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Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 4, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 258 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Life of Christ Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In the New Testament, the miracle at the wedding at Cana-where Jesus turned water into wine-marks the commencement of his tumultuous three-year ministry. In Rice's beautifully observed novel, a sequel to 2005's Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, however, the wedding miracle is in fact the culmination of an intimate family saga of love, sorrow and misunderstanding. As the novel opens, Yeshua (Jesus) struggles with a sense of restlessness of purpose and a deep love for a comely kinswoman. Waves of isolation sweep over him as he comes to understand that serving the Lord's will takes precedence over the desires of his own heart. Whereas the first novel in this series hewed so closely to Scripture and to the author's meticulous research as to be somewhat arid as fiction, this book, imagining the "lost" young adulthood of Jesus, offers wise and haunting speculation where the Bible is silent. And the final chapters, which pick up the story with the New Testament's accounts of Jesus' baptism, temptation and early miracles, manage to be soulfully insightful even while faithfully tracking the Gospels. Rice undertakes a delicate balance: if it is possible to create a character that is simultaneously fully human and fully divine, as ancient Christian creeds assert, then Rice succeeds. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–In crisp, straightforward prose, Rice leaves the gothic behind and explores the mysteries beneath the childhood of Jesus. At age seven, the boy and his family leave Egypt to return to their home. They find themselves caught in a revolution after the death of the first King Herod, ruler of the portion of the Roman Empire that includes Israel. Although the historical and cultural details are authentic and well done, it is the character of Jesus that drives this novel. He feels like a typical seven-year-old, but he's also suddenly discovering abilities that no one else possesses. He brings clay birds to life, makes snow fall, and even resurrects a dead playmate. Stunned by these odd happenings, he turns to Joseph and Mary for answers. When they are not forthcoming, he's forced to hunt out clues through local legends, rumors, and a strange spirit that taunts him in his dreams. The story is told from Jesus's point of view, and the strength of the book weighs heavily on Rice's ability to make him believable both as a child and as the son of God; she does a winning job. The wisdom of all things religious fills Jesus completely, but he's naive about day-to-day events: he can't understand why a young girl he used to play with prefers at age 12 to learn about weaving and rearing children. This new direction for Rice is both bold and reverent, and is bound to please fans and newcomers alike.–Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Christ the Lord
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400043522
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400043521
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When Anne Rice first announced her intentions to tell the story of Christ the Lord, she was met with a barrage of questions, criticism, and support. Her storytelling to date had given only subtle hints of her desire to stir the soul toward things of God, and in fact some blamed her for quite the opposite. With great skepticism, readers on both sides of spiritual lines awaited the release of "Out of Egypt." I found the book to be intriguing, elegantly understated, yet a bit dry.

"The Road to Cana" takes a big chronological leap forward, and the storytelling seems to reflect the maturation of her subject. Yeshua bar Joseph (Jesus of Nazareth) is now a man on the brink of embracing his identity and his purpose. He's God in the flesh, as he himself knows, but he also struggles with the human desires for companionship, family, and acceptance. His relatives and the local villagers sometimes call him Yeshua, the Sinless.

From the opening pages of this book, there are layers of meaning and beauty. Rice's story meets every expectation in this, her second christological novel, and I was swept up in the drama of village life, relational conflicts, and restrained divinity. Rice, through Yeshua's eyes, lets us in for peeks at the heart of God, as it relates to the human struggle. This culminates in Yeshua's face-off with Satan in the wilderness, during forty days of fasting--a masterpiece of textured prose--and in the following incident with Mary of Magdala. From there, Rice shifts her story from conflict into beauty, as Yeshua verbalizes his purpose to his new followers and his family.

I am not moved often to tears by books, but "The Road to Cana" touched me in deep ways, reminding me again of the honesty and integrity of Christ the Lord.
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Format: Hardcover
On the invocation page of this fine novel Anne Rice includes a quote from Karl Rahner which is very important for interpreting her project: "The truth of the faith can be preserved only by doing a theology of Jesus Christ, and by redoing it over and over again." This is indeed what Anne Rice is doing in this series of books: doing a theology of Jesus in narrative form. A very specific conception of Christian belief takes shape in these pages: one in which evil derives mostly from misunderstandings, impatience and limitations of perspective (the stoning of the two young boys suspected of homosexuality is bound to be controversial), Time is a gift which makes life worth living and the power of God is most evident in the simple pleasures of life, in a "vast, vital world of blowing wheat and shining sun" (p.198) Whatever one makes of its orthodoxy, it is a powerful, heartfelt, deeply thoughtful vision that should be taken seriously by theologically minded people.

As a novel it is fairly well-written and as fascinating as the first book in its depiction of the historical and social reality of the 1st Century. Jesus' longing for Avigail is poignant, although Rice treads delicately here, as many Christians would probably be offended if they saw Jesus portrayed as having actual lustful thoughts. There is more than a hint of apocryphal material here, as in Jesus' comment to his brother that "Heaven and earth were made for you, James. You'll come to understand", which is from the Gospel of Thomas. Interestingly, the book is at its best when speculating about Jesus's life where the Gospels are silent.
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I received my copy of Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana mid-morning - I couldn't stop reading - read it almost straight through - Jesus' story, told first person, envelopes you into the emotions that must have been part of this Son of God, who was born of a Virgin, yet still was a man in every sense - The Road to Cana finds Jesus around 30 years of age - a turbulent time for the area - Jews are butting heads with Roman officials...the area is tense. There is a drought in the area - an analogy for the drought of belief?
I cannot begin to describe the beauty of Rice's writing - We Christians know the actions of this early time of His Ministry - when all the pieces come together and His path is revealed - Jesus' family, his kith and kin, (including a beautiful kinswoman Avigail). It is mesmerizing. And beautiful, powerful, reverent.
This series is amazing. The beginnings - a montage of the first of Jesus' ministry - from casting out demons to baptism with John the Baptist to the miracle of changing water into wine at Cana - I especially like how the wine transformation was handled - the sweetness between Jesus and Mary handled perfectly - I am in awe. Rice does justice to the Lord - the Son of God -
One hopes she spreads out Jesus' story out in many, many sequels.
Excellent.
My niece is going on a trip for a Church project to help an orphanage in Guatemala, and I told her I am giving her Rice's two books about Jesus to read on the plane and to share with her friends who are going with the group. She knows I don't recommend books unless they touch me.

Been a while I have been drawn literally into a book, and Rice has hit her stride with this series!
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