All night long my thoughts trouble me. I am distraught over giving my permission to my firstborn son, Amnon, to attend Absalom’s feast. Why? Because the sudden friendship between the two of them is simply too sudden. I mean, it takes time to build a bond. This is especially true in this case, where trust has been breached in such a blunt, terrible way, with Tamar’s rape.
I go out to the royal gardens, where a cold wind whips the slender palm tree, bending its solitary shoot till its crown of leaves shakes, rattling violently as if it were about to slip down. There I hunker down, listen to the wild beat of my heart, and wait. I wait for the night to end, hoping that by sunrise I may find some relief, some deliverance.
The storm sings, yet I am silent. But after a while, listening to its rhythm, I match it with words, I intone, “My heart is in anguish within me. The terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me, horror has overwhelmed me. I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.’”
In the moonlight, silvery dust swirls around me. Blow by blow it rises before my eyes. Through its veil, the view of the mountains around Jerusalem is truly magical. It makes me ache to find my way back to the caves and crevices where I used to dwell. Perhaps because of my folly— the folly of a man who has known success and tired of it—I yearn for way things were, long before I became king.
"Uvi Poznansky captures David's character and writes empathetically about a man living with the consequences of his own flaws of character. Her writing is exquisite. The tale she tells is masterfully crafted and, as she fills in the details of the biblical account, she does so with insight and understanding of the human condition. I loved this book!"