Raised like sisters, Mariamne and Salome are indulged with riches, position, and learning - a rare thing for females in Jerusalem. But Mariamne has a further gift: an illness has left her with visions; she has the power of prophecy. It is her prophesying that drives the two girls to flee to Egypt, where they study philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy in the Great Library of Alexandria.
After seven years they return to a Judaea where many now believe John the Baptizer is the messiah. Salome too begins to believe, but Mariamne, now called Magdalene, is drawn to his cousin, Yeshua, a man touched by the divine in the same way she was during her days of illness. Together they speak of sharing their direct experience of God; but Yeshua unexpectedly gains a reputation as a healer, and as the ill and the troubled flock to him, he and Magdalene are forced to make a terrible decision.
This radical retelling of the greatest story ever told brings Mary Magdalene to life - not as a prostitute or demon-possessed - but as an educated woman who was truly the apostle to the apostles.
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"Longfellow (who first published this novel in 2005 at a small startup press named for Mariamne's donkey, Eio) is more passionate about research and philosophy than plot or character. Readers looking for a fast-paced thriller will be disappointed" - PW.
"Unfortunately, the first half of the novel is so slow moving that readers may lose interest before getting into the meat of the story." - Library Journal.
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