Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…the place that aims to bring you a bookish delicacy every day of the week come heck or high water.
Today’s post started came to life as a draft yesterday but due to time and well, a lack of time, is finally reaching its full form today. The book is one that is again outside by usual box but when considering it for a read through/feature on the site, struck a chord in me. The question of ‘what if’ or rather ‘what might have been’ is tackled from an unexpected viewpoint with surprising results…some for better and some I’m not too certain on. Before I give away too much, allow me to introduce today’s book of choice…
This is a fictional telling of the life of Mary, the Mother of God. Most religions recognize her in some fashion, but after the earthly birth of Jesus, her presence is more often than not allocated to the background. Understandably so (to some degree) based on the times as well as the mission His holiness was sent her for, however the question begs to be asked…what of Mary? What happened to her after the infamous birth? How would it be to know that you were helping to raise the Son of God that would one day die for our sins? Could one truly have perfect faith when presented with such unfathomable circumstances?
Lots to ponder in this one (including that gorgeous cover….I love the image as well as the coloring, perfect match!) and though a fictitious tale, it gets pretty heavy subject/belief wise at times. It certainly had me thinking back through my own Catechism lessons and discussing things remembered, things forgotten, and things confused. For example, Mary and Joseph had other children? *blink* Up to and beyond the holy birth, Mary and Joseph were not even permitted to hug. Hmm, I know times were different, but I’m not so certain on that one…unless a hug meant something ENTIRELY different in their time.
The most interesting part to me had to be how the author took what’s been given to us in scripture and expanded upon it…not to the inclusion of other holy events or anything, but the emotions and connections of a Mother. Think about it. This hard to believe event is happening to you AND for you. You are being entrusted with the supposed future Savior of mankind, to both aid in his security and sense of self until such time as his heavenly Father can reveal his full plans to him. You have years of scrapes and scraps, making ends meet and keeping Him safe from those that would do him harm…and some of these situations are unavoidable entirely as they are His will. Then, of all things, you have to watch as the child you raised turns into the one foretold and suffers the most unimaginable cruelty man can offer, all in the name of saving the souls of those that would seek to know the Light and the way.
I gotta say, that part, his immense suffering and the hatred that mankind was able to share most willingly without provocation or just cause…no matter how many times I’ve heard it, seen it, read it, watched it…there’s never a dry eye. Now, I’m not the most religious person and I certainly won’t be seen preaching to you here even within this post, but really…can you even begin to imagine what that was like not only for Him but for Mary? Making the distinction between the Son she bore and the man he became is one thing, but watching as it all played out, even if she had some time to prepare for the monstrosities about to go down, is beyond me. I’d say her trust in God to deliver on the promises made was her life raft and thankfully even with human doubt seeping in at times, it remained intact.
All in all, an interesting read that expands upon a story most have grown up with in their hearts and minds. It may not be for everyone and at times I struggled with the read myself, but it does offer one persons suggestion of what might have been for the woman at the heart of it all. Though the greater picture is of His mission, this fictional window into the past grants those with an inquisitive nature to ask the “what if” question and explore one possibility of what might have been. How would the world have looked to Mary even as events unfolded that would both draw people and push them away from her? It’s quite the idea and though it may not “pierce your soul”, it will certainly make you think and perhaps even rediscover an aspect of your own faith that got lost along the way.
Recommended read for older teens through adult readers. There is no “questionable content”; however I would think that one would want to have a firm grasp on your own beliefs before delving into a more questionable area….just this reader’s opinion. This book was published by Tate Publishing and is available now so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you. Review copy received courtesy author Barbara Hodgson. (THANKS!) For more information on the author as well as her work, be sure to visit her online, check out the book website, like her or the book on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.
Until next time…happy reading!