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Biblical fiction retelling the story of Mary Magdalene one of the most intruiging characters of the Bible
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In her third book of fiction based on the lives of Bible women, Joan Wolf reveals the story behind the life of one of the gospel’s most intriguing personalities, Mary Magdalene. In ‘Daughter of Jerusalem’ the novelist’s imagination and the Bible scholar’s attention to detail combine to bring the story of the woman whose life changing encounter with the Man of Sorrows set her, and the world on a new course with new meaning.
Daughter Of Jerusalem by Joan Wolf was published by Worthy Publishing in March 2013 and is our 25514th best seller. The ISBN for Daughter Of Jerusalem is 9781936034673.
"The way Ms Wolf handles this often misunderstood and controversial woman is nothing short of a literary triumph. Bravo!" - Margaret Brownley
It doesn’t take long to realise that Joan Wolf isn’t the first person – even of modern times to have written a novel based on the life and encounters of Mary of Magdala. Sara Maitland, Diana Wallis Taylor and Charlotte Mendelson are just three of those who’ve put pen to paper, to portray this woman of the Bible of whom we actually know so little.
Then, of course, there’s the portrayal by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and the haunting song ‘I don’t know how to love him’ from their musical ‘Jesus Christ Superstar. And the controversial depictions of Mary in Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Last Temptation of Christ' and in Dan Brown’s blockbusting novel and film adaptation, ‘The Da Vinci Code’.
The one thing they all have in common with the gospel narratives is that Mary, who ever she was and what ever she had been, had a life changing encounter with the rabbi of Nazareth and had good reason for the devotion she lavished on the man right until his last days… and beyond. But other than those scant facts, there is little to limit the imagination of any writer in weaving a story around the mystery woman of the New Testament.
So what do we actually know? Named after her hometown of Magdala, a village on the shore of Galilee, she must have been a leading figure among those attracted to Jesus. When the men of his company abandoned him at the end, she was one of the women who stayed with him, even to the crucifixion.
She was present at the tomb and the first person to whom Jesus appeared after his resurrection. After that, everything else is drawn from a few threads that may or may not refer to the same ‘Mary’ whose name appears in the earliest Christian records. Even women who are not actually named – such as the woman caught in adultery, the women healed of demons and the woman who anoints Jesus’ feet at Simon’s house are not named (at least in Matthew, Mark and Luke’s Gospels; though it is Martha’s sister, Mary who does something similar in John 12.)
So is it fair for novelists to weave a narrative around the Mary Magdalene of the Gospels? Maybe that depends on their motives. Even in the Gospels, what we get isn’t history but recollections from multiple memories and traditions, shaped by time and culture, to make distinct theological points – all aimed at revealing the truth. If that’s a writer’s purpose, and if they’re true to it, it can only be for the better. Read one, and see what you think.
|Author / Artist||Joan Wolf|
|Publisher||Worthy Publishing (March 2013)|
|Number of Pages||312|
|Page last updated||5th September 2016|