Emma Wheaton has interrupted her successful stage career to attend her dying father, David Wheaton. The legendary actor is obsessed with an unfinished play about the Old Testament King David written by Emma's estranged husband. As his familyitself of biblical proportions, because David Wheaton has had nine wives and eleven childrengathers, the stories of both Davids and their women are simultaneously woven together and unraveled. For Emma, being with her extended family brings back memories both painful and healing, and confronting her own tumultuous past helps her understand the effect her father's life has had on them all. As David Wheaton faces his approaching death, Emma grapples with her future. Steeped in the modern world of the theater and the ancient world of prophets and kings, Madeleine L'Engle's latest novel examines the lot of mothers and wives and daughters. Certain Women shows her intimate knowledge of theatrical life, resolves a long-held fascination with King David, and continues her exploration of biblical matters.
I have recently read two of L'Engle's adult fiction novels and have been disappointed by both. The Wrinkle In Time series for children is one of my all time favorites but I feel that when L'Engle writes adult fiction her ideas and sentiments are still, unfortunately, juvenile. Her characters in this book do not ring true to me, they seem merely vehicles for her theological expression which is, again, immature.