Review: David and Bathsheba by Roberta Kells Dorr

October 22, 2013

Title: David and Bathsheba
Author: Roberta Kells Dorr
Publisher: River North
Pages: 308
ISBN: 978-0-8024-0956-0
Publication Date: May 15th, 2013 (First published 1980)

David and Bathsheba is a spellbinding story of a gifted king and the woman he loved but could not have.  Told from Bathsheba's perspective, author Roberta Kells Dorr brings to life the passion that almost cost David his kingdom and tested a people's courage and faith in God.

David and Bathsheba is colored richly with details of Bible-era Israel-from the details of the everyday way of life to details of the Jewish religion.  Dorr brilliantly merges reality with folklore as she tells the story of two great characters of the biblical era. The book starts out with Bathsheba as a young girl and David as a strong willed rebellious military leader.  It details the way they met and follows them all the way through their difficulties. 

The spellbinding story of a gifted king and the woman he loved but could not have, this book is the first novel in Dorr's acclaimed trilogy of the House of David. Told from Bathsheba's perspective, Dorr brings to life the passion that almost cost David his kingdom--and tested a people's courage and faith in God.
This is the first book I have read by Roberta Kells Dorr and I look forward to reading more! The attention to detail that is shown throughout the whole story just brings this book to life. The research that went into this book shows through on every page. In the forward it spoke of Roberta traveling to the Gaza Strip and being able to visit the archeological sites. In the way that the story is presented, you can tell that Roberta has knowledge of the area.

I really enjoyed the presentation of the story. Even though it is presented through Bathsheba, the book itself is divided up into four sections. Each section represents an important man in her life at the time. The first section is centered around Bathsheba's grandfather, Ahithophel, who was a Chief Elder in his village and a prosperous man. It is in this section, we watch as Bathsheba grows up and the hardships her family faced during the Philistine invasion and the fall of Saul in battle. At this time, David is an outlaw on the run and hiding in caves, but is followers are growing. In the second section, it focuses on Uriah or Uri, Bathsheba's husband. In this section is follows the trials Bathsheba faces after she weds a man she doesn't know. With this marriage, Bathsheba is required to move to Jerusalem. Bathsheba has a large weight placed on her shoulders once she is married. She is needed to bare a son for Uri.

The third part of the story is focused on David and the trials from this marriage with Michal and then of his meeting Bathsheba. It follows Bathsheba as she tries for years to produce a child, but there is none. The badgering of her mother-in-law and the threats of divorce that she hurls at her. Uriah goes to war and it is here that David and Bathsheba's relationship starts and spirals. It Leads to consequences that they both must face and deal with, not just from their laws and the people, but also from God, delivered in word from Nathan the prophet. The fourth and final section is on Solomon. During this section, Bathsheba faces the scorn of the people as a seductress who led their king astray. She battles the other wives of David in the harem, all while trying to raise her son. As part of the royal family, Bathsheba must do what she can to protect Solomon, as it was prophesied that he would rule Israel.

The character development in this story was wonderful! There were characters you could just loathe. Their bitterness and controlling demeanor just got to you. There were times you just had heart ache for Bathsheba during her struggles.

The story just drew me in!
Too Read!
5 out of 5

About the Author:
Roberta Kells Dorr is the author of seven books: six novels, one biography. She majored in creative writing at the University of Maryland and received her master’s in Religious Education from the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. For seventeen years Dorr lived in the Middle East as the wife of a busy missionary surgeon and the mother of five children. On her return to the United States she carried with her the manuscript of the first novel she had written and researched extensively over the years. She claimed that the years in the Middle East, the exposure to their culture, and the experiences she had while there profoundly influenced what she wrote.

Roberta passed away in 2010, but her family is republishing her beloved books for a new generation.

Thank you to Moody Publishers/ River North, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I'll definitely have to check this one out! I always enjoy a good biblical fiction read!

  2. I think you would enjoy it. It was an interesting take of the story! I do too, Biblical fiction can be a lot of fun.


Thanks for stopping by. Leave a word, leave a line, I would love to hear what you have to say.

Latest Instagrams

© The Shelf Life. Design by FCD.