Last week when I was preparing for my get away vist to Josh on the road, I picked up this book. You may remember the entry I posted in January about my past love for Anne Rice and my joy that she had decided to write now for the Glory of God but also my hesitation to read this book. I was at Best Buy buying a new vacuum cleaner before I left town and choose to get a book from there because I was in a hurry to get on the road but knew I would have free time at the hotel while Josh was working. I choose this one because there was not much of a selection and it was marked down.
I have mixed feelings about this book but over all I would recommend it as a good light historical read keeping in mind that I do not agree with some of the themes told from Jesus childhood perspective. The best thing to do is read Notes From The Author at the back of the book first (I didn't until the end of the story). Anne gives her thoughts and sights her sources and offers a suggested reading list and gives details on how her journey lead her to writing this particular book. I do look forward to her next book when ever she may finish it and am glad I can enjoy her work again that encourages me to think on spiritual matters instead of things that are opposite to Phil 4:8.
What I liked about this book was it could give you the feel of Jesus Christ's human side. At first I was perplexed on why Anne would portray him as frightened and scared in some of the passages but upon thinking about it, it made sense that she would.. that Jesus would actually feel fear, and cry, and have all the human feelings we all do and seek comfort and understanding. That was partly why he came from heaven to earth.. God in the flesh, to share in all the human experience, to know all the same emotions, sorrows, and situations we go threw.. to relate to us on an even deeper level. It is a comfort to know that when I am hurting and when I cry that Jesus went threw the same feelings, he knows just how I feel because he felt it too.
I also really liked all the historical info and time line relevance in this book. She puts in context the governing bodies and how the people of Israel related and felt about them. I could really understand threw the eyes of the charters what it may of been like to be alive in those years of history. The tug and pull between the Roman rulers and the Jewish Monarchy that was in place, The Priests and Rabbi,the different sects and the weariness of the people and seeing just how turbulent that time period was. It was a perspective I have never really considered before.
What I totally loved about this book was reading and learning about the Jewish culture and traditions in those times. I have a respect for Jewish traditions and always have enjoyed learning more about it because after all Jesus was Jewish and when you can grasp the deeper meaning of some of the customs you can put into context and see the scriptures in a different light, how it all fits perfectly together. Anne describes The Temple beautifully and I longed to really see it and be there and walk threw those gates too. All the details she gives about the sacrifices and priests and the worshipers and the meaning for Passover and the importance of Jerusalem and The Temple to the Identity of Israel were so abundant and wonderful. ( I'd love it if Lori read this book and gave her thoughts about those parts in it).
About the only thing I DID NOT like about this book was some of the doctrinal things that I have conflict with. But I knew that going in she was Catholic and adhere to those traditions taught.. Mary remained a virgin after Jesus's birth and that James was Jesus's older brother by Joseph from a previous marriage.. and the miracles that Jesus performed as a child. Other then that it was a good story about what it may of been like when Jesus and his family came back from Egypt to their small village, what their life may of been like and how Jesus may of learned or discovered the details of his birth and starting to realize just who he is.