Originally Posted at Bibliophile's Retreat by Melissa Meeks
Lulu.com (December 8, 2007)
This book, on the surface is a fictional composite of the Biblical accounts of Christ Jesus. However it is also so much more. The story is presented from His mother, Mary's POV. She is approached first by Luke who is a second generation Christian, a physician and author of one of the Gospels. Shortly thereafter the apostle Matthew comes on the scene as well. Initially their visits are couched as checking in on her but Luke's true aim is to elicit the story of Jesus from her in order to record it. Matthew, another Gospel author also joins in this pursuit and as Mary is relating her memories they are scribbling notes.
Because of the identity of our narrator in this account as well as her listeners, the reader experiences much more than just another account of Christ and His mission here on earth. We certainly see an expanded picture of these things but we also get a more personal view of both Mary and the apostles who are a part of this narrative as well as insights into three of the four Gospel writers - Matthew, Luke and John who not only are part of Jesus' story, except for Luke, but all three play a part in the later story we are witnessing in Laura's novel. The narrative although starting from scriptural accounts is not reliant solely on that smaller picture. We see things primarily from Mary's perspective though the disciples also present their observations at a number of points throughout the story. Being from more perspectives and an expanded time frame from the gospels and the few other new testament passages intertwined with the Old Testament prophecies of Messiah we receive a more integrated version of Christ and those around Him during His time in human form. Yes this is not solely scripture though I did not see any point where the author has deviated from scriptural fact. While fictional, I believe her intention was to remain true to God's Word but bring this story to life for those who may be so familiar with the Bible it has become old hat or for those who wouldn't touch the Scriptures with a ten foot pole but enjoy a good historical novel. I believe based on my limited knowledge of scripture and Bible times that this presentation remains true to the realities of the period and what we know of Christ and those around Him. This is fictional merely in the sense that the author, through divine inspiration has expanded the story with additional scenes that we do not see in scripture but which do not in any way contradict it either.
Laura has done a commendable job of bringing this story to life and presenting it in such a way that anyone with or without a knowledge of the scriptures is able to read it as the story of a mother sharing memories of her son with those around her. The account flows quite smoothly despite the transitioning from the time of the book's setting (44 thru 68 AD) back to whatever point in Jesus lifetime is being shared by Mary and then jumping forward again to the present time of the book. She has also developed the people in these pages far beyond what a reader experiences in the scripture which I'm sure entailed significant research into the times and historical accounts of events and people from beyond the scriptures but nevertheless relevant and historical.
Kudos to this author for a compelling and rich account which builds on Biblical truth in a format that is friendly to any reader while presenting the truth of the Gospel in a clear and enticing narrative without the limitations of the scriptural accounts which are only a mere fraction of the picture. (ISBN#9781435705562, 238pp, $15.95)
See my interview with Laura.
Also be sure to drop by Grace's Blog for her take on this book tomorrow and find out more about Grace(an Irish, New Zealander who also happens to be an author in her own right) at the main CFRB Blog.
Visit other CFRB Blogs posting for the tour using the buttons below. The days at the top indicate when their posts should be up. Use the bookcover link to learn more about the book or purchase a copy. Visit Laura's Website and see the daily introductions of members with featured posts on the main blog by clicking the banner below this post's title.