- Paperback: 672 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; Reissue edition (May 27, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142002798
- ISBN-13: 978-0142002797
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 179 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mary, Called Magdalene Paperback – Deckle Edge, May 27, 2003
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Praise for Mary, Called Magdalene
“The premise of Ms. George’s novel is intriguing...With rigorous research, [she] paints the landscape and rituals of Judea.”—The New York Times
“[An] expansive, thoughtful novel.”—San Francisco Chronicle
More Praise for the Novels of Margaret George
“An evocative portrait.”—The New York Times
“If only history lessons had been like this.”—Cosmopolitan
“A scintillating historical novel.”—The Chicago Tribune
“Engaging and intelligent fiction.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Readers looking to be transported to another place and time will find their magic carpet here.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Extensively researched with the highest integrity, and deeply engaging, it sets a new benchmark for the genre.”—New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir
“An impressive feat of research and imagination.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon
About the Author
Margaret George is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels of biographical historical fiction, including The Confessions of Young Nero; Elizabeth I; Helen of Troy; Mary, Called Magdalene; The Memoirs of Cleopatra; Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles; and The Autobiography of Henry VIII. She also has coauthored a children’s book, Lucille Lost.
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Since no one knows the true story of MM, Margaret George had to create an entire life for her, giving her the roles of daughter in a pious Jewish family, wife of a man she questions her love for, mother to a daughter whom she conceived after making a deal with one of her pagan possessors, and loyal friend to a girl who follows a different branch of Judaism of which her family doesn't approve.
The book starts out slowly laying a foundation for Mary's life, but read on. After she initially meets Jesus when she is a young girl and finds the idol that becomes the source of her possession problems, things begin to pick up speed. The second half of the book is about her life as a disciple of Jesus and the Passion from her viewpoint. It's also about her undying love for her daughter who was taken from her at the age of two after she began following Jesus and her family disowned her.
As usual, George has done an incredible amount of research into her subject and has written yet another fictional biography that will take you to another world.
Women were not allowed to read or in fact study Torah. Basically, they lived lives of hard work and isolation. Margaret George does a wonderful job of showing us differences that existed between the Pharisee and Sadducee. How their hatred for one another came about. During their journey to the Temple, Mary finds a small ivory figurine of a woman, which entranced her. She hid it from her family for years.
Starting in her childhood this idol began taking over her soul. Her name was Ashara. As Mary grew into her teen years, Ashara began making her presence felt to Mary. Still she told no one. She married Joel ben Ezekiel, who ultimately tried to help his suffering wife rid herself of its malignant influence. In desperation at being apparently barren, she begs Ashara to help her have a child. Soon after, she became pregnant and bore Joel a daughter, Elisheba. Throughout the rest of the story, Mary suffers at the taking of her daughter.
When Mary discovers even more demons are joining Ashara to torment her even more, Joel takes her to another town to see the Rabbi there. After taking a Nazarite vow, she lives for 30 long days with very little food and no human contact. At the end of that time, the Rabbi has her head shaved bald and attempts to exorcise the demons from her. It fails, so Mary is compelled to go into the desert to confront her demons.
It is before she leaves that Mary meets Simon and his brother Andrew. They rescue her from stoning and take her to the desert and promise to wait for her nearby, where John the Baptist is preaching. This is perhaps the most harrowing, frightening experience anyone could go through. Not only does Mary suffer from hunger and deep despair, but even more demons move in to torment her. George describes this experience with deep empathy and compassion. At its worst, Mary is confronted by supernatural locusts of the abyss. And goes head to head with Abaddon, Appollyon, the satanic angel who will lead the fight in the last battle. Rather than give in to his demands, Mary tries to kill herself by throwing herself off a cliff, but survives.
Literally at times crawling, she makes her way to Simon Peter, who is shocked by her condition and brings her to Jesus. Jesus, who delivers her and changes her life forever. The rest of this well written and researched book is deep, filled with all of the historical figures that swirled around the life of Jesus at that time. i've read this book 3 times, enjoying it more every time i go back to it.
I highly recommend this book for the way Margaret George treats the peoples of that time. It is a stunning work and well worth reading.
intent in the omission of such things. Overall, A satisfying read, and an honest glimpse into the tumultuous times and early church.
This is her story. While it is a fictional construct in large part, the author has skillfully woven a historical tapestry of people and events that draws the reader in. Relying upon what is known, while filling in the considerable gaps of what is not, the author kept me turning the pages, reading about this woman who lived through some pretty remarkable moments in history and became an iconic historical personage among the early Christians. If one is a fan of beautifully written, well-researched historical fiction, then one will enjoy this book.