The Book of Longings

The Book of Longings

Large Print - 2020
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"An epic masterpiece that is a triumph of insight and storytelling." -- Associated Press Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by O, the Oprah Magazine , Good Morning America/ABC-TV, Good Housekeeping , Bustle , TIME , Marie Claire and The Millions An extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny, from the celebrated number one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings

In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana's pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome's occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history. Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus's life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman's bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.
Publisher: New York, New York :, Random House Large Print,, c2020
Edition: First large print edition
ISBN: 9780593285961
Branch Call Number: LT KID
Characteristics: 564 pages :,maps ;,24 cm

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AnnabelleLee27 Aug 06, 2020

A creative and daring re-envisioning of life in the time of Jesus as it might have been experienced by a woman who in the story is also his wife. The writing is skillful and lovely and the section around the crucifixion is truly heart-wrenching and powerful. It is important to note that the novel is not about theology or religion but rather about relationships and becoming who you feel called to be even in difficult times. As such, it is a truly enjoyable and insightful read.

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lisashatt
Jul 29, 2020

Kidd’s depiction of Ana, the wife of Jesus, as an early feminist was appealing since this characterization seemed grounded in well-researched history. I’m not too sure about her depiction of Jesus with his laughing nature although she does seem to target his religious passion well, for Jesus must certainly have been driven in this way. Loved her characterization of Ana’s aunt. Altogether a really enjoyable and thought-provoking read.

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kleesiebels
Jul 15, 2020

Fascinating, beautifully written and I didn't want it to end.

ontherideau Jul 05, 2020

Sue Monk Kidd gives voice to a fictional wife of Jesus and a voice to feminism long ago.

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wmtlady
Jul 04, 2020

Kidd is an able writer, but she fails to develope any of the book's characters into more than two dimensions with the exception of the young girl, the narrator. I truly enjoy historical fiction that broadens the reader's knowledge and appreciation of past eras and foreign geography; I also enjoy knowing more facts about historic people. But I fail to enjoy fabricated stories that ignore factual events and details recorded by eyewitnesses. This is a poor grasping for popularity by a writer-adrift.

Gina_Vee Jun 27, 2020

This book is so good. Not only can you picture being Ana; you can picture "Ana" actually existing.

If you loved The Red Tent and The Dovekeepers like I did, you'll love The Book of Longings!

Karen_Weber Jun 03, 2020

Whether you are a student of the Bible or have never heard the story of Jesus, this story will draw you and and hold you to it's finish. Imagine a world in which Jesus had a wife. What was her life like? What was it like to be a woman in Galilee in the iron age? Sue Monk Kidd's research into both the history and the topic is exhaustive. And if she really existed...was she the most silenced female voice in history?!

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writermala
May 29, 2020

On reading the synopsis and learning that this is a fictional account of a wife of Jesus, one assumes that it is rather audacious. However, the book is a very sensitive treatment of Jesus and deals with a woman's voice from the first century. Ana, the fictitious wife of Jesus has longings like any woman but she finds a way to voice these longings - through her writings. Like any woman of her century she is snubbed and silenced but she fleas Nazareth and finds a home in Alexandria where she is able to write independently. It is amazing what she achieved in her day and age and some of this is relevant today too and Sue Monk Kidd has done women a great service by voicing these longings. This book needs to be widely read.

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brangwinn
May 17, 2020

Just like Diamant’s The Red Tent, this book helped me see women of the Old Testament as real people not backdrops. What makes this even more interesting is Judas Iscariot is her brother. Yes, I imagine there will be a hubbub about giving Jesus a wife, but it does not denigrate anything about Christ. It gives a voice to women at a time when they had no rights. Yes, it might be called revisionist history, but it is historical fiction and after all Jesus was known to champion women. I would love to see this as a discussion starter in an adult church school class. How would western culture be different if both men and women appreciated the others spirit and intellect?

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