Monday, March 28, 2011

BATHSHEBA, by Jill Eileen Smith

Take a lonely woman and a wealthy man with too much time on his hands and you have the makings of one of today's television dramas. When the woman's name is Bathsheba, today's story goes back a couple of thousand years.
Smith has written an engrossing tale of King David and his most famous--or infamous--wife, Bathsheba. To students of the Bible, the tale is a familiar one--at least on the surface. But Smith brings the characters to life in such a way that you can relate to their humanity rather than dismissing the book as another Bible story that happened a long time ago.
I especially enjoyed how the author showed David as a man with griefs and longings that made him all too human. Now when I read the Psalms, I can picture the man who wrote them, and understand much better what prompted him to pour out his soul to God.
One would not have to know anything about the Bible at all to enjoy reading Bathsheba. The story grips the reader from the beginning and kept me turning the pages to see how the events would resolve themselves. This book is an outstanding example of well-written Biblical fiction, and a worthy addition to anyone's library.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

LEFT NEGLECTED, by Lisa Genova

Sarah Nickerson is an over-achieving career woman with a husband and children. Told in first person, Left Neglected begins with Sarah juggling her myriad responsibilities in a way that will make many women nod ruefully and think, "Yes, this is what my life is like." I chuckled in self-recognition as Sarah flies through her over-scheduled days.

Then one morning while driving to work and multi-tasking by talking on her cell phone, Sarah's attention is diverted from traffic for one second too long. The resulting accident leaves her with traumatic brain injury.

Left Neglected follows Sarah through the months that follow, as she comes to realize that her old life may never return. This sounds like a depressing book, but it definitely isn't. Genova does a perfect job of presenting Sarah as a woman whose sense of humor will take her through any circumstance.

There’s a bit of strong language in this story, since it's general market fiction, but I loved this book and can't recommend it highly enough. For sure, you'll never again use your cell phone while driving.