!!> Read ➶ The Book of Longings ➺ Author Sue Monk Kidd – Trishjohnsongolf.co.uk

The Book of Longings I am Ana I was the wife of Jesus of Nazareth I am a voice I loved The Invention Of Wings and I will admit to being a lil skeptical about the subject of this novel being about Jesus I m so glad I didn t let that deter me from giving this a chance I was expecting biblical Jesus, however, Kidd came at this novel from a totally human perspective Through his wife s voice Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the concept of Jesus having a wife this novel tells how it is entirely possible It was realistically and thoughtfully told per the time period I appreciate Kidd s explanations for the choices she made in making the story told from Ana s POV Her voice is one that I will not forget This would make for a great book club pick A must read I Am Ana I Was The Wife Of JesusSo Begins The New Novel From The Number One New York Times Bestselling Author Of The Secret Life Of Bees And The Invention Of Wings, An Extraordinary Story Set In The First Century About A Woman Who Finds Her Voice And Her Destiny In A Time Of Great Despair And Great HopeIn Her Fourth Work Of Fiction, Sue Monk Kidd Brings Her Acclaimed Narrative Gifts To Imagine The Story Of A Young Woman Named Ana Raised In A Wealthy Family In Sepphoris With Ties To The Ruler Of Galilee, She Is Rebellious And Ambitious, A Relentless Seeker With A Brilliant, Curious Mind And A Daring Spirit She Yearns For A Pursuit Worthy Of Her Life, But Finds No Outlet For Her Considerable Talents Defying The Expectations Placed On Women, She Engages In Furtive Scholarly Pursuits And Writes Secret Narratives About Neglected And Silenced Women When She Meets The Eighteen Year Old Jesus, Each Is Drawn To And Enriched By The Other S Spiritual And Philosophical Ideas He Becomes A Floodgate For Her Intellect, But Also The Awakener Of Her HeartTheir Marriage Unfolds With Love And Conflict, Humor And Pathos In Nazareth, Where Ana Makes A Home With Jesus, His Brothers, James And Simon, And Their Mother, Mary Here, Ana S Pent Up Longings Intensify Amid The Turbulent Resistance To The Roman Occupation Of Israel, Partially Led By Her Charismatic Adopted Brother, Judas She Is Sustained By Her Indomitable Aunt Yaltha, Who Is Searching For Her Long Lost Daughter, As Well As By Other Women, Including Her Friend Tabitha, Who Is Sold Into Slavery After She Was Raped, And Phasaelis, The Shrewd Wife Of Herod Antipas Ana S Impetuous Streak Occasionally Invites Danger When One Such Foray Forces Her To Flee Nazareth For Her Safety Shortly Before Jesus S Public Ministry Begins, She Makes Her Way With Yaltha To Alexandria, Where She Eventually Finds Refuge And Purpose In Unexpected SurroundingsGrounded In Meticulous Historical Research And Written With A Reverential Approach To Jesus S Life That Focuses On His Humanity, The Book Of Longings Is An Inspiring Account Of One Woman S Bold Struggle To Realize The Passion And Potential Inside Her, While Living In A Time, Place, And Culture Devised To Silence Her For many Christians, it has been believed that Jesus was an unmarried man who was crucified and buried and was the son of God Our knowledge of his life comes to us through the bible but there were many years that were unaccounted for in his thirty three years on earth What if in those years, Jesus did indeed marry For some this might be a difficult concept and yet Sue Monk Kidd decided to take it on and wrote an interesting tale of just that possibility Ana, the future wife of Jesus was a headstrong young woman from Sepphoris She came from a family of wealth and prestige, but Ana is not content with the life she leads She longs to write, to be read, to be someone different than what she is expected to be She doesn t accept the plans her parents laid out for her, for Ana had her own plans, her own dreams, her own desires Ana meets and marries Jesus after suffering much grief by her dominant parents They move to Nazareth and as the story unfolds, Jesus finds in himself the zeal to teach, to challenge the Jewish leaders, to become a target Leaving Ana to preach, she becomes entrapped in a world where while she longs to be with Jesus, she can t She is a prisoner trapped in a world where women were held in such low esteem, where they were seen but seldom heard, where their fate was always determined by a male presence Using what many of us know about the divinity of Jesus, Ms Kidd creates a human, less divine character, than the one Christians believe in She omits the miracles attributed to him, and although she captures the heinous crucifixion, she does not delve into his Resurrection which is a basis for the Christian faith.However, the story is really about Ana She is, as is often said, a person born before their time She is determined, tenacious, and steadfast in her overwhelming desire to write, to be heard, to be her own person To that end, Ana strives and even though her life has what some would consider insurmountable obstacles, Ana s drive, determination, and perseverance sees her through to a life of her own choosing.Thank you to Sue Monk Kidd, Penguin Random House Publishing, and Edelweiss for a copy of this book due out April 21, 2020. I was a little skeptical going into this book, mainly because I consider myself a fairly devout Christian While I am extremely open to interpretations and opposing beliefs, I thought this book would offend rather than inspire I am so glad that I ignored my reservations and finished the book This was definitely one of the most delicately explored historical fiction books I have ever read Sue Monk Kidd explains herself that, while she was extremely careful to perform the necessary research and kept most of her references historically accurate, there were some things that needed to be changed in order to fit her story line She mentions that while Jesus is never mentioned as having a wife, it is also never mentioned in biblical texts that he did not have one, and this raised a lot of questions for me We all know that there is little documentation on Jesus s life between his 12th year and 30th year of life, so it is possible that he did not know he was the son of God and followed the expected path of a young devout Jewish man I believe this book explores that possibility expertly The storyline, while intricate, will take you on a journey throughout Ana s entire life the betrayal of her parents, the true love she finds from not only Jesus, but the strong women in her life such as Yaltha and Tabitha, and Ana s own personal longings She is a strong and inspiring female character, and while some might think the rebellion of a woman in a patriarchal society to be a bit cliche, I thought Kidd wrote it eloquently and believably While the ending scene felt a little rushed to me, that cannot deter me from the book as a whole Kidd s writing and research deserve a 5 out of 5. 4.5 starsA man s holy of holies contains God s laws, but inside a woman s there are only longings Young Ana has been raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris her father, Matthias, is the head scribe to the ruler of Galilee, Herod Antipas Her mother, a beauty from a poor family, is cold and calculating Her adopted brother, Judas, fueled by his hatred of Rome for the loss of his parents, has left home to become part of a revolt to overthrow their power.Ana is restless and daring, learning to read and write so that she can document the narratives of voiceless women When she is forced into a betrothal to a local widower, Ana is determined to find a way to make a life on her own terms and to save the many stories she has painstakingly chronicled from being destroyed.She finds a kindred spirit in a young man named Jesus They are drawn together through a series of dramatic events that change the course of Ana s life and the couple marry They live in a compound in Nazareth with Jesus s mother and brothers James and Simon.When Jesus is compelled to follow John the Immerser, Ana s longings and frustrations intensify She s left behind in Nazareth with Jesus s mother, brothers James and Simon, and her aunt Yaltha until Jesus sends for her.Ana s stubborn streak earns her the wrath of Herod and she leaves Nazareth for Alexandria with Yaltha, awaiting news from Judas when it s safe to return.Alexandria is both a prison and a haven for Ana and Yaltha as they face past regrets and bravely plan for the future Ana discovers her purpose and when she receives word that she can return to Jesus s side, she leaves behind Yaltha who has been reunited with her long lost daughter.After two long years, Ana arrives home to find that Judas has betrayed Jesus and must follow her husband to witness his suffering on the cross.While there will always be a debate over whether Jesus was human or divine, I have always loved the idea that Jesus was a man who inspired divine events I identify with him better considering him with human feelings and desires It isn t too much of a stretch for me to imagine him falling in love and marrying I love that Sue Monk Kidd took this possibility a step further and gave us the imagined story of the wife of Jesus Ana is a memorable character with her longings, defiance, and ambitions I appreciated that she and Jesus offered each other their unwavering support in the pursuit of destiny They were each compelled to sacrifice their desires to share and advance their beliefs.We meet so many familiar characters Lazarus, Martha, Tabitha to name a few and I love how they were seamlessly included and enriched this story.The Book of Longings is a beautiful piece of historical fiction that offers a rarely considered perspective of the life of Jesus, but most importantly it focuses on the story of the bold and passionate Ana There are so few stories of women from this time period and I appreciate the careful research and respect by Kidd in creating this novel.Thanks to Viking and Edelweiss for providing me with a DRC in exchange for my honest review The Book of Longings is scheduled for release on April 21, 2020Quote included is from a digital advanced reader s copy and is subject to change upon final publication.For reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com If you have been waiting for a book like THE RED TENT for the past 20 years this is it Ana is Jesus wife and a force in her own right Monk does not come across sensational in her writing about a fictional marriage for Jesus but rather goes into great historical detail of the time and what it would be like to be a woman Loved this book. I was both curious about this captivating story, and curious if the read would be as good as hoped with such a momentous premise it does Well researched and easy to enjoy the narrative voice with fully realized, provocative characters become an immersive human story plus it has a killer first line I am Ana I was the wife of Jesus Ana s voice is strong, assured, and intoxicating filled with rich, evocative power, as compelling as her previous titles, yet even literary and elevated Galley borrowed from the publisher. Imagine that Jesus had a wife Not Mary Magdalene as proposed in The DaVinci Code and any other number of books ranging from fictional to scholarly Imagine that Jesus, in the years between reaching manhood and beginning his public role as prophet and visionary, when he lived as an ordinary Jewish man, fulfilling the ordinary expectations regarding family life, had a wife Who would that woman have been, the one who formed a lifelong bond with a man who would become increasingly focused on a nonviolent struggle to free the Jewish people What were her interests What drove her What did she do as Jesus left home for longer and longer periods of time traveling the Jewish world What was her relationship to G d In The Book of Longings Sue Monk Kidd creates her own set of answers to these questions imagined, not factual, but grounded in careful research into the time period and region The beauty of her answer and the reason this book succeeds are due to the completeness with which she depicts Ana wife of Jesus, aspiring scribe at a time when few women were literate, theological skeptic, who moves across geographical and class boundaries.The Book of Longings is both engaging and surprising, deeply moving, and a testimony to the strength of women across time Highly recommended.I received a free electronic review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley The Opinions are my own. I am of two minds about this book It is divided into sections based on divisions in the character s life and her location The first one, in which she is a young woman teens , I found pretty dismal The language felt stilted, although that was probably an attempt to give a historical feel However, to people living in any time, their language is natural and this device felt like artifice and a barrier to embracing the narrator s reality Most characters were introduced without much nuance they were good or they were evil A few historical notes rang false as well Why would it be odd that a woman in her 40s looked old The average life expectancy was lower in biblical times and living conditions would have been harsh Why would the fictionalized character of Jesus not be called Joshua or Yeshua Everyone else went by either their Hebrew names or an anglicized version of the their names Jesus is the Greek version of that name I also found it odd to assign modern female sensibilities about women s roles, rights, lives, etc to a character who would be very unlikely to have these thoughts We are creatures of our times ignoring that takes the reader out of the story.Good news as the plot advances, so does the quality of the writing and the appeal of the novel I liked very much how the author embraced the fully human Messiah story I thought she did that well It was also interesting to read about Alexandria s history. I read this in a couple cozy sittings over the holidays it struck me as I read it that I hadn t read a book like this in a long time a true, traditional, storytelling experience, this book is mythic and intimate, joyful and painful it really reads like an instant classic Unnlike a lot of books I read that feel half formed or not fully cooked this book felt like it just exists not that it was written or attached to any author it stands totally on its own and that is a rare thing in publishing I think this will end up in a lot of readers hands this year.

About the Author: Sue Monk Kidd

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