What don't I love about The Women of Easter by Liz Curtis Higgs?!? A sort-of companion book to The Women of Christmas, Liz takes the Easter story and unpacks it verse-by-verse to analyze, study, explain, and illustrate the roles of Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene. Liz includes Scripture throughout the book (literally every single page) and utilizes probably a dozen or more translations to help the reader understand the nuances of these women's interactions with Jesus.
My review cannot do this book justice. While I believe that scripture is "interesting" enough to be read on its own, The Women of Easter drew me back into the Easter story with fresh eyes, and in a way I never read it before. I could physically feel the adoration that Mary of Bethany felt when anointing the Lord with the jar of spikenard. I wept with Mary of Nazareth while she watched her precious Son be crucified, yet never neglecting to honor her as His mother, even on the cross. I wanted to cry out "Rabboni!" with Mary Magdelene as she realized that her Lord and Master had been resurrected and conquered death once and for all.
There's so much more! This is not JUST an Easter story, but Easter is an appropriate time of year to consider the events of Gospels. And Liz writes, as always, in her signature style - speaking to women as if they were her friends and she was sharing a cup of coffee with them. Liz points out some small but mighty truths that we might also tend to miss in Scripture, which is perhaps what I love about her the most. And I haven't even begun to address the unique way that Liz included hymns, both old and new, in her chapter titles.
The Women of Easter is a book I will read again and again. You should too!
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, the opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.
In this book, Liz Curtis Higgs tells a wonderfully detailed story of the women that impact Easter. But this is not your typical Easter story. This story is about three women named Mary, who each have a critical role in the story of Easter. In an act of extravagant love, Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus feet with expensive, sweet smelling perfume and Jesus exclaims that this is to prepare His body for his burial. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is present at the cross during Jesus crucifixion. Mary Magdalene is the first to spread the news of Jesus resurrection.
In typical Liz Curtis Higgs style (which is a wonderful thing), she details all the key scriptures pertaining to these stories and dissects each one to provide so much more depth and meaning than the few words on the page. She tells about the storys context, the characters who are present, the culture of the time and the interpretation of the original Greek words. In the back of the book there are questions that can be used for a study guide or a small group discussion.
Liz Curtis Higgs is one of my favorite authors. She is an engaging writer capable of bringing the story to life and showing you details that you may have easily over looked. You cant go wrong reading any book by Liz Curtis Higgs. She is a champion for women and of women. Many of her past books feature the famous (or infamous) women of the Bible and I would recommend any one of them: Women of Christmas, Bad Girls of the Bible, The Girls Still Got It, etc.
I received a free copy of this book through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.
In The Women of Easter, Liz Curtis Higgs uses her awesome gift of Bible-based storytelling to take readers into encounters with the Savior through the eyes of three women named Mary. Based on scripture from the gospels, Liz focuses on the days leading up to and including Christ's crucifixion and resurrection from the perspectives of this trio who knew Him well.
The presentation of scripture provides an easy to follow flow of events that strongly engages readers. It can also encourage readers to dig deeper into the Bible for greater understanding. On her website, Liz offers a free leader's guide for anyone interested in using her book for a group Bible study.
I highly recommend The Women of Easter for anyone who wants to better feel and understand what it was like to personally share in the experience of these important events in the life of Christ.
Thanks to the Blogging for Books program for providing a copy of The Women of Easter. I was pleased to share my thoughts about the book.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. To be honest, when I first picked it up I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't know what it would be about. I was pleasantly surprised. Higgs brings to life familiar stories I grew up hearing, in such detail I could imagine myself there. I could feel what they felt. They were so relatable. They became real people instead of just a story from so long ago. The Women of Easter is the story of Mary & Martha and their brother Lazarus, the story of the Week before Jesus was killed, the story of Easter. Jesus held fast to the purpose for his pain... our redemption. It subtly makes you think and ponder if you are living the way the people in Jesus time lived... giving of myself fully out of complete unselfish unassuming love for my savior. The writer illustrates that "beauty was revealed in brokenness". (p61)
I loved how the customs of the times were explained in such great detail. I often just skimmed over these details of the story not thinking much of them. I now have a much greater understanding of the ramifications and implications of the small (yet big) details. The incredible use of numerous different translation of the scripture was helpful. It's often recommended to study different versions when studying a passage to gain greater understanding. The author did a great job of this. She highlights Old Testament prophecies and shows how they came to pass in the New Testament. She ties all the gospels together to tell the amazing story of Jesus from the perspective of the women closest to Him. This quote sums it up nicely:
"Throughout these extraordinary scenes from scripture we've watched Jesus bridge the gap between his male disciples and his female followers." (Page 193)
The book ends with an extensive study guide for further study.
This is a great book. I now want to read more from this author. You won't be disappointed. I would give it 7 out of 5 stars if I could!
If you have been in church for your whole life as I am blessed to have been, you have heard the stories of Mary (sister of Martha), Mary (mother of Jesus) and Mary Magdalene. All three of their lives were changed because of Jesus and were never the same after having known him. What is unique about this book is Higgs' talent of taking their stories and weaving her own making them seem as if they could be somewhat of the girl next door and allow us to learn and apply their experience so well to our own lives. Another eye opening focus of this writing is how Jesus treated these three women at a time when women weren't esteemed as they are now. While I knew women of Biblical times were treated somewhat as a lesser human, I hadn't made the connection that these women, and others, sort of "made the cut" when God inspired the Bible and He obviously doesn't see any of them as lesser than the men of the Bible.
I have always appreciated Liz Curtis Higgs' humor. Few people can consistently make me laugh out loud as she can. Another aspect that drew me to her in the beginning is that she too is a Louisville girl. Several years ago, I read The Women of Christmas and even picked it up again this holiday season. The real life connections found in that book didn't make me question at all that The Women of Easter would be equally good. I wasn't disappointed. Higgs' writing style is easy for me to read and doesn't feel preachy at all. Curl up with your copy and a cup of tea. The timing of the paperback volume release is perfect as we all look to the Easter season. I know it has helped prepare my heart for the celebration and trust it will do the same for you.
I did receive this advanced proof from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and am in no way obligated to write a positive one.