The New York Times best-selling author of Elizabeth I brilliantly reimagines the story of the most mysterious woman in the Bible.
Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute, a female divinity figure, a church leader, or all of those? Biblical references to her are tantalizingly brief, but we do know that she was the first person to whom the risen Christ appeared - and the one commissioned to tell others the good news, earning her the ancient honorific "Apostle to the Apostles". Today, Mary continues to spark controversy, curiosity, and veneration. In a vivid re-creation of Mary Magdalene's life story, Margaret George convincingly captures this renowned woman's voice as she moves from girlhood to womanhood, becomes part of the circle of disciples, and comes to grips with the divine. Grounded in biblical scholarship and secular research, this fascinating historical novel is also, ultimately, "the diary of a soul".
©2003 Margaret George (P)2013 Penguin Audio
Considering how very little is known about Mary Magdalene, this is a masterful imagining of her story. It brings to life what it must have been like to be one of Jesus' disciples, and their struggles to understand Him, their fear at His arrest, and their desolation at His death. The one part I could have done without was the too-lengthy post-resurrection story of her attempts to find her daughter, and their many mis-communications: it was long and somewhat tedious. I understand its necessity in the story but just didn't find it compelling.
I actually contacted Margaret George about this book. I really enjoy her books. She is one of my favorite authors. However, I was disturbed because of some of what I consider to be, major flaws in this novel.
I will admit I am not the average reader. I am an academic, a scholarly researcher, with a Ph.D. Ms. George explained her decisions to write the things I had problems with. She told me she had written a novel and that was a novelist and an entertainer, not a scholar. The decisions were based on that and her need to please her target audience. I told her that I understood this completely.
Now, these are my problems:
The names of her main characters: Jesus and Mary were not called by these names in their lifetime. They were Jews. They would have been Joshua and Miriam.
The disciples and Jesus call themselves Christians. Christianity did not come into being until at least 100 years after the death of Jesus. They were all Jews who did not intend to start a new religion, but to reform Judiasm.
There were no synagogues. Formal worship was carried out in the Temple in Jerusalem by priests. Other worship was carried out in the home. Rabbis are teachers, not in any way equivalent to priests. Anyone can lead a service in Judiasm. Synagogues emerged after the destruction of the second temple of Solomon in 70 CE.
I did enjoy this book. I especially liked how Ms George explained "Mary"s" personality and her innate goodness. I thought that her description of how she became a disciple aand her prominence in the movement was excellent storytelling. The rejection the character experienced by her family was very realistic and common in extremely observant Jewish families, even today.
I have listened to this book, twice and plan on listening to it again. I have also purchased it in print format. I recommend it. It is a good book, however I did have some misgivings as a scholar and a Jew.
I enjoy Scandinavian mystery and crime authors like Asa Larsson, Helene Tursten, Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum and Amaaldur Indridason just to name a few.
Margaret George writes historical novels and this is the most beautiful story. Read over the years during the Easter Season Ms. George brings to life a woman who holds a significant place in the life and times of Christ. Please read with good heart.
Yes- there is so much real- geographical historical data and so many important messages that I know I must hear it again. "He who has ears, let them hear."
A bit of history, a bit of speculation but all in all- a wonderful journey!
Mary and then, unfortunately....Judas...!
Jesus and Blessed Mother. I also loved meeting Jo-Anna and Susanna.
Mary Magdelene has been my Patron Saint for a very long time. This book helps bring to life part of her amazing, yet still somewhat mysterious life on earth and relationship as a true disciple of Christ.
For a historical fiction novel, I believe Margaret George captured a pretty good glimpse into what life may have been like during the time of Jesus and the relationship that developed over the years of his ministry and the years after his resurrection and ascending to heaven.
Margaret George wrote two of my all time favorite books: The Autobiography of King Henry VIII and Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles so I was very excited when Mary, Called Magdalene popped up on my suggested reading list. The book starts off as very promising and very interesting. What I had trouble getting past was the terrible narration which I stuck out for more than half the book. At that point, I had begun to lose interest and finally gave up.
The narrator was horrible! Her voice was almost robotic. The story however was great. Extremely fictional in many areas but still a lovely story. Margaret George is an amazing author! I just do not recommend it as an audio book read by this reader!
Yes. It is what I have come to expect from MGeorges wonderful stories.
Her time in the desert was quite moving.
She was a good reader and I would listen to her AGIAN.
It moved me to hear the story presented in this way.
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