Review: Solomon’s Song by Roberta Kells Dorr
The sadness and the tenderness of life are felt so acutely in the presence of beauty, and love is revealed more in our sorrow than in our joy. -Solomon, from Solomon’s Song
The wisest of all kings, beloved son of King David and his wife Bathsheba, builder of a prosperous empire, lover to many wives and concubines-King Solomon was once merely a son of David with no guarantee of ever taking the throne. On the cusp of adulthood, with no direction in life, Solomon found himself infatuated . . . in love with a lowly shepherdess, a young maiden chosen for his father to serve David in his later years.
Overhead clouds ceased to discharge life-giving rain, and the anxious people looked to King David for relief from the famine. In their weakness they turned from Yahweh and sacrificed to foreign gods. But David’s eldest son, Adonijah had a plan, one that could cost the Benjamites their lives. Revenge.
Solomon was still Bathsheba’s eldest son’s and with it came certain family expectations. His mother wanted nothing less than the throne for her eldest living son. He must marry a princess first, and then he can marry any common woman he desired.
Solomon struggled against family expectations and his chief rival, his own brother, Adonijah; he fought against the most disappointing aspect of his quest to become ruler, “Love is nothing, when pitted against strength and power.”
I’ve said many times I only offer to review books I expect to enjoy and therefore rarely give lower than a 7 or so [and really, rarely less than an 8]. This is going to be an exception :(.
I wanted to enjoy Solomon’s Song, and while it’s not BY FAR the worst book I read this year, it’s definitely not in my top 10. :/
I found the whole thing odd. Solomon and Shulamit [which struck me as an odd name] were infatuated with each other early on, sure, but love? Didn’t buy it.
It was 300+ pages of fairly torturous will they/won’t they wherein Shulamit becomes Solomon’s step-mom [in a sense, she has an unconsummated marriage to King David]. Included in there is some intrigue – how would Solomon end up being king? Would the Benjaminites get their revenge on King David’s family by attacking Bathsheba and/or Solomon? How exactly will Adonijah get his comeupance?
And so on.
By the end I was just waiting for Solomon and Shulamit to get back together. But even that was a let down. 🙁 They’re “married” and then the epilogue is a weird combination of scripture and the author telling us what happened, not a true epilogue in the story sense.
I wanted to give it a better rating. I wanted to enjoy it more. But I just didn’t. 🙁
Overall rating: 6 out of 10 stars