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History is written by the victors and, in most cases, by men. Sue Monk Kidd tells the story of historical Jesus from the perspective of his fictional wife Ana. I didn't expect this book to own my heart, but it completely did.
Sue Monk Kidd is a masterful storyteller! The Book of Longings is a new subject matter for her, in that it mixes religion with fiction. I was not sure if I would like it because I am not a very religious person, but she does an excellent job telling Ana`s story.
Ana, in the story, was married to Jesus. There is not\ mention of her in any of the scriptures, but the story is believable to the reader. Ana is a strong, intelligent woman, who fights for her own and her families rights. Her relationship with Jesus is strong, but distant since he places his mission as the prophet first. She spends most of her time longing for him and for a better life for women.
Sue Monk Kidd has outdone herself with this beautifully written novel. This work of fiction tenderly explores Ana, who is the wife of Jesus. It is such a nice story and really well told. I would recommend this book to anyone.
A creative and daring re-envisioning of life in the time of Jesus as it might have been experienced by a woman who in the story is also his wife. The writing is skillful and lovely and the section around the crucifixion is truly heart-wrenching and powerful. It is important to note that the novel is not about theology or religion but rather about relationships and becoming who you feel called to be even in difficult times. As such, it is a truly enjoyable and insightful read.
Kidd’s depiction of Ana, the wife of Jesus, as an early feminist was appealing since this characterization seemed grounded in well-researched history. I’m not too sure about her depiction of Jesus with his laughing nature although she does seem to target his religious passion well, for Jesus must certainly have been driven in this way. Loved her characterization of Ana’s aunt. Altogether a really enjoyable and thought-provoking read.
Sue Monk Kidd gives voice to a fictional wife of Jesus and a voice to feminism long ago.
Kidd is an able writer, but she fails to develope any of the book's characters into more than two dimensions with the exception of the young girl, the narrator. I truly enjoy historical fiction that broadens the reader's knowledge and appreciation of past eras and foreign geography; I also enjoy knowing more facts about historic people. But I fail to enjoy fabricated stories that ignore factual events and details recorded by eyewitnesses. This is a poor grasping for popularity by a writer-adrift.
This book is so good. Not only can you picture being Ana; you can picture "Ana" actually existing.
If you loved The Red Tent and The Dovekeepers like I did, you'll love The Book of Longings!
Whether you are a student of the Bible or have never heard the story of Jesus, this story will draw you and and hold you to it's finish. Imagine a world in which Jesus had a wife. What was her life like? What was it like to be a woman in Galilee in the iron age? Sue Monk Kidd's research into both the history and the topic is exhaustive. And if she really existed...was she the most silenced female voice in history?!
On reading the synopsis and learning that this is a fictional account of a wife of Jesus, one assumes that it is rather audacious. However, the book is a very sensitive treatment of Jesus and deals with a woman's voice from the first century. Ana, the fictitious wife of Jesus has longings like any woman but she finds a way to voice these longings - through her writings. Like any woman of her century she is snubbed and silenced but she fleas Nazareth and finds a home in Alexandria where she is able to write independently. It is amazing what she achieved in her day and age and some of this is relevant today too and Sue Monk Kidd has done women a great service by voicing these longings. This book needs to be widely read.
Just like Diamant’s The Red Tent, this book helped me see women of the Old Testament as real people not backdrops. What makes this even more interesting is Judas Iscariot is her brother. Yes, I imagine there will be a hubbub about giving Jesus a wife, but it does not denigrate anything about Christ. It gives a voice to women at a time when they had no rights. Yes, it might be called revisionist history, but it is historical fiction and after all Jesus was known to champion women. I would love to see this as a discussion starter in an adult church school class. How would western culture be different if both men and women appreciated the others spirit and intellect?
Excellent historic fiction (emphasis on fiction). Thoroughly researched and moving. Ana is a smart and strong character and her story is compelling. One of Sue Monk Kidd's best! Just read it.
What if your life and your work were erased from history simply because you were a woman? This book explores the life of Ana who feels a longing to learn and to write and to leave a mark on this world. She finds a kindred spirit in a man named Jesus. Beautiful in its scope and imagery, this is for anyone with longings of their own.