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Summary

Raised like sisters, Mariamne and Salome are indulged with riches, position, and learning - a rare thing for females in ancient Jerusalem. But Mariamne has a further gift: an illness has left her with visions - she has the power of prophecy. It is her prophesying that drives the two girls to flee to Egypt, where they study philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy in the Great Library of Alexandria.

After seven years they return to a Judea, where many now believe John the Baptizer is the messiah. Salome too begins to believe, but Mariamne, now called Magdalene, is drawn to his cousin, Yeshu'a, a man touched by the divine in the same way she was during her days of illness. Together they speak of sharing their direct experience of God. But Yeshu'a unexpectedly gains a reputation as a healer, and as the ill and the troubled flock to him, he and Magdalene are forced to make a terrible decision.

This radical retelling of the greatest story ever told brings Mary Magdalene to life, not as a prostitute or demon-possessed, but as an educated woman who was truly the "apostle to the apostles".

©2007 Ki Longfellow (P)2007 Books on Tape

Critic reviews

"Vividly imagined." ( Publishers Weekly)
"A beautiful book....the writing [is] compelling." (Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University and author of The Gnostic Gospels)
"Imaginative, well-researched, and full of profound wisdom, this wonderful novel brings the ancient world to life." (Timothy Freke, co-author of The Laughing Jesus)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best illustrations of Gnosis

I have listened to this book for the fifith time now and it informs me over and over. Ki creates the Roman Palistine world wonderfully and give a plusable and realistic idea of what the life of Jesus and his followers might have been like. She draws the attatudes and changes that would have exhisted and they would have challenged a teacher who saw things differently. How fanaticism and misunderstanding can alter an inderfiduals view and truth can be lost. This is fiction but drawn on a wealth of deeply reaserched knowledge. This book has help me to understand religon and the ideas around Gnosis like no other. Thank Ki Longfellow

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Truly extraordinary

I could not put this down (or turn it off!). A truly extraordinary account of *his*tory and the life of Mary Madeleine. A story of the spirit, of politics, and of love. Deeply moving, insightful, and inspired.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

compelling

What is truth? look within. Oh what webs they weave when men in power practice to deceive

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Allen
  • 27-10-07

Captivating & Thought-Provoking

This is one of the best audiobooks I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. The characters seemed very real and the historical setting was extremely well-researched. Even though it's fiction - it has a truthfulness to it that allows for the suspension of disbelief.

I don't take it as an attack on the Christian religion - but then, I'm not religious. The philosophy, central to this book, that God is inside each of us & works through us doesn't seem (to me, at least) to be inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus.

So give this book a try. At the very least, it will make you think.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Molly Jacobson
  • 05-10-07

Lovely story, great characters.

I loved the risks the author took with this story. She was really willing to give up preconceptions and step inside her characters and tell it like she saw it. The result is a lovely novel that I found compelling from beginning to end. Each character is fully fleshed out ... and I can almost believe this is all Truth. I read for a living, and when I read something in my "free" time, it better be good. I found myself setting aside extra time to listen to this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ronald
  • 09-06-07

It's a novel, albeit, a good novel.

The reader has to remember this book is a novel, albeit, a good novel. At first I thought this book would/should become as popular as Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, but knowledge of the historical Jesus may be needed to enjoy it to its fullest. Ms. Longfellow weaves the historical Jesus, the mythological Jesus and the theological Jesus into a very compelling novel through the eyes of Mariamne, Mary of Magdalene. Ms. Longfellow uses all the tools available; the apocrypha, the canon, and scholarly writings. This reader marveled and wondered at how the author got from one supposedly known Jesus adventure to the next. Without divulging the ending I have to make the following comment - the reasoning comprising the ending sequence probably wasn't conspired by the person she indicates as most scholars feel if this conspiracy came into play, it was devised after Jesus' crucifixion. Also, I was always looking for Ms. Longfellow to incorporate the Secret Gospel of Mark into the novel. It would have been a natural with Mariamne already posing as a boy. This reader enjoyed the book immensely. This book is not for the fundamentalist.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • George
  • 13-05-07

Just Bad

If you are a Christian, please don't waste your money on this. The story uses just about every theory of how Christ fooled everyone into thinking he was the Messiah. The narrative is at times very hard to follow. In my humble opinion it is not very well written fiction but it is complete fiction if you believe the Bible to be true.

5 of 33 people found this review helpful