M. Carol Coffey
Outskirts Press, Inc. (2016)
Reviewed by Judy Derby for Reader Views (8/17)
“The Secrets of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba” by M. Carol Coffey is a fanciful remake of the Biblical account of King Solomon, the son of David, and Bathsheba. Although the main characters were historical people, the author takes bits of research, legend, and rumors, and weaves them into a fictional account of love, romance, marriage, and progeny that does neither Solomon nor the Queen of Sheba justice.
While it is true that in his later days, Solomon becomes quite a womanizer—having hundreds of women in his household as wives and concubines—the scriptural account simply states that after their visit was concluded, that the Queen returned to her own land. (1 Kings 10:13) There is no mention of any later contact between the two individuals in either of the Bible books of Kings.
M. Carol Coffey does well with telling a story from first person point of view. It is rather disconcerting, however, to see random sentences and words set in bold print, for apparently no reason. For instance, the first sentence of Chapter 4 says, “My father’s command to me was: “Search for wisdom wherever it may be” (quotation marks also in bold.) And Chapter 1, the first sentence, also uses words in bold when it says: “……and I am excited to announce that she (Sheba) is the new Queen of the Land of Sheba.” Yes, it is bold and underlined. The formatting does not seem to follow any recognizable rules.
History lovers will enjoy reading this alternate version of the account, as there is just enough hint of scandal in the actual events to make it somewhat believable. Although the reviewer holds strictly with the Biblical account, there was enough detail to prompt research into characters and actual history; and the story of “The Secrets of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba” will not likely be dismissed quickly from the imagination.
“The Secrets of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba,” by M. Carol Coffee blends history and fantasy together to create an interesting drama that revolves around two of the Bible’s more fascinating individuals.