Abigail's Story by Ann Burton

By Ann Burton

They have been ladies of conviction and braveness, whose tales motivate the devoted to this present day. Now, Signet launches ladies of the Bible, a compelling new sequence for enthusiasts of historic fiction and romance. this is often the tale of Abigail... To settle her brother's playing debt, Abigail of Carmel convinces her boorish lord to marry her. Then exiled via him to the lifetime of a shepherdess, she grows to like David, the warrior son of Jesse, who will come face-to-face along with her husband in a mindless war-and wreck her hopes of peace.

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Nefat lent me enough to bet against him. ’’ He leaned over, lowering his voice to an excited whisper. ‘‘By moonrise he had lost twelve maneh of gold to me, enough to buy a house in the west quarter and you a husband. ’’ I stopped listening so that I could calculate. Twelve maneh were equal to six hundred gold sheqels, or a whole bar of gold, more wealth than I or anyone in our quarter could expect to see in a lifetime. It was a veritable fortune: a family of twenty could live in luxury on but half such an amount for as many years.

The dice were switched, and the last were weighted, I swear it. The voices vanished, like the smoke, leaving me alone with the m’khashepah. The potsherds on the boards of the booth between us grew, the broken pieces multiplying and piling higher until I could only see her face, and she mine. What will you do, Father’s Delight? How will you keep them whole and safe? I cannot do anything, I told her. I am only a woman. Only a woman. She seized the last remaining intact pot and crushed it between her hands.

30 Ann Burton I always watched them alone. My parents were not of a noble line, and famine and sickness had taken all their kin. What little surplus we had was saved for Rivai, so that someday he might offer something for his future bride, if he ever found one. This I knew, and accepted, but to my great shame, I still prayed for a husband. It was a habit of which no one knew. Every night I sat among the herbs and vines and begged Adonai to bless me with an offer. I did not even ask for a young and handsome man anymore.

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