Sunday, April 28, 2013

Daughter of Jerusalem-Joan Wolf

Daughter of Jerusalem

Joan Wolf

Worthy, Apr 16 2013, $14.99

ISBN: 9781936034673

Due to the jealousy of her beauty by her stepmother Judith, Mary is exiled from her family home in Bethany, Judea. She knows she will miss her younger stepsiblings (Lazarus and Martha) who love her as much as she does them. Her father Jacob escorts her to live with her widowed Aunt Leah in Magdala on the Galilee. Mary knows that the Galilee is a barbaric place where Jews are lax in their faith unlike in Judea. Leah’s nephew-in-law Daniel greets her and she begins to care about him.

Over her objections as she loves Daniel and her chosen mate emulates the pagan Greeks, Mary is forced to wed affluent Aaron in a family arranged marriage and moves to Sepphoris, the capital of the Galilee. Unhappy Mary turns from the Lord as she suffers a string of tragedies leaving her a despondent widow. . Disappointed in her marriage, Mary moves to the Capernaum where she learns of John the Baptist who helps her return to God before he is assassinated. When she hears rumors of a miracle worker, Mary goes to meet this Jesus, who claims to be the Son of God.

Daughter of Jerusalem is an entertaining “autobiographical” fictionalized account of the life of Mary Magdalene. Though there are some questionable liberties, the engaging storyline depicts the variety in first century Jewish life which Mary learns is not very monotheistic. Mary is a terrific protagonist who evolves as miserable circumstances caused by others like her father, Leah’s brother-in-law and her spouse impact and shape her until she becomes the most devoted true believer of the Son.

Harriet Klausner

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