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The Transmigrant Kindle Edition
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Duarte’s “The Transmigrant” invites one to confront the actual humanity of the man who would be called “The Christ”. And although what truly happened to him during the missing years may never be proven by historical documentation, the author connects with Jesus/Yeshua on such a deep and personal level, any reader will be left wondering just how accurate her portrayal of the young Lord may be. A mountain of research (the standard Synoptic Gospels, the “Forbidden” Gospels, the Nag Hammadi library, the writings of Josephus, and other biblical and historical sources) is expertly combined to create a provocative and compelling take on Jesus that, in many ways, rings of truth. Her writing vividly brings to life the exotic people and places the young Yeshua encounters, as well as the many tough lessons he learns, the loneliness of being alone in a faraway land, and the disappointments and joys of a life lived in service to others. In “The Transmigrant”, Yeshua is a palpable, humorous, and engaging character, and Duarte’s depiction of him as an oftentimes bold and cocky young man hungry for knowledge of the spiritual, yet flawed by human nature, ensures this tale will be astonishingly eye-opening and memorable.
This is an unsolicited review. I purchased this novel as part of my personal/professional library on the life and times of young Yeshua, and as a fellow historian/author who has extensively researched this same genre, and an expert on the Roman occupation of Palestine, the missing years of Jesus, and the forbidden gospels, I highly recommend this alternative history novel to any open-minded individual willing to explore the life of a truly amazing and resilient young man.
Duarte does take us into the New Testament years, bringing Yeshua into Jerusalem. Here she seems a little restricted, as she's chosen to fit in known gosepl stories even though, as her author's note acknowledges, the gospels were written long after the events they depict. She does try to knit Yeshua and the gospels together. Most every "Jesus novelist" does this (and I admit I did, too, for a play), and it's a handicap for any writer. There's just so much "stuff" there, and the reader is familiar with it and has one's own understanding of it. Despite this, I still kept turning the pages because I had become interested in the character and I did still want to know what happened - even though I knew. That demonstrates Duarte's skill with the material.
My only quibble with the novel is its sex scenes - not that they exist - but that they are written out of character and seem more like scenes from a romance novel. They had none of Yeshua's insisghts and one had to take his passions for certain women "on faith," as it were. Most disappointing was her treatment of Mary Magdalene. Duarte tells us Yeshua's teachings more than other disciples, but she doesn't show us that. Magdalene remains a sexual tool to demonstrate that Yeshua had sex and was married. But there's no depth to Magdalene as a character (indeed, Duarte's sole concern is with Yeshua. As is Yeshua's, it often seems.) That Jesus marries Mary Magdalene has become a sort of fiction given since Dan Brown and it has some mild support in ancient gnostic gospels (well, two lines) seized on recent scholars to depict Magdalene, not entirely without reason, as the "apostle to the apostles." But by emphasizing Magdalene's sexual appeal, Duarte perhaps unwittingly preserves the sexual emphasis of Masgdalene's popular - and entirely erroneous - standing in popular culture.
These quibbles aside, for these are a very small part of the book, "The Transmigrant" is a vastly interesting and thoroughly engrossing, intelligent story about Jesus' lost years. See what you think!
What if? I’ve been plagued by the questions of the Nazarene being fact or fiction for most of my adult years. Naturally, I was drawn to this book to address my questions. What if he lived in India to arrive at his spiritual awakening? What if he was the propaganda of the Roman system? What if he is the true messiah written about by Peter? What if he was an anomaly created from the social, political, and spiritual times of that era?
You’ll have to dig into this historical based novel with an open mind to arrive at your own conclusions. Since it is well researched, it makes for an intriguing and inviting read.
It’s a book of substance that’s a sheer delight to get lost in – you won’t be disappointed, I wasn’t!