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Publisher's Summary

In this wonderful novel about love and trust, hope and belief, Elizabeth Berg, the best-selling author of We Are All Welcome Here and The Year of Pleasures, transports us to Nazareth in biblical times to reimagine the events of the classic Christmas story.

We meet Mary (young, strong, and inquisitive) as she first meets Joseph, a serious-minded young carpenter who is steadfastly devoted to the religious traditions of their people. The two become betrothed, but are soon faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Aided by a great and abiding love, they endure challenges to their relationship as well as threats to their lives as they come to terms with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the birth of their child, Jesus. For Mary, the pregnancy is a divine miracle and a privilege. For Joseph, it is an ongoing test, not only of his courage but of his faith in his wife as well as his God.

Exquisitely written and imbued with the truthful emotions and richness of detail that have earned Elizabeth Berg a devoted readership, The Handmaid and the Carpenter explores lives touched profoundly by miracles large and small. This powerful and moving novel is destined to become a classic.

©2006 Elizabeth Berg; (P)2006 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Poetic, reflective, and intricate." (Booklist)

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I loved it!

The story of Mary and Joseph is so special. Being RC, I have heard the story many times.