About the Book
Title: I Am My Beloved
Author: Caryl McAdoo
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Release Date: April, 2018
The wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. How could the wisest man ever to live turn away from following God? The key is in Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs that King Solomon wrote after his return to the Lord. Who was the Shulamite? And why did he call her his sister spouse? Only God knows all the answers, but the King Solomon left clues. You will never forget reading this anointed story of love and may find yourself setting it down to wipe tears away or simply worship the great I AM.
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author
Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and a quick scroll through her novels’ rankings by Christian readers attests to the Father’s faithfulness. She loves writing almost as much as singing the new songs He gives her—look her up on YouTube to hear a few. Her high school sweetheart husband won her heart fifty-two years ago, and now they share four children and seventeen grandsugars. Ron and Caryl live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.
Guest Post from Caryl McAdoo
I AM My Beloved is a story unlike any I’ve ever written in that it moved me so. Not saying all my stories don’t move me, they do—to tears and laughter. Just today I got all teary writing a scene in my WIP for next September. But I AM My Beloved moved me to worship. I literally would stop typing, bask in God’s presence, and worship.
I believe that it is anointed and of course, as always, pray it will give God glory. I pray that His children will be blessed and drawn closer to the Father reading it. It’s a romance, yes, but nothing like any proverbial historical romances you’ve ever read.
It’s the story of Abishag. Have you ever heard of her? Her name is mentioned only five times in the Bible, all in 1Kings. “So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.” Kings 1:3 They brought her to King David. To keep him warm during his dying days.
Scripture tells us the she cherished David, and also that he never knew her—his virgin queen. You’ll love her heart, creativity, attitudes, intelligence, and spirit of submission. It’s like all God’s beloved daughters can identify with her. Writing her story was akin to writing a love letter to Jesus. So often, it was Him and me, not these characters of olden days brought to life in I AM My Beloved.
This love story of what happens to Abishag after David’s death when Solomon, heir to the Throne becomes King of Israel. And perhaps, you’ll get a whole new take on the wisest man ever to live, as he takes on building the Temple of God, foreign wives, follows after their gods, then returns to serve the One True God and write Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon.
At its end, is a section I call “Search the Scriptures” that point out and explain the clues that led to its writing. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
I admit that I struggled some with I AM My Beloved. My number one issue with this book is Solomon himself. In I AM My Beloved, McAdoo has an old, dying Solomon pen the song, plus Ecclesiastes, in co-authorship with David’s final wife, Abishag. After David died, Abishag became Solomon’s queen by inheritance. According to McAdoo’s story, Abishag fell completely in love with Solomon, but would remain the Virgin Queen because a man may not lie with his father’s wife (Deuteronomy 22:30). Even though David never related to Abishag in that way, this is one rule Solomon will not disobey in this story.
Over the course of the story, the reader sees that Abishag is greatly hurt by Solomon’s many sins. While penning Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon together, Solomon tells Abishag that he has repented of his horrible sins. He is sorry for all he has done against God. While this repentance adds a wonderful depth to I AM My Beloved, I cannot seem to overcome my bias towards Solomon. Solomon spoke with God twice! He knew every single Psalm his father wrote. He penned the Proverbs. He wrote 1005 songs during his lifetime. He knew the Torah. BUT, he broke the rules, took credit for building God’s Temple when he actually never built a thing (he enslaved men to do it for him), took foreign wives, honored the foreign wives above God, built grottoes and other worship areas for his wives’ gods and idols, entered into covenants with groups God said not to, and was the first Israeli king to sacrifice his babies to Molech. I hope Solomon did repent like McAdoo envisions in her novel. But, I cannot find evidence in the Bible that Solomon ever did. In fact, 1 Kings 11:4 states, “For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.” How can you argue with this? Because of this, I struggle reconciling the Biblical Solomon with the Solomon in McAdoo’s story.
There is a fascinating video study produced by the amazing Torah scholars at Aleph Beta called Korach: Can We Change God’s Mind?***. In this study, Rabbi Fohrman discusses the Angel of Death. He tells two stories that come from the Jewish sages. The first story comes from the Talmud, Succah 53a. It is about King Solomon. King Solomon is visited by the Angel of Death. The Angel is looking rather glum. Solomon asks the Angel what is wrong, but the Angel doesn’t want to burden him with his problems. Solomon insists. Maybe he can help the Angel out. So the Angel tells him: “You know your two secretaries? The ones you really like? I have to kill them.” Solomon is so grateful that the Angel has told him this information, and runs back into his palace to warn the two secretaries. He puts them on two of his fastest horses and sets them on course to the city of Luz. According to Jewish legend, Luz was a city that the Angel of Death could not penetrate. Solomon is excited to be able to outsmart Death. The next day the Angel of Death meets up with Solomon and he is ecstatic. Solomon asks why the change in demeanor. The Angel explains, “I was so bummed. I didn’t know how I was going to get to the secretaries. I was told by God that I could only kill them at the gates of Luz. Thank you so much for sending them there.” Of course, you can imagine Solomon’s reaction. He thought he could manipulate the situation, manipulate God’s orders, and outsmart Death. But in the end, he couldn’t.
The second story is about Korah’s rebellion against Moses and God. It’s the story where Korah and his band of malcontents confront Moses and Aaron, the earth splits, and Korah and his followers are swallowed into the earth. This story can be found in Numbers 16. After this, the rest of the Nation accuses Moses that the death of Korah was his plan all along. At this point, God has again had His fill with the Israelites. In Numbers 16:45, God tells Moses and Aaron to get up and leave the congregation so God can wipe out the Israelites. Instead of getting up and leaving, Moses and Aaron bow down. Moses then realizes that a plague has come upon the people. He sends Aaron with the incense that Aaron would have normally used in services at the Tabernacle in an attempt to stop the plague. Aaron stands between those who have died from the plague and those who live. Somehow, miraculously, the plague stops. This moment has confounded the Jewish sages. Rashi, the 11th century Jewish scholar, explains in his Midrash how Aaron held back the Angel of Death under the orders of Moses. The Angel is flabbergasted. He tells Aaron to let him go, but Aaron holds fast. The Angel doesn’t understand how Aaron can hold him back since the Angel gets his orders from God, but Aaron receives his orders from Moses. Moses is nothing but a man. Aaron explains, “Yes, but Moses gets his authority straight from God. If Moses tells me to hold you back, it’s because it is God’s will I do so.” This stumps Death. In Numbers 16:50 it says, “And Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting.” The idea here, that Rashi points out, is that Aaron returns to Moses with the Angel of Death because Aaron knows that Moses is standing at the Tabernacle with God, and God will make everything clear to the Angel.
These two stories illustrate the difference between having a relationship with God or not, and how the Jewish sages pictured Solomon’s character versus Moses’s. Solomon, the wisest king ever, was not in a relationship with God. He thought he could circumvent God’s plan. This is illustrated time and time again throughout Solomon’s stories in Kings and Chronicles. Whereas Moses knew God. He knew how to respectfully approach God. Moses never attempted to outsmart God. He was simply trying to make an appeal to God in order to convince God to save a group of people who had angered Him (he actually does this a few times). What Moses did for the Israelites in the Wilderness is what Jesus did when He saved us all on the cross. Jesus protected us from God’s wrath by making an appeal to God. Essentially, Jesus said to His Father, “I know these people have made you angry. They deserve Your wrath, but I want to take it for them so they are saved.” God allowed it, and watched as His perfect Son died a horrible, agonizing death. Jesus’s heart is for us. Moses’s heart was for his people. But Solomon’s heart was always for himself. This fact is ingrained in the Bible, and because of this I have an exceptionally difficult time seeing Solomon as anything other than what he is as described in the Bible and in Jewish commentary.
I AM My Beloved is an engaging story. When I could divorce myself of the Biblical aspect, and just read the book as a story between a woman named Abishag and a man named Solomon, I found myself enjoying the story greatly. I especially loved Abishag and how well McAdoo illustrates this woman’s depth of emotion. My heart broke for Abishag often. I wanted so badly to enter the story just so I could give her a much-needed hug. I really enjoyed seeing the story of Song of Solomon play out in real time fictionally speaking. There is a lot of creativity in this story that I found appealing. And, this book is a page turner for sure. For these reasons, I would give the story a five-star rating. But, I cannot reconcile how I feel about King Solomon, nor what the Bible and Jewish scholars and Jesus (read Luke 12:13-21 and compare to Ecclesiastes 2) says about him as well. I struggled hard seeing Solomon as an aged, repentant man who had made peace with God. Ecclesiastes does not feel peaceful when I read it. It feels regretful, mournful, flippant, and hopeless. I just don’t buy McAdoo’s portrayal of Solomon. It’s too clean. It’s too romantic and fanciful. It took me out of the story. Because of this, which I understand is my bias, I give I AM My Beloved a final score of 4-STARS.
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
***If you are interested in watching the Aleph Beta video I reference above, click the link below. It’s fascinating, and it’s only about 10 minutes in length.
To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away
GRAND PRIZE : $50 Amazon Gift Card
1st Prize: TWO novels–Choice-of-Caryl’s Titles (print or ebook)
2nd-4th: (three winners) ebook of I AM My Beloved
5th-7th: print copy VOW UNBROKEN!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ceba/i-am-my-beloved-celebration-tour-giveaway
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