With comprehensive detail and flowing prose, Eleanor Gustafson crafts the retelling of King David's life-from his teenaged anointing to his death-as seen through the eyes of Asaph, a Levite historian.
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About the Author
Eleanor K. Gustafson has been publishing both fiction and nonfiction since 1978. Her short stories and articles have appeared in a number of national and local magazines. In many of her stories, Eleanor explores the cosmic struggle between good and evil in light of God’s overarching work of redemption. A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, she has been actively involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. She has enjoyed a variety of experiences, from horses to house building, all of which have helped bring color and humor to her fiction. She and her husband live in Massachusetts, where he teaches philosophy. They travel extensively, spend time with their three children and eight grandchildren.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Stones based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I found this book in a search for novels about the life of King David and placed my order, expecting yet another soft, doe-eyed portrait of the famous Biblical character. I was happily surprised by it.
As a soldier and veteran, I can be quite frustrated when much of Christian literature contains scenes of interaction among fighting men that ring hollow. The Stones is one of the only books I have read that both accurately reflects the intensity of war and correctly portrays the bantering and (sometimes) crude teasing of warriors with one another.
Some readers might be put off by Gustafson's willingness to confront these realities, but that is precisely what they are-realities. Part of what shocked me is how realistic the thoughts, conversations, and motives of the soldiers were, since the author is a woman. This might be viewed as a sexist comment, but I believe it is just as difficult for a woman to capture a man's thoughts as it is difficult for a man to capture a woman's, and Gustafson has succeeded beyond what I have read previously. If you have ever wondered what might have gone on around the campfires of David's army or in the halls of the royal palace, this is as close as you are going to get.
Beyond that, the spiritual depth and devotion to historical accuracy is remarkable in this novel. It paints on a broad canvas, yet never seems to be slow-paced. The descriptions of manners, customs, and the fascinating examination of cherem (the total destruction of enemies frequently recorded in Scripture) are top-notch.
An outstanding novel, and one that I am already recommending to friends. There is even a study guide, which I eagerly look forward to going through in a church Bible study.
This is a massive book, not just in size but in scope and sweep. Eleanor Gustafson takes the story of David as recorded through the eyes of Asaph and brings meat and sinew to the life of David. As you read, you see David taking on passion and emotion, you begin to understand the raw brutishness of Joab and the psychosis of Saul. And that is only in the first three chapters.
It has been a long time since I have picked up a book and had difficulty putting it down; it is only the press of other obligations that prevents me from attempting to consume this work in a single sitting. Even for a lifelong compulsive bookworm such as I, the 601 pages (including the addendum) does present a challenge for a non-stop read.
There is a study guide in the works which is intended to assist in using this for a book study group. There is much to be gleaned here through a group discussion of the life of David, the one who calls our Savior,his Lord in Psalm 110:1