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The Secret Chord
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
25 posts | 30 read | 32 to read
A page turner. . .Brooks is a master at bringing the past alive. . .in her skillful hands the issues of the past echo our own deepest concerns: love and loss, drama and tragedy, chaos and brutality. Alice Hoffman, The Washington Post A rich and utterly absorbing novel about the life of King David, from the Pulitzer Prizewinning author of People of the Book and March. With more than two million copies of her novels sold, New York Times bestselling author Geraldine Brooks has achieved both popular and critical acclaim. Now, Brooks takes on one of literatures richest and most enigmatic figures: a man who shimmers between history and legend. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage. The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of Davids life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected. We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear himfrom the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans. From the Hardcover edition.
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Amiable
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Panpan

Historical fiction about the life of Old Testament's King David. I usually enjoy books by Geraldine Brooks. I had to force myself to finish this one. 2 stars

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Blueberry
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Geraldine Brooks is also on In Depth on C-SPAN2 this weekend talking about the writing of her books.

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ladyneverwhere
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Pickpick

Geraldine Brooks writes incredibly powerful and moving historical characters, whether or not they're based on real people. The Secret Chord is one of my favorites by her. In the novel she makes ancient times and people feel relevant and alive. One of her favorite historical fiction novels is The Persian Boy by Mary Renault.

#agameoffavorites @ErinSueG @WhiskeyMistress

JulAnna I really enjoyed 1y
ErinSueMreads Definitely added to TBR! 1y
ladyneverwhere @JulAnna I loved people of the book! And year of wonders. Oddly enough the only book of hers I haven't been able to get into is March, which won the Pulitzer Prize 🤷‍♀️ 1y
12 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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lbdallas
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Finally starting this book from my bishop's library. It is a little hard to follow and pretty gross, but it is teaching me about a place and time and culture that I did not know.

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 👍📚 2y
5 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Pickpick

This quote from the prologue gets the essence of this book in a nutshell. I didn‘t love everything about Brooks‘ portrayal of King David, but I was impressed by it. It‘s beautifully written, brutally in tune with the biblical stories it‘s based on, and it left me feeling really thoughtful about how this deeply flawed man was still considered a man after God‘s own heart.

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LeafingThroughLife
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Someday I‘m going to finish this book. I like it, but I have too easy of a time putting it down and getting distracted by other diversions lately. 😕

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LeafingThroughLife
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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I‘ve been struggling with this one, and I‘m not sure if it‘s the book or my weird mood right now. Regardless, I still think Brooks writes beautifully.

7 likes1 stack add
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Susanita
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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I‘ve heard that there‘s a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord...

This song used to annoy me thanks to overplaying, but this Pentatonix version strikes just the right chord, so to speak. I‘ve also played it on handbells, because our director liked it so much he arranged it for us. We‘re not on YouTube, so here‘s Pentatonix.
https://youtu.be/LRP8d7hhpoQ

The book is good too!
#decdays #hallelujah

laurenbescoby I love this band so much! I played them to my youngest in the womb to keep him head down. He now falls asleep to them 😄 2y
Cinfhen I love this version too!!! And I thought this book was fascinating -~ King David was complicated !!!! 2y
Susanita @miralunasbooknook That‘s so sweet! 2y
Susanita @Cinfhen Yeah he was definitely a complicated guy! 2y
31 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Leigh0906
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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I took my Grandma to Wilmington yesterday, and we inevitably ended up at a bookstore☺️ I was good and only bought these two books, plus something for my #SecretSantaGoesPostal match. #bookhaul

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Lots of good ones!! 👀 2y
42 likes1 comment
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MrBook
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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#TBRtemptation post 1! The story of Israel's King David is brought to life: from obscurity to fame, shepherd to soldier, hero to traitor, king to despot, and his diminished dotage. This story, attempting to peel away the myths, looks at David with fresh understandings. You'll see him through others' eyes, including Nathan's, his wives', and Solomon's. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

callielafleur I need to read this, she is such a talented author. 2y
66 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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Cinfhen
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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According to GoodReads I read 17 books with secret in the title 🙄 I sort of remember these nine😆 #ShhSecrets @Jess7

TrishB Have read 3 of those 👍 2y
Cinfhen I can recall 6 of them @TrishB 😬and parts of 2y
Clwojick I've read two of those this year too 2y
See All 23 Comments
GatheringBooks i am currently reading geraldine brooks' people of the book and really enjoying it. 2y
Cinfhen That's one of my favorite reads @GatheringBooks 2y
Cinfhen Which two @Clwojick and which for you @TrishB 2y
Jess7 I want to read The Secret Keeper. Did you like it? I loved Kate Morton's The Lake House. 2y
TrishB Secret Life of Bees 😀 Husband's Secret - meh, Secret History 👎in unpopular opinion of the day I have not liked either Donna Tartt I've read and won't try anymore. 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Plenty of secrets in those books! 😁I've read one, reading one, three on my TBR, the rest I'm not familiar with. 😅 2y
Clwojick I've read the secret garden and the husbands secret. I've been meaning to read the secret life of bees because i always see it at the thrift store, and I think I might have that Kate Morton. How did you fee about bees and the late Morton one? Should I read them? 2y
Cinfhen I highly recommend both @Clwojick The Kate Morton was good @Jess7 2y
Cinfhen I agree with you @TrishB Donna Tartt is overrated ~ she is a bit overindulgent 😝which three are in your TBR @erzascarletbookgasm 2y
erzascarletbookgasm @cinfhen The Secret of Midwives, Her Husband's Secret and The Secret Keeper are on my TBR. Read The Secret History, liked it, didn't love. Oh, Secret Life of Bees, I've heard but do not have it. 2y
TrishB Phew.....I don't feel so bad now! 2y
Cinfhen @erzascarletbookgasm I'd read the Moriarty first 2y
Andrew65 Must pull my finger out, not read any of these. 2y
Andrew65 Correction I have read one, 👏, The Secret Garden. 2y
Cinfhen @Andrew65 if you're so inclined I'd read 2y
Andrew65 @Cinfhen On your recommendation I will put it on my list for next month. Thanks 😊 2y
Andrew65 @Cinfhen Lol! 😂I know where you live, or perhaps I should say I know which part of the Internet you inhabit!!! 🤣 2y
ferskner I'm a Goodreads junkie and knew nothing about searching within my books! Thank you for clueing me in! 2y
Cinfhen With pleasure @ferskner #liveandlearn 💜😄 2y
118 likes1 stack add23 comments
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razmanda
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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The Friends of the Library sale was great! Stacked all these beauties... now to pick which to start!

aeeklund Wow! Great haul! 2y
DivineDiana Jan Brett! 💗 2y
24 likes3 comments
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andrew61
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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#junetunz #hallelujah
"The baffled king composing hallelujah"
I really enjoyed this fictionalised account of king David, who of course is that aforementioned baffled king☺

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PurpleyPumpkin
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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🎶🎵🎶 Look at the stars / Look how they shine for you / And everything you do / Yeah they were all yellow 🎶🎵🎶 #yellowcovers #day2 #riotgrams

Cinfhen Coldplay 💖💛💖 3y
PurpleyPumpkin @Cinfhen 😉👍🏽💛 3y
asiriusreader Coldplay!!! I'll always love this song. 3y
PurpleyPumpkin @asiriusreader Agreed! It's been in my head all day, not a bad thing. 😉 3y
67 likes4 comments
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GeekGrl82
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Pickpick

Ms. Brooks uses one biblical mention of the lost Book of Nathan to create her narrator. She adds dimensions to the lives of people most overlooked by history and myth; women. David's mother and wives are fleshed out here in a way that religious stories would never allow. David is no longer a mystically perfect being. He is flawed, often violent, sometimes careless man. I always look forward to a new (or new to me) book by a favorite author.

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GeekGrl82
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Just got my new library card in my new town, and picked up an audiobook for my commute!

Suet624 It starts to feel like home once you get a library card. 3y
pocketmermaid That library card is beautiful! 3y
GeekGrl82 @Suet624 That is so true! 3y
GeekGrl82 @pocketmermaid It is! It is the prettiest library card I have ever had. 3y
10 likes4 comments
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StaceyKondla
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Slowly digging into in this book - Monday's are my Sunday and I am having the laziest day ever....

charl08 Liked this a lot. Took a familiar story and made it new for me. 3y
SHUPERBookLover People of the Book was my favorite Geraldine Brooks book. Perfect for a book club discussion. Anxious to hear your final verdict on this one, Stacey. I so very much respect your book reviews and recommendations. 3y
55 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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krismlars
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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So I'm not especially interested in reading this book, but I've enjoyed two of her other works. At a book signing on a Friday night, I really know how to live it up haha.

BookishMarginalia Sounds heavenly! 👍🏼 3y
10 likes1 comment
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thebookdiviner
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Panpan

First reason for not liking it: I did not care two shrimps about the character David - both the historical figure and how he is portrayed as a character in the book.

Second reason for not liking it: the premise of the story is not met (to what I was expecting). The story starts by David ordering his prophet Natan to write down stories about himself, both good and bad.

2 likes1 comment
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Mamashep
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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If you ever have the chance to hear Geraldine Brooks speak, make sure you do it. She is amazing - funny, beautifully spoken, terrific off the cuff, smart. #authorlove

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Susanita
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this novel about the life and times of King David, as told by his counsellor Natan. This is the mezuzah outside the Jewish worship space at the US Air Force Academy chapel. It's one of my favorite #shadesofblue (Who am I kidding - they're all my favorite shades!) #septphotochallenge

Linsy 💙💙 3y
10 likes1 comment
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Fernoppy
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Mehso-so

I really loved a couple of her other books but this one didn't grab me. I don't think it's the fault of the story either - it was well told. I just think I'm a bit over stories - no matter how historically accurate - where women are treated like property. And I struggled to find a character I really connected with so it lacked some of the impact that #peopleofthebook and #yearofwonders had for me. But it was an interesting story overall.

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Kristianne
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Pickpick

I love a good retelling of a popular story; to get in close and speculate on what was really going on. Brooks does take realism kind of seriously & there were a few battle scenes that made me queasy.

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emilyesears
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Got a new task at work where I feel like I can safely listen to audiobooks without harming my concentration. I went and heard GB talk about this book last fall and am glad to finally read it.

SaraFair I heard a podcast about this book and am really interested. Curious to hear what you think. 4y
emilyesears @SaraFair I finished it yesterday and enjoyed it quite a bit. There was a lot of conjecture, some of which I did not agree with, but it was well done. 4y
6 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Yossarian
The Secret Chord: A Novel | Geraldine Brooks
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Mehso-so

Never buy a book because the title comes from a Leonard Cohen song. The story of King David gets told, but it's just pretty straightforward. Brooks doesn't "do" enough -- it's no "The Red Tent." Good if you've never read or thought about the Bible story, but otherwise largely unnecessary.

SeeJaneRead Oh good to know! I love her writing but I think I'll give this one a pass. 4y
Yossarian Yes, @SeeJaneRead -- if you're going to read all of her books, save this one for the end. It's kind of clunky. 4y
LitHousewife Thank you for taking the hit for me. I was unsure about this one. 4y
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Missusb I did hear her speak about this book, and she was very articulate, but yeah I didn't buy the book. What I did do though, was find every different version of 'Hallelujah' on YouTube and watched them for a couple of hours. 4y
Yossarian @Missusb I think KD Lang's is my favorite cover version. 4y
Missusb @Yossarian there may or may not have been tears... 4y
AnnieSmith I always get weirded out by retellings of biblical stories, but sometimes I buy good ones for my library's collections. This one sounds like a pass, though. 4y
LauraBrook I love Brooks, but this may be a pass for me - maybe if I find a copy in a thrift store, but otherwise nah. 4y
26 likes8 comments