I won Daughter of Jerusalem through a Goodreads first reads drawing, and I am so glad I did! It is a fictionalized account of Mary Magdalene's life. Not much is revealed about Mary Magdalene in the Bible, but the author made some judgment calls and ran with it and turned out an AMAZING story! It was really interesting to learn about the culture in Israel during the time of Christ's life on Earth. Also, it was neat to get to know some other biblical personalities through Mary's eyes. But most of all, this was such a well-crafted story. Author Joan Wolf made me feel as if I were experiencing the heart-wrenching disappointments, the temptations, and the joys that Mary went through, myself. I highly recommend this book!
Wow!!! Im bemused and astonished all at the same time... This book made me go back and reread parts of the Scripture. It touched my emotions so deeply that for the first time in my life I found myself really crying with the heroine and being angry when she was and of course overflow with joy when started standing on her own two feet and brave the World with chin held high and a beautiful smile transforming her face. The way this story is written made me feel like it was my best friend sitting next to me and pouring her broken heart out.
Mary of Magdala was an amazing woman. She had gone through so much hurt and loss and humiliation from such an early age, and had managed to come out such a strong woman-- a dedicated and active follower of Christ.
I believe all Jewish women are just as strong. Her aunt Leah's words (after Mary was told she would have to marry old Aaron) keep ringing in my mind, she said-"...you will marry this man and go to Sepphoris with him, and make the best of it. Thats what we women do: we make the best of it." I cant imagine myself finding strength to make the best of that situation. Meeeen I dont even make the best of my already great marriage, I complain and threaten like a spoiled child until I get what I want. Its such a shame and this book was such an eye opener. Im grateful I had the opportunity to read it.
One other quote touched me deeply and I believe it was the heart of Mary's story. After she confessed to Jesus her anger at all the people that have hurt her. He told her that she needs to forgive them because they are the ones that have set her feet upon the path to Him. What do you do with the people who have hurt you in life? Will you find the best of the situation and acknowledge that there are no mistakes in life? That everything that has been inflicted upon us had its own purpose and brought you to where you stand today?
Despite my hesitation to read Biblical fiction I really liked this book and couldn't put it down. It has a great story with well rounded charters, and interesting facts about Jews and Romans, emotional roller coaster, very personal appeal and a really sound advise.
Please enjoy reading it..I hope it will touch your heart as much as it touched mine.
Disclaimer: I got a free hardcopy of this book, from Worthy Publishing, in exchange for my honest opinion.
She was the first person to see her resurrected Savior, a sinner whom Jesus cleansed of seven demons, and one of the women who followed and supported Jesus and the Twelve Apostles, but who was Mary Magdalene? What was her story? In her latest novel, Daughter of Jerusalem, New York Times bestselling author Joan Wolf puts a story to the person of Mary Magdalene. This first-person tale begins when, at a young age, Mary is sent from her family to live with her aunt and ends after Pentecost.
This is the first Joan Wolf book that I read and I am so glad I did. The novel is easy to read and utterly engrossing - I didn't want to put it down. I cried at times while reading of Mary's hardships and rejoiced in her triumphs. I will definitely be reading more of Joan Wolf's writings. I'll also be learning more about the Biblical account of Mary Magdalene. The book has me intrigued and I want to learn more about this important woman.
I love historical fiction because it weaves well-known historical characters and occurrences into the story. It's fun to see how the author gives life to the Biblical account by putting names and relationships to people who we know little about from the Bible, such as Fulvius Petrus, an acquaintance of Mary's that turns out to be the centurion that had the faith to ask Christ to heal his servant from a distance. However, it is important to remember that Daughter of Jerusalem is a work of fiction. The Bible gives us no reason to suppose that Mary participated in many of the events that the author places her at, nor does it give us many details about her life. It also doesn't explain her political leanings. I found it startling that the author blends Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany (the sister of Lazarus and Martha) into a single person. I had always thought that these were two different people, but after reading the book I spent some time researching and discovered that there are some who believe that they may be the same person (though many scholars do not). The author provides a believable explanation of how Mary of Magdala could also be Mary of Bethany and the truth is that we really don't know.
This is a fantastic book and a highly recommend it to any Christian. It is a wonderful story, makes some great points, and will cause you to open your Bible and learn more.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Worthy Publishing as part of their Daughter of Jerusalem blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing these things in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
In this fictionalized story of one of the Bible's most compelling women, Joan Wolf beautifully recreates the history, romance, and tradition of Mary's world. Daughter of Jerusalem follows Mary's life from her first love through her loveless marriage, to the moment she heard of a miracle worker in her own town -- and ultimately to the moment she saw Him risen from the dead.
Of all the biblical novels I've read that included the character of Mary Magdalene, I believe Daughter of Jerusalem is my favorite. Joan writes in an easy flowing style that held my attention while moving the story along. The first two sections, which deal with the love of Mary's youth followed by her loveless arranged marriage, are great storytelling. And the third section, which includes many of the people and events of Jesus' ministry as seen through Mary's eyes, I found very inspiring. The story makes the miracles of Jesus come alive.
Mary Magdalene has been a fascinating character throughout history, and I like how Joan portrays her as adulterous rather than being a prostitute. Betrayed by the men in her life, Mary learned a hard lesson early on: "Never give men any more power over you than they already possessed. . . . I raised unseen walls around me and let nothing or no one come in." She strays away from the innocent faith of her youth - "I still believed in the God of Israel; I just wanted nothing to do with Him" - and her growing faith in the Messiah is a joy to watch.
The attention to historical and cultural detail is impeccable and adds much interest to the narrative. There were a couple of things I differ in belief on, but even biblical scholars don't agree, so that's okay. The story rises above that and never fails to entertain and inspire.
The way Mary became a devout follower of Christ, never wavering in her faith and using her considerable wealth to help others, offers both a challenge and example to us today. This is a story that I can easily recommend to all readers, not just to those who enjoy biblical fiction.
This book was provided by Worthy Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
This story is about Mary Magdalene from the New Testament. I think most of my readers already know Mary's story.
As with Joan's other books I would have to say that I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book.
Joan's writing is amazing. Her details of the land make you visualize it and feel like you are there. Just coming back from Israel a month ago and it being so fresh in my mind Joan describes it vividly. When I can visualize a scene so well, see the landscape, and feel the emotions of the characters so clearly. That in my opinion is a unique author to be able to do it throughout the book. She makes the character come alive. There is a lot of dialogue in the novel and not many authors can pull it off and keep your interest.
I know and expect an author that writes biblical novels must add fictional details and make assumptions, in my opinion, this author goes a little way out there. Unlike Joan's last novel we don't have a lot of details concerning Mary's life so the reality is that you have to make assumptions. I liked how Joan in her previous novel addressed the issue that she "took liberties" with the Biblical accounts in her story. I wish she would have also addressed this in this novel.
Some examples would be that Mary Magdalene is also Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. I don't see that in scripture as the Mary's being separate women. She left out some details about accounts in the Bible that we do know and added her own
I also seen some culture errors that are known like John the Baptist didn't baptize by pouring the water over your head with your hands. I noticed a lot of culture errors concerning the Jewish culture.
If you want to know the real story of Mary, the Bible is where you'll get the facts. Just remember you are reading a novel and not the Bible. I would still recommend this book if you can read it as a fictional book and overlook the biblical account of the story. Thanks Joan for a beautifully written story. I would read her other stories when they come out. Her gift of writing in my opinion stands out.
Worthy Publishing has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. In no way was I asked to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.