Have you ever wondered what it could have been like for Mary, the young mother of Jesus? Many of us have heard, read, then repeated the Biblical account, and perhaps performed in a Nativity scene or play at Christmas time. Women, especially mothers, may have thought about what it could have been like to receive the awesome and fear inducing news that Mary received when an angel appeared before her with the announcement that she above all was chosen to bring the Christ child into the world.
Author Paula Parker has certainly thought about these things and has taken the possibilities so much further. I deeply appreciate the research and thought that has gone into her newest fiction work based on Biblical reality. This book imagines what Mary and Joseph could have been like as people, as a couple who find love and as two individuals who served God and walked in His commandments.
Parker takes the reader into the time period with rich descriptions of two families, a delightful and wise Rabbi, friends, animals and dwellings. The writing painted pictures in my mind of a people devoted to worshipping Yahweh, tradition and customs of the generations from King David forward. She describes food, occupations and the roles of male and females from children to adults during the time period. It’s very interesting.
Mary is an endearing character who us beautiful in the physical description as well as her heart and mind. The building acknowledgement and sense of romance between she and the carpenter Joseph is sweet. The entire story is realistic and makes good sense with all that takes place leading to the birth of Jesus. The timeline of the Bible account is adhered to and filled out with imagination and due diligence. It’s an excellent story. The Old Testament references are important to the messages of the Rabbi and the prophecy come to life too.
Is it perfect, no. Only God could ‘write’ a Bible event with perfection.
I’d give it a 4.8 out of 5. Would I buy the book for a gift to another reader? Definitely yes. It is a thought provoking story that is an especially timely read as we move into the holiday season. It would be a great early Christmas gift at Thanksgiving time. The book made me think, recollect my time reading Luke’s account of the Messiah’s birth and even personal memories of writing and directing plays that celebrated the miracle gift of all time. This is another tribute to that miracle.