Mary of Magdala brought to life
Mary of Magdala suffered a trauma in her youth that led to having seizures and hearing voices. Although the Jewish priests prayed over her, she was not healed. The incidents grew in frequency and intensity until people around her began to whisper Ã¢ÂÂMad MaryÃ¢ÂÂ when they saw her. Eventually she lost her grip on sanity and needed to be kept in a locked room, both for her safety and that of the public.
A dire circumstance, to be sure. Her husband had lost the wife he loved, but never stopped praying and searching for her healing. A well-respected boat builder in Magdala, he was commissioned to build a fishing boat for a man named Zebedee of Capernaum. From Zebedee and his sons James and John, MaryÃ¢ÂÂs husband first heard of the itinerant preacher named Jesus, but there was no safe way to take his demented wife so far for the touch of the Healer. Would Jesus ever come to Magdala?
In this retelling of the biblical story of Mary Magdalene, we become immersed in first century Palestine and life along the Sea of Galilee. We see the culture of the wealthy of that time, as well as the needy. We see the temple in Jerusalem through the eyes of a woman and experience the Sermon on the Mount. But most of all, we get a feel for the way the news of Jesus spread across the countryside and listen in to the discussion of whether or not this man truly was the Messiah.
If you enjoy biblical fiction, Mary Magdalene is a must read. And if itÃ¢ÂÂs a genre new to you, I think youÃ¢ÂÂll find that Diana Wallis Taylor has a knack for drawing the reader into the time period and allowing us to experience the wonders of Scriptures in a new way. I wasnÃ¢ÂÂt sure what to expect in this book, and I really enjoyed it.
October 12, 2012
A powerful portrayal of Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene is a moving read, a powerful portrayal of one of the most famous women of the New Testament. I found myself immediately drawn into this artfully crafted novel, and I must say that the first half of the story in particular was impossible to put down, from Mary's childhood experience that resulted in her being inhabited by demons, to her miraculous delivery by Jesus. The settings and descriptions the author uses are vivid and absolutely brought each scene to life. It is clear that Taylor has carefully researched the person of Mary Magdalene and the culture of the day, and while obviously some poetic license had to be used to create a work of fiction from Mary's life as detailed in the Bible, Taylor does so in a manner that is faithful to scripture while providing for an entertaining read. While waiting for Mary to be delivered, I literally was gripping the book due to the suspense of whether all would fall into place for her to be freed (and this despite knowing the Biblical outcome of the story!). I did find that the latter part of the book slowed down in pace for me, and while it was still enjoyable, it didn't hold the same gripping power over me. However, all told I find this to be a worthy re-telling of Mary's story, and one that deserves a permanent place on my shelf.
I give this book a solid recommendation and award it 4 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
August 16, 2012
A stunning book that brings the life of Jesus alive through the eyes of one of His most faithful followers.
Mary is kidnapped as a young child, and sees her beloved father almost die before her eyes. Nightmares haught her of that day, and voices tell her that she is not good enough to live, that she holds others back. All she wants, is to be free. What kind of life can she have? What about love, or most importantly of all who will refresh her tired soul?
Ms. Taylor tells the story of Mary Magdalene in a fresh, riveting, way that touches the heart. In this book I got to see Mary Magdalene in a different way and get to see a glimpse of what her life might have been like. I think that Ms. Taylor did a fantastic job of bringing her to life, and I thought she handled the portraying of Jesus perfectly, sticking very, very close to the Scriptures.
I really liked how this tale imagined what Mary life might have been like before she met Jesus. And I thought that Nathan was a wonderful man, and I loved that even though he was a good man, he was still human.
Overall, this book is probably the best Biblical fiction I have ever read! I was intrigued from the very first page, and found it to be a very fast read. I loved how much the Bible was quoted exactly and how well researched this book was! This is one of those books that I approached not erally knowing what to expect or how much I would like it, and then I gave it a shot and I was a goner. I loved this book!
Ã¢ÂÂAvailable June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.Ã¢ÂÂ
I received this book from the publusher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
July 15, 2012
Excellent take on this story
I have been so impressed with Diana's Biblical fiction and this book was a really great twist on a story everybody thinks they know. I loved examining this story through her eyes and seeing what an alternative to Mary being a prostitute might have been. Following Mary's story from being a young girl all the way through to Jesus ascending to heaven. It is an incredible trip that is so real and in the moment that you will think you have gone back in time. Somehow I missed her book "Martha" but I will have to go back and get it, I really like Diana's books!
July 12, 2012