Monday, May 18, 2020

Monday Not So Mini Review: The Book of Longing

I have read all of Sue Monk Kidd's work and enjoyed everything she's written. When I saw she had a new book coming out, I was, of course, overjoyed.  And then when I read the premise of the book I became intrigued, and maybe a little wary.  Writing a book about Jesus' wife (?!) Ana seemed like a stretch, especially since I was raised believing that Jesus never married.  But I shouldn't have worried.  This book was fantastic - and thought provoking -from beginning to end.

This is a book that comes with an author's note I encourage you to read.  Kidd talks about how and why she decided to write this story, and the fact that although the Bible never says Jesus was married, it also never says he wasn't.  

Ana's story begins when her parents betroth her to an older man as was the custom.  Ana is upset about this arrangement, and her brother, Judas, thinks he has devised a way to get her out of it.  Of course, I recognize Judas from my background knowledge, and found his presence in the story as a rebel to be of interest as well.  When Tabitha and Ana spend some time together, I also recognized Tabith (although I had no real knowledge about her).  My curiosity was definitely piqued as I wanted to understand how Kidd incorporated these Biblical figures and what was taken from the Bible and what was a product of her imagination.

Ana and Jesus eventually meet and their relationship is one of of mutual attraction.  Jesus spends a great deal of time away from her as he travels for his work.  While he is gone, Ana lives with his mother and siblings in their family home, awaiting his return.

This story focuses mostly on Ana, although we do see Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist and his crucifixion.  

I found this entire story fascinating and although it doesn't change what I believe, I did appreciate this alternate viewpoint. 


Ti said...

Interesting subject and plot. I did request this one from the library.

Kay said...

This one does sound quite interesting and I will admit that I'm curious. I saw someone mentioned that it reminded them of The Red Tent in the idea of fleshing out the female presence in Biblical stories. I'll think about it.