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Michal, Abigail and Bathsheba: three women trapped by circumstance.
They are the property of husbands, fathers and grandfathers; their own lives are out of their control. When they meet David, he seems to offer each of them an escape – but life with the king is far from what they had imagined.
In a society dominated by men, The Anointed gives a voice to three formidable women. Overshadowed by King David, the biblical hero who defeated Goliath, cured King Saul and wrote the poetic book of Psalms, his wives must fight to make themselves heard. Behind the image of their lauded husband lies a dark and troubled man, capable of shocking cruelty. Their courage, determination and cunning have the power to change history forever.
Michael Arditti’s eye-opening new novel presents this ancient tale of brutality, lust and manipulation in a startling new light. A stark and timely reminder of the corrupting influence of power, The Anointed is, above all, a testament to the enduring power of love.
‘Arditti is a master storyteller who uses his theological literacy sparingly to deliver a challenging but enthralling read.’ – The Guardian
‘Our best chronicler of the rewards and pitfalls of present day faith.’ – Philip Pullman
‘Anyone who is afraid that the English novel is sliding into a backwater of domestic anecdote should find their anxieties assuaged by the writing of Michael Arditti.’ – The Times
'Arditti has an unusual voice and perspective that deserve a larger audience. ... Rich in history, The Anointed highlights the lost role of women in the foundation stories of the great faiths, and suggests the hidden homoeroticism (between David and Michal's big brother Jonathan, described in the Old Testament as 'becoming one in spirit') lurking in otherwise emotionally inexplicable passages in our holy books. Most of all, Arditti asks profound questions about those who feel themselves called to lead - whether they be great kings, godlike figures or today's statesmen and women. What is the human cost incurred when their self-belief slides into self-delusion - for them and for those around them?' -- Peter Stanford * Spectator * 'In bringing the neglected figures of Michal, Abigail and Bathsheba to powerful life, Michael Arditti also paints a lethally honest portrait of an Old Testament hero. It is a novel that makes one think again and is absolutely fascinating.' -- Elizabeth Buchan, author of The Museum of Broken Promises 'It is with great joy that the reader will fall upon Michael Arditti's latest novel' -- Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith * Catholic Herald * 'Beautiful, bold and imaginative' -- Massimo Gava * Dante Magazine * '[A] fierce, sinewy novel ... It is not the new beginning but the preceding dynastic carnage that's gripping - the blood-strewn road to spirituality and wisdom, through murder, sensuality and betrayal, as described by three women, wives of King David, who travel it in exhilaration and terror.' -- Howard Jacobson 'A wonderfully rich novel. Arditti brings Ancient Israel to life' -- Allan Massie * The Scotsman *
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