The Secret Chord (Hardcover)
The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks. An aging King David tells his prophet Natan it is time to record the story of his life. King David sends Natan to speak to three people: one of his brothers, his mother, and his first wife, who have all been commanded to “tell Natan everything”. As David's early life unfolds through the interviews Natan conducts, the reader is offered a glimpse at the man he once was as well as the man he becomes. Deftly woven, The Secret Chord brings to life both well-known and lesser-known biblical figures and uncovers the painful truths that lie at the heart of a legend.— From Nancy's Book Picks
October 2015 Indie Next List
“The Old Testament includes tantalizing references to a prophet called Natan. Brooks brings this mysterious figure to life as the confidante to and narrator of King David's life. From David's beginning as an unknown, fearless rebel fighter through his rise to ruling the Kingdom of Israel, the people, places, and politics of ancient times are brought to life. David is a complex and compelling character who jumps off the page, and Natan is his conscience and conduit to their God. Brooks once again proves herself a master of meticulously researched and vividly imagined historical fiction.”
— Cindy Pauldine (W), The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY
A page turner. . .Brooks is a master at bringing the past alive. . .in her skillful hands the issues of the past echo our own deepest concerns: love and loss, drama and tragedy, chaos and brutality. Alice Hoffman, The Washington Post
A rich and utterly absorbing novel about the life of King David, from the Pulitzer Prize winning author of People of the Book and March.
With more than two million copies of her novels sold, New York Times bestselling author Geraldine Brooks has achieved both popular and critical acclaim. Now, Brooks takes on one of literature's richest and most enigmatic figures: a man who shimmers between history and legend. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.
The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David's life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected. We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikhal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans.
About the Author
Geraldine Brooks is the author of four novels, the Pulitzer Prize winning March and the international bestsellers Caleb s Crossing, People of the Book, and Year of Wonders. She has also written the acclaimed nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence.Her most recent novel, Caleb s Crossing, was the winner of the New England Book Award for Fiction and the Christianity Today Book Award, and was a finalist for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction. Born and raised in Australia, she lives on Martha s Vineyard with her husband, the author Tony Horwitz."
Advanced praise for The Secret Chord
“In her gorgeously written novel of ambition, courage, retribution, and triumph, Brooks imagines the life and character of King David in all his complexity. . .The language, clear and precise throughout, turns soaringly poetic when describing music or the glory of David’s city. . .taken as a whole, the novel feels simultaneously ancient, accessible, and timeless.” – ALA Booklist
“With the verve of an adroit storyteller. . .Brooks evokes times and place with keenly drawn detail. . .Ambitious and psychologically astute.” – Publishers Weekly
“A skillful reimagining. . .gracefully and intelligently told.” – Kirkus Reviews
Praise for the work of Geraldine Brooks
For Caleb’s Crossing
“Beautifully written from beginning to end, it reconfirms Geraldine Brooks’s reputation as one of our most supple and insightful novelists.”
—Jane Smiley, The New York Times Book Review
For People of the Book
“There’s a romance between Brooks and the world, and her writing is as full of heart and curiosity as it is intelligence and judgment.”
—The Boston Globe
“A beautifully wrought story about how war dashes ideals, unhinges moral certainties and drives a wedge of bitter experience and unspeakable memories between husband and wife.”
—Los Angeles Times
For Year of Wonders
“A staggering fictional debut that matches journalistic accumulation of detail to natural narrative flair.”