Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Passion of Mary Magdalen: A Novel (Maeve Chronicles) Hardcover – April 1, 2006
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
*Starred Review* Anyone not ensconced in a cave lately has heard the rumor that Mary Magdalene was literally the bride of Christ. The Da Vinci Code (2003) popularized the theory sufficiently to make Magdalene pilgrimages big business in France, where she ostensibly established the French royal family. Magdalene fans are in for more surprises in Cunningham's classy, sexy novel, which embraces the Magdalene's reputation for prostitution to the extent of casting her as a sacred whore serving the goddess Isis. For Cunningham, Mary is Maeve, a big, strapping, redheaded Celt sold into slavery in Rome and bought for her ample charms by a renowned domina (i.e., madam). Cunningham's big book is first an absorbing historical novel about down-and-dirty slave life in Rome and then a visionary fantasy about the Magdalene's life as Jesus' gentile wife. Besides Maeve's endearingly slutty second owner, Paulina, few characters participate in both, but in both are characters well known from other texts; for example, in the first the king of the "golden bough," in the second the Virgin Mary, who, holy though she is, is also quite dotty. Cunningham's wild, breakneck style only cements the suspicion that this will be--besides snapped up by Magdalene fans, Celtophiles, feminists, and lovers of a good yarn--controversial. Those unready for lesbianism and sex with the Redeemer between the same covers may blanch as well as flush. Patricia Monaghan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
As the story emerged, I realized that the word "passion" in the title has many, many meanings; however, you'll have to read it yourself to uncover those levels of meaning.
I also found myself using Kindle's "highlight" feature because there were so many thoughts on life that struck me as insightful. Many of these "thoughts on life" were reflections of the narrator, which I must admit I didn't expect.
Totally by accident (or maybe not?), I found myself reading the last portion of the story during Holy Week, which elevated its meaning for me beyond what I'd anticipated.
This book will probably challenge your existing concept of the stories presented in the New Testament gospels, but if you can move beyond that, you will be treated to a most compelling version of what "really" happened during Jesus' life.
This is the second in the Maeve Chronicles, but you do not have to read the books in order. The author provides an excellent summary of the first book in a non-intrusive manner. She gives the reader enough information to understand where we are as the story begins and weaves in more later. I never felt lost reading the story. I felt as if I was firmly anchored in Mary's point of view throughout the book, in large part because of the author's skillful use of the first person.
We know from the New Testament that Mary Magdalen was a prostitute; what we don't know is where she came from, why she was in that occupation, and what her relationship was to Yeshua, aka Jesus. The first half of this book tells us about Mary's life as a prostitute and takes place in Rome. Born a Celt named Maeve, she escaped certain death in her home country, only to be captured by a tribe intent on using her as a breeding vessel. She escapes again, only to be drugged by the sea captain. The book opens with her in an open air market in Rome where her captor is extolling her wares. Stripped, poked and prodded in the public setting, she maintains her Celtic backbone and lives up to her bright red hair by cursing the man in three different languages. Amused by her antics and intrigued by her body and brain, the brothel owner and madam knows a good value when she sees one and buys Maeve.
Maeve becomes a craftsman at her trade, taking pride in her work as a whore. Sought after by generals, senators and wealthy land holders, she becomes a favorite of the patrons and the other women in the brothel. The only problem is she isn't just a worker bee; she's also a priestess of Isis and strange, supernatural things happen around her at inexplicable times. It is a bawdy, fun, gripping read and the details of daily life in 1st Century Rome are seamlessly woven in without becoming a history lecture. I felt as if I was there at the feasts and in the Temple of Isis. Throughout it all, Maeve never forgets the young man she fell in love with in her home country: Esus.
The second half of the book takes place in Jerusalem, Israel, where Maeve has taken up residence after a series of misadventures in Rome and being bought, sold and finally released into the wild. Setting up a Temple of Isis in a Jewish country occupied by Romans is not an easy affair. While she has financial backing from Joseph of Arimathea, support from some of her fellow whores from the Roman brothel, and a flair for finding hidden sacred springs, she still has to stay under the radar of the religious and Roman dictators. True to her profession and her calling, her temple is offers healing and sexual services, for men and barren women. Between cleaning up an old estate and vineyards, she visits the Temple searching for any sign, any word of Esus. Here the author excels in providing the reader with insights into the people of the day, including the larger than life figures in the New Testament. She also gives us a window into the era's religious practices, including animal sacrifices, and gives us an idea of how power can corrupt all, even those who claim to act on behalf of Yahweh. Everyone has an agenda in Jerusalem, and the only ones in charge with swords and spears are the Romans.
I won't spoil the story for you, let me just say that if you want to see, smell, taste, hear and touch that era from the eyes of a very important woman in our collective history, I highly recommend this book.