i really wanted to like this book. i even violated the 100 page rule!
i got annoyed with the portrayal of women...i know... i know.. women were treated that way. i just could not take it this time.
i also thought the betrayal of Mary was totally wrong.
i have read other books by this author but this one just did nto sit right with me.
i really really really wanted to like this book. really. but i just had some real problems.
the main one is that i kept taking my background and what ive learned and applying it. its really conflicting. i think this wouldve been a much better story if id never heard of jesus.
from the very start this was a little hard because a lot of names and biblical references are thrown in and as i was reading it i was just really confused. the author shouldve either kept the names and references out or explained them.
also- i understand that the novel is a work of fiction and based on what LITTLE is known about mary magdalene. but....
the fact that she had 7 demons in her is just...ridiculous. theres a ton of posession going on. i mean how many demons are there and was the issue that bad? its like one of out every 10 people they meet has a demon in them. yeah...
and jesus- his character is not portrayed as ive been taught. he will only take israelites on as his disciples (prejudiced much?) and he makes threats towards entire towns if they dont follow him. (open minded much?) towards the end of the story he becomes this crazy vengeful guy and im like what? who is this? and why does he not figure out thats hes the messiah until the end? huh?
jesus' family- ok they disown him because he decides to leave and teach. they dont believe he is the chosen one. weren't joseph and mary warned that they were having this miracle baby who was going to change the world? why would they disown him and why would his siblings loathe him? is the whole away in a manager thing ignored here? and did he really have a ton of brothers and sisters?
mary magdalene- im really disapointed in her character. she seemed like a pretty strong cool girl. but she freaking leaves her baby behind. how uncool is that? and she was married? she just doesnt seem like this amazing strong woman ive always pictured her to be. shes actually weak and annoying.
she also gains the power to heal people through jesus. if this were in any way possible, wouldnt jesus have had everyone he taught learn to heal and then they heal and then everyone is forever healed? and if everyone can heal why is he the special one. his disciples can heal through him so arent they just as good?
the end of the book really has so little to do with mary magdalene and more about jesus. i felt like the author totally lost focus.
honestly, i skimmed the last 50 or so pages i was just tired of it. i really wanted to like it. and if i was able to read it as a story and not put my knowledge into it it mightve been better. but not great.
I suggested this book (having read it before) for my Christian Women's book club to read during the Lenten season. They were a little freaked out about its size, but they all loved it. Very well researched, historically accurate details about daily life & roles of women and men during that time period. A perfect read during the Lenten season.
All and all this was a good book. The story was an interesting one, but the book drug on a little too long. I felt that she could have made the book about 200 pages shorter and created an evan more compelling story. That aside, Marys charicter is wonderful. I truley admired her strength and courage. I enjoyed seeing characters from the Bible come to life and portrayed in such a human way with flaws and all. I would recomend this book, but with the warning "it is as long as it looks".
I just completed the book last night, and it has taken a while! What I liked best about it was the "human" face it put on all the players: Jesus, Mary Magdalene, the disciples, the families. In Biblical accounts, the reader tends to forget that these were humans with all their flaws and complicated histories, as well as families to consider. Ms. George does an amazing job of research in all her books, and I have thoroughly enjoyed each one. She does an excellent job of blending history with carefully created fiction.
This was a very interesting book. I had no idea of the struggles that Mary went through in her life before meeting Christ and becoming his follower. It was engrossing and though it is a long book, I was able to read it quickly. If you want to get an idea of what day to day life for a disciple would have been like, this is the book for you!
WOW! Depending on what you know or think of Mary Magdalene, this book may be great or you may hate it! I found it very interesting and it gave mea bit more insight as to whom she may have been. Albeit, the story is fiction, I feel that some truth must lie in those pages. The story is a bit dry and at some points hard to get through. But, it's interesting.
This was an excellent book. With very little information from the original source (the Bible) but with lots of historical research, the author puts together the possible story of Mary Magdalene. This has been a controversial character, often judged by misinformation or by lack of cultural knowledge of the time. Not in this book. You get the feeling that Mary Magdalene is telling you her story herself, she becomes believable, and elicits understanding and compassion.
I could not put this book down. I highly recommend it.
Absorbing 'take' on what might have been the life of Mary Magdalene, based on the little we know of her through the Bible and other sources combined with historical research of the period. Nothing too controversial, just an interesting glimpse into an interesting time.
A vivid re-creation of Mary Magdalene's life story, using testaments, letters, and narrative to convincingly capture Mary's voice as she moves from girlhood to womanhood. Shows how she becomes part of the circle of disciples, and comes to grip with the divine.
Of all the women in the Bible, perhaps no one's presence has been as constantly reinterpreted as that of Mary Magdalene. Was she a prostitute? A prophet? In Margaret George's epic historical novel, Mary, Called Magdalene (Geroge's previous subjects include Henry VIII, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Cleopatra), Mary comes alive as one of Jesus' first believers, a woman of infallible visions and a faith that earns her the title "Apostle to the Apostles." With numerous biblical and scholarly texts serving as the core of this intriguing woman's story, George recreates the world of Galilean fishermen and the oppressions of the Jewish people under Roman rule. Cast out from her family after Jesus expels the demons that have ravaged her mind, Mary follows the man from Nazareth until they receive attention from the skeptical hordes and the Roman magistrates controlling Jerusalem.
Mary, from beginning to end of this giant undertaking, is a woman who struggles to reconcile her absence from her young daughter's life with the chance to be part of something important. Through the lens of her ever-inquisitive mind, the story covers the formation of Jesus' ragtag band of disciples and the crucifixion, and ends with Mary's mission as the head of the Christian church in Ephesus, where she died at the age of 90. What makes this a compelling read is that Mary's story connects humanity with faith in a way that's possible to understand, whatever our contemporary beliefs. --Emily Russin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
George, whose niche is historical and biographical novels, begins this one ploddingly with suspenseless reportage on Mary Magdalene's pleasant, middle-class childhood in a prosperous fishing village. Scattered references to the idol/demon that will eventually possess Mary are intended as fateful omens, but her slow road to madness gets much less play than her conventional and uninteresting life. The novel improves considerably when Mary finds herself possessed by one demon, and then, helplessly, by six more. Her valiant efforts to first hide her possession and then find a cure are masterfully described. When a prophet named Jesus finally casts out her demons, she celebrates, only to realize that she must make a heartrending choice between following the prophet or going back to her husband, baby and extended family. At this point, George's novel becomes a safe, though readable, retelling of the gospels. Her main deviation from orthodoxy is her insistence that there were 16 disciples 12 men and four women who were equal in Jesus' eyes. Additionally, George emphasizes Mary's prophetic visions and Jesus' celebration of them, and in doing so gives credence to gnostic accounts of mysticism among the disciples. While some may compare this novel with Anita Diamant's The Red Tent, it bears a much stronger resemblance to Walter Wangerin's biographical novel about the apostle Paul. Like Wangerin's work, this imagines nothing seriously objectionable to even the most devout Christians. As such, it lacks the transgressive power of The Red Tent, but is still a well-researched and thought-provoking book.