Shulamit is chosen to be the king’s new bride and taken to the Jerusalem palace, Solomon and she cross paths, trying to avert the love they shared, especially when his brother vies for her attention.
Following Biblical history, Adonijah plans to take over his father’s throne upon his death, including obtaining his wives, knowing the unconsummated young woman has won Solomon’s heart. Yet with twisted lies, the conniving brother gets Bathsheba’s approval to arrange Solomon marrying a foreign princess in exchange for ownership of the King’s Highway trading route.
The naïve Shulamit determines to remain steadfast to Solomon’s love as she takes care of the dying David, afraid to trust Yahweh for the outcome while Solomon’s ambition rules his emotions.
With Biblical scholars noting the Abishag of First Kings could be the lover mentioned in Songs of Solomon, Kerr writes a believable love story that comes to life between royalty and common folk.
Thanks to River North Fiction for furnishing this book in exchange for the reader’s honest review.
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