Long maligned as a prostitute or a woman of questionable reputation, Mary Magdalene's murky story seems lost to the sands of time. Now a portrait of this enigmatic woman comes to life in the hands of an imaginative master storyteller. Diana Wallis Taylor's Mary is a woman devastated by circumstances beyond her control and plagued with terrifying dreams--until she has a life-changing confrontation with the Savior.
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Mary of Magdala suffered a trauma in her youth that led to having seizures and hearing voices. Although the Jewish priests prayed over her, she was not healed. The incidents grew in frequency and intensity until people around her began to whisper “Mad Mary” when they saw her. Eventually she lost her grip on sanity and needed to be kept in a locked room, both for her safety and that of the public.
A dire circumstance, to be sure. Her husband had lost the wife he loved, but never stopped praying and searching for her healing. A well-respected boat builder in Magdala, he was commissioned to build a fishing boat for a man named Zebedee of Capernaum. From Zebedee and his sons James and John, Mary’s husband first heard of the itinerant preacher named Jesus, but there was no safe way to take his demented wife so far for the touch of the Healer. Would Jesus ever come to Magdala?
In this retelling of the biblical story of Mary Magdalene, we become immersed in first century Palestine and life along the Sea of Galilee. We see the culture of the wealthy of that time, as well as the needy. We see the temple in Jerusalem through the eyes of a woman and experience the Sermon on the Mount. But most of all, we get a feel for the way the news of Jesus spread across the countryside and listen in to the discussion of whether or not this man truly was the Messiah.
If you enjoy biblical fiction, Mary Magdalene is a must read. And if it’s a genre new to you, I think you’ll find that Diana Wallis Taylor has a knack for drawing the reader into the time period and allowing us to experience the wonders of Scriptures in a new way. I wasn’t sure what to expect in this book, and I really enjoyed it.
Mary Magdalene is a moving read, a powerful portrayal of one of the most famous women of the New Testament. I found myself immediately drawn into this artfully crafted novel, and I must say that the first half of the story in particular was impossible to put down, from Mary's childhood experience that resulted in her being inhabited by demons, to her miraculous delivery by Jesus. The settings and descriptions the author uses are vivid and absolutely brought each scene to life. It is clear that Taylor has carefully researched the person of Mary Magdalene and the culture of the day, and while obviously some poetic license had to be used to create a work of fiction from Mary's life as detailed in the Bible, Taylor does so in a manner that is faithful to scripture while providing for an entertaining read. While waiting for Mary to be delivered, I literally was gripping the book due to the suspense of whether all would fall into place for her to be freed (and this despite knowing the Biblical outcome of the story!). I did find that the latter part of the book slowed down in pace for me, and while it was still enjoyable, it didn't hold the same gripping power over me. However, all told I find this to be a worthy re-telling of Mary's story, and one that deserves a permanent place on my shelf.
I give this book a solid recommendation and award it 4 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
A stunning book that brings the life of Jesus alive through the eyes of one of His most faithful followers.
Mary is kidnapped as a young child, and sees her beloved father almost die before her eyes. Nightmares haught her of that day, and voices tell her that she is not good enough to live, that she holds others back. All she wants, is to be free. What kind of life can she have? What about love, or most importantly of all who will refresh her tired soul?
Ms. Taylor tells the story of Mary Magdalene in a fresh, riveting, way that touches the heart. In this book I got to see Mary Magdalene in a different way and get to see a glimpse of what her life might have been like. I think that Ms. Taylor did a fantastic job of bringing her to life, and I thought she handled the portraying of Jesus perfectly, sticking very, very close to the Scriptures.
I really liked how this tale imagined what Mary life might have been like before she met Jesus. And I thought that Nathan was a wonderful man, and I loved that even though he was a good man, he was still human.
Overall, this book is probably the best Biblical fiction I have ever read! I was intrigued from the very first page, and found it to be a very fast read. I loved how much the Bible was quoted exactly and how well researched this book was! This is one of those books that I approached not erally knowing what to expect or how much I would like it, and then I gave it a shot and I was a goner. I loved this book!
“Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
I received this book from the publusher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
I have been so impressed with Diana's Biblical fiction and this book was a really great twist on a story everybody thinks they know. I loved examining this story through her eyes and seeing what an alternative to Mary being a prostitute might have been. Following Mary's story from being a young girl all the way through to Jesus ascending to heaven. It is an incredible trip that is so real and in the moment that you will think you have gone back in time. Somehow I missed her book "Martha" but I will have to go back and get it, I really like Diana's books!
I had read and reviewed Mrs. Taylor's book on Martha and really enjoyed that book. That was really one of the first biblical fiction books that I had ever read. It was different for me to stop and put myself in a well-known lady's shoes and add thoughts to her story.
Mary Magdalene is probably one of the most well-known ladies in the Bible and she has quite a range of views when people try to portray her. That's not what's important, though. The fact is that Mary Magdalene was a woman who followed after Jesus and followed Him to the foot of the cross. She wasn't perfect by any means. Throughout this book, Mrs. Taylor shares a nickname of hers, an ailment that she lived with and needed healing from, and shares her devotion to Jesus.
As with all biblical fiction, I feel like I need to say that this is not the exact Bible story, but it definitely follows the biblical text. However, as I'm sure you would figure out, since it is a fiction book, liberties are taken when it comes to the thoughts of the characters. I would suggest you read the biblical account first as a background and then grab this book along with it.
Mrs. Taylor did a wonderful job, in my opinion, of making her reader want to go back and read the biblical account of Mary Magdalene and her role in history. Another great book of biblical fiction, in my view.
______________________ I received this book free from Revell Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
Mary of Magdala, the only daughter of a successful boatbuilder in Galilee, begins to experience horrible nightmares, suffer seizures, and hear voices after being subjected to a traumatic experience. Everyone in her village thinks she is crazy, or worse, demon-possessed. There seems to be no hope until a new teacher, a perhaps the Messiah, comes to town, and then everything about Mary's life is changed.
Mary Magdalene is one of the most misunderstood and misaligned characters in Biblical history. She has been portrayed as a prostitute, and even worse, as either the wife or lover of Jesus. Ms. Taylor has managed to tell the true story, while in a fictionalized form. The novel was very enjoyable and there was nothing objectionable or contrary to Scripture. This was definitely worth 5 stars.
*Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Diana Wallis Taylor in her new book, “Mary Magdalene” published by Revell takes us back to Biblical times to give us a look into the life of a very misunderstood character. From the Back Cover: One woman desperate for hope. One Savior with the power to heal.
A beautiful girl blossoming into womanhood, Mary has high hopes for a life filled with learning, family, and young love. In one dreadful night, all of that changes. The nightmares come first, then the waking visions of unspeakable terror, until Mary hardly remembers her dreams for the future.
Can the Most High deliver her from this torment? How long must she wait for healing?
This vivid portrait of the enigmatic Mary of Magdala comes to life in the hands of an imaginative master storyteller. Diana Wallis Taylor introduces you to a Mary who is both utterly original and respectful of the biblical account, opening your eyes to a redemption that knows no bounds.
There is a group that think Mary is a prostitute though the Bible doesn’t say so. There are others that think that Mary married Jesus even though the Bible is clear that is an error. No, Mary of Magdala, Magdalene is not her last name, is a Biblical person who is misunderstood and yet plays an important part in our Lord’s life. It is Mary who is there at the tomb and has the angel talk to her and actually witnesses Jesus before the others; an important person. Ms. Taylor, in this book, “Mary Magdalene”, gives us Mary as a real person with real desires and plans. Once again Ms. Taylor researched what life was like in Jesus’ time and came up with a full picture of what her life might have been like. Of course, this is a work of fiction but based on Biblical events and is a sweet tale of trials, triumphs, and love. And, of course, there is also Jesus appearing in the story. Want to read a good book with events from the Bible woven into it then I recommend this book highly.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
“Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
In the past, whenever I saw a Biblical fiction book, I never reached to pick it up. It always seemed it would be a chore to read, and wouldn't add anything to the character about whom the book was written. However, Mary Magdalene by Diana Wallis Taylor changed my mind. This is a book that is in a class by itself. The characters live in full color with both good and bad characteristics.
Descriptions of the country and daily lives of the people bring a new appreciation for the things that they went through. It felt as if I was right there with them - seeing what they saw, hearing what they heard, especially the words that Jesus spoke. This book was not a chore, but a pleasure to read.
Diana Wallis Taylor has told a story where you will most likely already know the ending, but you still want to read it to the last page to see what happens! This would be a great book for a book club to read and discuss.
MARY MAGDALENE by Diana Wallis Taylor is another winner in the Women in the Bible novels from this author. I liked this book of Mary Magdalene and Nathan. They were great characters. It was a great love story between Mary Magdalene and Nathan. I was so happy when Jesus healed Mary. I cried along with Mary. A must read! Received for an honest review from the publisher. Details can be found at Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group,the author's website,and My Book Addiction and More.
“Available June 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group"
HEAT RATING:Sweet: No sex or scenes of physical intimacy except some kissing. No graphic violence or profanity.
I enjoyed this story. There were parts toward the end that were just like the stories in the gospels, so that came together nicely. Mary's descent into darkness following her childhood trauma was believably written. I cannot imagine how horrible it was for her or her husband to have that experience. I also felt her profound relief when she was freed from the demons. Her husband also had reason to celebrate because he missed the intimacy in their marriage. Mary wouldn't let him anywhere near him and that had to hurt. One great theme in this book was that if you love someone you take care of them despite how hard it gets at times. Also, when someone recognizes they have sinned and confesses it, there is relief from guilt that can turn a life around.
I loved Nathan. I was sad when he passed on. I could feel the heavy emotion from Jesus when he said it wasn't time for her to follow him. His compassion was tangible. The author did a great job conveying this. Jesus knew her husband wouldn't be there forever. It struck me that Jesus knew a lot of things that would happen but didn't interfere with them if it wasn't part of the Father's plan. I knew this already, but for some reason that scene really sent the message home. Sometimes God doesn't intervene, but He always knows what we'll do and what will be done to us in our lives. Trusting Him--when you look at it that way-- makes total sense. No one else knows the far-reaching impact of our every decision, but because God does, we can trust Him.
Anyway, Biblical fiction lovers will enjoy this story. I love Biblical fiction and I really did. It wasn't my favorite novel by this author, but there were a lot of things to like about the story and I think there are a good number of themes in this book that will reach hurting lives. This is what Biblical fiction does best. It helps brings the difficult things in life into perspective and makes Scripture come alive when it's well done. This novel does just that.
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Review 12 for Mary Magdalene
Not the love story you would expect
Date:June 5, 2012
Location:Grand Rapids, MI
It is nice to just immerse yourself in a good book. Sometimes it is just to get away. But sometimes reading one that is well written after having read a few not so well written ones is a treat.
Mary Magdalene by Diane Wallis Taylor is that book for me. It is very well written about a woman of the Bible that I can't wait to meet. I want to hear her side of a story that so many have guessed about through the ages. She has been misjudged, misunderstood, and just not known for years. Which does seem to drive everyone who studies, reads or knows the Bible crazy (No pun intended).
Mad Mary as she becomes known to her family and friends was a beautiful young lady, the apple of her father's eye. She was well known in Magdalene because of her father's ship building company. So when she is struck down by headaches, seizures and other mental illnesses the town knows and suddenly no one is interested in marrying her or even standing by her family.
I probably don’t have to go into any more of Mary’s story. She is probably one of the best known women of the Bible. Like I said before she has had her entire life guessed about and people believing they have the answer to who and what she was. The Catholic church declared her a prostitute, even though there was nothing written about it in the Bible. In recent years people have decided that she was married to Jesus again with no evidence to that fact (ok that is not a new idea).
This book is not meant to answer those questions. Diane will be the first to tell you she doesn’t know either. However it does paint a picture of a woman that Jesus freed from her mental illness and she loved him for that and followed him to the cross. This was just a nice book to read. I really enjoyed the gentleness of it and yet the beautifully written story of a forgiven soul.