My rating – 4/5.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It is divided into several parts and the first few read like a hymn / prayer. I was captivated by the flow and words, and could not put it down.
The story is pure fiction and talks about Jesus before resurrection. He is married to a girl Ana who is a feminist, rebel all rolled into one tight package. I am not sure what Sue Monk Kidd (the author) wanted us readers to take away about Ana. If she wanted us to come away with a sense that Ana was extremely self centered than she has been successful. If she wanted us to carry the notion that Ana succeeded despite all odds, then I have to disagree. Ana has a bunch of folks rallying around her and they stand by her no matter what – why- it beats me.
I see how difficult it was for women to have a voice and be successful in those ages, but the way Ana goes about it, I am left with a sense of “how far will you go girl? Lies, deceit, putting other people in harm’s way to further yourself, will you stop at nothing?” Being a woman myself, I did not feel empowered or inspired reading about Ana’s life and struggles.
To the author’s credit, I have started asking myself – “What would Jesus say or do?”
Anyway, I am getting a bit carried away. The book is tight and could have ended when Jesus was crucified in the book. I am not sure why the author felt the need to extend the book 30+ years after his death.
All in all, it is a fine 500 page book.