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The Wife of John the Baptist Paperback – January 20, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1493722468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1493722464
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #875,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

This reimagining of John the Baptist’s life gives the itinerate prophet a Greek wife who desperately wants him to avert his dark destiny. The Bible doesn’t mention a wife for the locust-and-honey-eating forerunner of the Christian savior, but as the titular wife here reasonably explains: “A woman, in those days, was not counted. So even after we were married, people continued to say that John lived alone in the wilderness.” Hessa, who narrates the novel, tells of growing up “in Decapolis, south of the Sea of Galilee and west of the Jordan River, during the time when Judea was a Roman province.” K.’s (The Concubine’s Gift, 2011) vivid writing engagingly depicts the ancient Middle East, describing “Phoenician traders from the sea coast, jewelers from Jerusalem, fine pottery merchants from Greece, lumber dealers from Syria and even magicians from Egypt.” In a touch of magical realism, her merchant father values her ability to tell an object’s history simply by holding it. Though he wants her to marry abroad to solidify his trading connections, her latent adventurousness makes her hesitant to marry at all, until one day in the marketplace she meets a man with “the beautiful, dark eyes of a wild girl.” When she touches John’s hand she knows he fears neither poverty nor death. They marry against her father’s wishes and wander south together along the banks of the Jordan, living in a goatskin tent. Theirs is a Song of Solomon kind of marital bliss, yet Hessa fears the way John is drawn to an increasingly public life, attracting followers she must then find a way to feed as well as the attentions of the land’s Roman occupiers and Zealot rebels. Though the story inevitably leads to John’s martyrdom, it is more so the story of a marriage rather than the tumultuous events that surrounded it. A well-written tale embroidering the life of one of Scripture’s most charismatic figures.

About the Author

K. Ford K. is the author of two novels as well as numerous magazine and newspaper articles for publications in Colorado, Japan and Hawaii. After living and writing overseas for fourteen years, she now lives in Hawaii with her daughter. For further information about K. Ford K., visit her blog at kfordk.com, on facebook at facebook.com/kayfordkay or on twitter, @kfordk

More About the Author

I became a storyteller by accident. It all began in Mexico where I attended university and where I learned to accept the supernatural as a normal part of life. From the revered opinions of the local witch, to the preparation of meals for dead grandmothers, I learned to see the world through a surrealist's eyes and I came to understand that things are not always what they seem.

Later, on my way to attend a university in France, I traveled to Morocco. I stopped at a marketplace in Marrakesh and while eating my lunch of dates and oranges, I watched a tattered beggar transform himself into a storyteller. He moved with the practiced gestures and fantastic expressions of his trade, surrounded by a growing circle of people who listened to him with eyes wide open, their own lives forgotten. In another culture, at another time he might have been a rich man, but here he was selling beautiful tales for coins in the dusty marketplace. I longed to be like him, this mendicant from Marrakesh.

Years later, I moved to Tokyo to teach and write articles for The Tokyo Weekender Magazine. Every day I traveled the crowded trains, sharing space and breath with millions of strangers. There amid the crushing humanity, I watched the surreal combinations of east and west in language and life, the painful and beautiful growth that occurs when two cultures collide. I witnessed two public suicides, and felt firsthand not only the temporality of life but also the beauty of a single moment.

The time spent crushed between strangers, doors and windows of the train became a quiet meditative place where I learned to accept life and death. There on that Tokyo train, I began to write novels in my head, while that tattered beggar from Marrakesh, who had captivated me years before, whispered in my ear like a nagging dead man, "Tell me a story."



K. Ford K. is the author of two novels as well as numerous magazine and newspaper articles for publications in Colorado, Japan and Hawaii. After living and writing overseas for fourteen years, she now lives in Hawaii with her daughter.

Customer Reviews

Captivating story and gorgeous prose.
RTL
Surely he had someone to love and comfort him, and mourn him in the end.
Robin Landry
The book was so good I read it in one sitting.
K.Roberts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rob Slaven - slavenrm@gmail. com TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
As usual I received this book free in exchange for a review, this time from the author. Also as usual I will give my absolutely candid opinions below.

This novel is a rather unique blend of religion, history and the supernatural. Our protagonist is the daughter of a rich Greek merchant who can sense the history of people and objects merely by touching them. This by itself is a sufficiently unusual beginning to pique most interest and it only gets better from there.

On the positive side, this book is full of intricate historical details but doesn't really assume that you know anything about the life of everyday people during the life of Christ. The author very patiently explains everything from wedding rituals and menstruation to bathing habits. If nothing else this book is a grand history lesson. If that's not enough, the book is also a passionate story of love found and lost and found again. One could easily and happily take this whole book in in a single sitting.

To the negative, there's not much to say but for the span of 10 pages or so there's a prolonged recital of John's history that made my eyes glaze over and I almost put away the book. It struck as a discordant note in the narrative and I had to flip ahead several pages to avoid it. Also, it should be noted that I don't really know the true history of any of these events so I can't speak to their accuracy but I will say that nothing in the book rang out as obviously contrived. It seems to keep very truly to its primitive historical roots.

In summary, a beautifully wrought and detailed fiction wrapped around one of the most noted names in all of history. If you're religious or just love a good historical fiction then this is highly recommended as long as you're not easily offended by a lot of sexual references because apparently they do that quite a bit in the first century A.D.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Book Preview Review on February 26, 2014
Format: Paperback
Book Description:

“History and fiction merge beautifully in K. Ford K.'s vibrant, breathtaking novel about the man who became John the Baptist and the woman who loved him, his wife.

Hessa, the daughter of a Greek trader, has an unusual talent, but in preparation for her marriage to a wealthy man, she learns that she will have no real destiny of her own. Instead, she is taught to be the spinner of her husband’s fate and share his fate to her death. But when Hessa meets a charismatic, young man named John, who is rumored to be a prophet, she falls in love and runs away to marry him.

Thrown into the turmoil of Roman-occupied Judea, Hessa struggles to protect her husband, but what if her actions unwittingly lead to the destiny she fears most?

The Wife of John the Baptist is a novel, rich with historical insight. It uncovers the mystery of a man who was greatly admired in his time, and who changed our way of thinking forever.

A victory of the heart, this intimate portrayal of a marriage is a tribute to the timeless and unshakable love that triumphs when all else is lost.”

John the Orphan. John the Righteous. John the Hermit. Prophet. Messiah. Elijah. Isaiah…..the man who would eventually become John the Baptist.

Who was he? What if he had a wife? Children? What would their lives have been like? Told in Hessa’s voice, K. Ford K. crafts a beautifully woven fictional account about a man in which very little is known.

In a fittingly imagined terrain, she transports the reader into the lives of John the Baptist, his could-have-been wife Hessa and their journey together. Her talent for bringing the ancient past to life will captivate the reader with a fascinating and intriguing look at man who was during his time widely known, followed and respected for his preaching and practice of baptism for the forgiveness of sins. A compelling read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This author, K. Ford K., contacted me through amazon.com and offered me a complimentary copy of "The Wife of John the Baptist," in exchange for my honest review. I am glad I accepted her invitation.

Although I put off reading it for many months because the print was a bit small for my aging eyes, last weekend I picked it up and could not put it down.

This book is much different than the usual books that I like to read; however, it is a gripping tale that is a cross between a descriptive historical fiction and an engaging love story with a bit of spice that provides what I like to call "incidental learning," because the captivating storyline, gifted writing style and a setting that is so vivid that it paints a mental movie as you read without realizing that you are learning history, culture and a partially factual biography of a significant person in biblical teachings.

While my Bible does not mention whether or not John the Baptist did or did not have a wife, the author cleverly uses his Greek wife, Hessa to narrate the historical tale, develop characters and bring the tragic intriguing story to life with emotions and zing!

The story provides fictional yet believable detail to the mysterious character, John the Baptist from the Bible. An only child and a gift from above to an aging mother and John's elderly father, a respected priest in Jerusalem named Zachariah, a Pharisee, his father died when John was barely four, but not before he taught and tested John's perfect memory with the scriptures and core of beliefs to prepare the prophet in waiting to elevate the status of the Pharisees and drive off the Roman invaders.
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