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I am Ana I was the wife of JesusRaised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, Ana is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life, but finds no outlet for her considerable talents Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women When she meets the eighteen year old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other s spiritual and philosophical ideas He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heartTheir marriage unfolds with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, James and Simon, and their mother, Mary Here, Ana s pent up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to the Roman occupation of Israel, partially led by her charismatic adopted brother, Judas She is sustained by her indomitable aunt Yaltha, who is searching for her long lost daughter, as well as by other women, including her friend Tabitha, who is sold into slavery after she was raped, and Phasaelis, the shrewd wife of Herod Antipas Ana s impetuous streak occasionally invites danger When one such foray forces her to flee Nazareth for her safety shortly before Jesus s public ministry begins, she makes her way with Yaltha to Alexandria, where she eventually finds refuge and purpose in unexpected surroundingsGrounded in meticulous historical research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus s life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring account of one woman s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place, and culture devised to silence her


10 thoughts on “The Book of Longings

  1. jessica jessica says:

    im not a historian, nor am i a theologian but neither are necessary to feel so deeply astonished by this story before reading, the book synopsis had intrigued me i found the concept to be fascinating and promising but it was when i opened to the first page, read the first paragraph, that i knew this story would own my heart the writing is just so breathtaking beautiful, i had goosebumps the language is so poetic and radiates love.and i think thats why this story worked so much for me bec im not a historian, nor am i a theologian but neither are necessary to feel so deeply astonished by this story before reading, the book synopsis had intrigued me i found the concept to be fascinating and promising but it was when i opened to the first page, read the first paragraph, that i knew this story would own my heart the writing is just so breathtaking beautiful, i had goosebumps the language is so poetic and radiates love.and i think thats why this story worked so much for me because at its heart, its a story of a woman who loves a man and how their intertwining lives bring forth change.this story does narrate part of jesus human life and historical journey as opposed to a theological one , but it isnt really about jesus its about ana a strong, independent, and compelling woman who wants to support the person she loves i admire her as a character and the strong role womanhood plays in this story so often woman get overlooked throughout history and lose their voices, so i appreciate how this story gives ana and other women a way to keep theirs i know this book wont be for everyone, but i found it to be personally moving in a way i never could have expected 5 stars


  2. Nilufer Ozmekik Nilufer Ozmekik says:

    Just started it And look at my silly, too red quarantine reading style Just started it And look at my silly, too red quarantine reading style


  3. Tammy Tammy says:

    While this novel contains the historical rather than theological Jesus as a character, it is really the story of his fictional wife, Ana It is widely believed that during the lost years of Jesus he worked as carpenter in Sepphoris rather than Nazareth and Ana meets Jesus during this time The first part of the novel is a bit slow to start but nicely introduces Ana as a feminist with an aching need to read and most importantly to write Jesus and Ana marry and eventually part as Jesus follows While this novel contains the historical rather than theological Jesus as a character, it is really the story of his fictional wife, Ana It is widely believed that during the lost years of Jesus he worked as carpenter in Sepphoris rather than Nazareth and Ana meets Jesus during this time The first part of the novel is a bit slow to start but nicely introduces Ana as a feminist with an aching need to read and most importantly to write Jesus and Ana marry and eventually part as Jesus follows his own ache for God Ana experiences a lot during their separation and it makes for an absorbing story The resentment of Roman rule over Judea reaches a breaking point and most of us know what happens next Don t go into this expecting religiosity Instead, Ana is given a voice during a time when women were completely invisible


  4. Marialyce Marialyce says:

    For many Christians, it has been believed that Jesus was an unmarried man who was crucified and buried and was the son of God Our knowledge of his life comes to us through the bible but there were many years that were unaccounted for in his thirty three years on earth What if in those years, Jesus did indeed marry For some this might be a difficult concept and yet Sue Monk Kidd decided to take it on and wrote an interesting tale of just that possibility Ana, the future wife of Jesus was a he For many Christians, it has been believed that Jesus was an unmarried man who was crucified and buried and was the son of God Our knowledge of his life comes to us through the bible but there were many years that were unaccounted for in his thirty three years on earth What if in those years, Jesus did indeed marry For some this might be a difficult concept and yet Sue Monk Kidd decided to take it on and wrote an interesting tale of just that possibility Ana, the future wife of Jesus was a headstrong young woman from Sepphoris She came from a family of wealth and prestige, but Ana is not content with the life she leads She longs to write, to be read, to be someone different than what she is expected to be She doesn t accept the plans her parents laid out for her, for Ana had her own plans, her own dreams, her own desires Ana meets and marries Jesus after suffering much grief by her dominant parents They move to Nazareth and as the story unfolds, Jesus finds in himself the zeal to teach, to challenge the Jewish leaders, to become a target Leaving Ana to preach, she becomes entrapped in a world where while she longs to be with Jesus, she can t She is a prisoner trapped in a world where women were held in such low esteem, where they were seen but seldom heard, where their fate was always determined by a male presence Using what many of us know about the divinity of Jesus, Ms Kidd creates ahuman, less divine character, than the one Christians believe in She omits the miracles attributed to him, and although she captures the heinous crucifixion, she does not delve into his Resurrection which is a basis for the Christian faith.However, the story is really about Ana She is, as is often said, a person born before their time She is determined, tenacious, and steadfast in her overwhelming desire to write, to be heard, to be her own person To that end, Ana strives and even though her life has what some would consider insurmountable obstacles, Ana s drive, determination, and perseverance sees her through to a life of her own choosing.Thank you to Sue Monk Kidd, Penguin Random House Publishing, and Edelweiss for a copy of this book due out April 21, 2020


  5. Lori Lori says:

    I am Ana I was the wife of Jesus of Nazareth I am a voice I loved The Invention Of Wings and I will admit to being a lil skeptical about the subject of this novel being about Jesus I m so glad I didn t let that deter me from giving this a chance I was expecting biblical Jesus, however, Kidd came at this novel from a totally human perspective Through his wife s voice Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the concept of Jesus having a wife this novel tells how it is entirely pos I am Ana I was the wife of Jesus of Nazareth I am a voice I loved The Invention Of Wings and I will admit to being a lil skeptical about the subject of this novel being about Jesus I m so glad I didn t let that deter me from giving this a chance I was expecting biblical Jesus, however, Kidd came at this novel from a totally human perspective Through his wife s voice Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the concept of Jesus having a wife this novel tells how it is entirely possible It was realistically and thoughtfully told per the time period I appreciate Kidd s explanations for the choices she made in making the story told from Ana s POV Her voice is one that I will not forget This would make for a great book club pick A must read


  6. Cheri Cheri says:

    4.5 StarsAll my life, longings lived inside me, rising up like nocturnes to wail and sing through the night That my husband bent his heart to mine on our thin straw mat and listened was the kindness I most loved in him What he heard was my longing to be born This is the story of Ana, the daughter of Matthias, who has allowed Ana to learn to write, in a time where very few women were taught this skill Her father is the head scribe for Herod Antipas, and as such he is able to provide her 4.5 StarsAll my life, longings lived inside me, rising up like nocturnes to wail and sing through the night That my husband bent his heart to mine on our thin straw mat and listened was the kindness I most loved in him What he heard was my longing to be born This is the story of Ana, the daughter of Matthias, who has allowed Ana to learn to write, in a time where very few women were taught this skill Her father is the head scribe for Herod Antipas, and as such he is able to provide her with papyrus, and the pens and inks with which to write Her mother is against this, feeling that it will ruin her chances for marriage, but her aunt, Yaltha, whose mind was an immense feral country that spilled its borders and whose mouth was a wellspring of thrilling and unpredictable utterances was educated in Alexandria, and makes sure that Ana is blessed with the same, and shares her knowledge on many topics with Ana Some of which must be kept from her parents, especially her mother.Her parents decide early on in this story that it is time for Ana to be wed, and dress Ana to be introduced to her intended, unbeknownst to Ana As they first arrive, she is mesmerized by the sight of a young man with his hands lifted and strands of spun thread looped over his fingers, moving his finger to make the threads flutter, and laughing She can t look away, and he turns Her mother impatiently calls to her, in order that she may be introduced to the man her parents intend her to marry He is much older, and when she realizes what is going on she is repulsed, both by the deception involved, and by sight of him Her mother insists, however, saying that she will want for nothing.Before they leave, she stumbles, and the man who had been holding the thread is the one to help her up from her fall, and before either of them is able to utter a word, soldiers shove him to the ground His sister calls his name Jesus.While some of this, naturally, has some connection to the biblical story of Jesus, this is really the story of Ana Their marriage, and how she comes to leave Sepphoris to move to the home of his family in Nazareth are part of this story, but it is Ana s story that is the heart of this For those who might think she was portrayed as too much of feminist for the era, consider Cleopatra, who was born sixty some years prior to the birth of Jesus Eventually, the story introduces the character of John the Baptist, of whom Jesus has heard stories and wishes to witness this with his own eyes Eventually he must leave Ana behind in his desire to travel with John the Baptist, since it would be too dangerous for her to go with them I loved this, if a bit unevenly at times There are parts that I felt would have benefitted from some minor trimming, but I loved how beautifully this story was revealed through Ana s eyes.Many thanks, once again, to the Public Library system, and the many Librarians that manage, organize and keep all libraries running, for the loan of this book


  7. Kristen Kristen says:

    I was a little skeptical going into this book, mainly because I consider myself a fairly devout Christian While I am extremely open to interpretations and opposing beliefs, I thought this book would offend rather than inspire I am so glad that I ignored my reservations and finished the book This was definitely one of the most delicately explored historical fiction books I have ever read Sue Monk Kidd explains herself that, while she was extremely careful to perform the necessary research and I was a little skeptical going into this book, mainly because I consider myself a fairly devout Christian While I am extremely open to interpretations and opposing beliefs, I thought this book would offend rather than inspire I am so glad that I ignored my reservations and finished the book This was definitely one of the most delicately explored historical fiction books I have ever read Sue Monk Kidd explains herself that, while she was extremely careful to perform the necessary research and kept most of her references historically accurate, there were some things that needed to be changed in order to fit her story line She mentions that while Jesus is never mentioned as having a wife, it is also never mentioned in biblical texts that he did not have one, and this raised a lot of questions for me We all know that there is little documentation on Jesus s life between his 12th year and 30th year of life, so it is possible that he did not know he was the son of God and followed the expected path of a young devout Jewish man I believe this book explores that possibility expertly The storyline, while intricate, will take you on a journey throughout Ana s entire life the betrayal of her parents, the true love she finds from not only Jesus, but the strong women in her life such as Yaltha and Tabitha, and Ana s own personal longings She is a strong and inspiring female character, and while some might think the rebellion of a woman in a patriarchal society to be a bit cliche, I thought Kidd wrote it eloquently and believably While the ending scene felt a little rushed to me, that cannot deter me from the book as a whole Kidd s writing and research deserve a 5 out of 5


  8. *TUDOR^QUEEN* *TUDOR^QUEEN* says:

    When I saw the premise of this book, that Jesus Christ had a wife, I was quite intrigued to read it My one hesitation was that this might feel like work to read I demand from my reading experience to provide an interlude of escape and relaxation I don t like to get into the weeds when I read On the religious front, I am a believer But back in the early eighties I purchased The Reader s Digest Bible and found that it was the only palatable version I could withstand reading I needn t hav When I saw the premise of this book, that Jesus Christ had a wife, I was quite intrigued to read it My one hesitation was that this might feel like work to read I demand from my reading experience to provide an interlude of escape and relaxation I don t like to get into the weeds when I read On the religious front, I am a believer But back in the early eighties I purchased The Reader s Digest Bible and found that it was the only palatable version I could withstand reading I needn t have worried about this tome Ten percent into this I was already enchanted.This is a work of historical fiction narrated by Ana, the wife of Jesus As the book begins, she is fourteen She is not following the accepted role of a young woman in her time She has great aspirations and longings Her passion is writing She feels a sense of destiny that she will do something important with this gift and will be undeterred in realizing this goal Her father has grudgingly provided tutors so Ana can perfect her writing skills and learn different languages He has also kept Ana supplied with parchment and material to make inks She has already documented important stories of females that she knows, since no one seems to write about them Ana considers her handiwork of these scrolls her most valuable possession.At this time in history, a woman s role was decided by her parents and involved being a pawn in arranged marriages A contract would be prepared for the marriage that was advantageous for the parents Ana s parents had no intention of her prioritizing a writing career of any sort, and they would decide who she would marry Love was not even a consideration Ana s father s sister Aunt Yalta came to live with the family Yalta is a very strong and calculating woman a bit of a rogue She understands Ana better than anyone They are like kindred spirits Unlike Ana s parents, Yalta encourages Ana to utilize her talents and inner strength to become the woman she wants to be The writing style is very straightforward and easily digestible, the way I like it Ana meets Jesus in a marketplace at the beginning of the book when she is 14 Without prior warning, Ana is being brought by her parents to meet an intended elderly husband Nearby, Jesus is helping his sister Salome with some threads for sale at a market table The second when Ana looks into Jesus s eyes for the first time was a beautiful aha moment Decades later, Ana is right there in the street along with her mother in law Mary as Jesus is bearing the weight of the cross on his back, struggling with each step to his own execution This is an incredible book about a very intelligent, strong, talented and brave woman I am overwhelmed.Thank you to Viking Penguin Publishing Group for providing an advance reader copy via Edelweiss


  9. Book of the Month Book of the Month says:

    Why I love itby Glennon Doyle, Author of the 1 New York Times bestseller UntamedSue Monk Kidd, the brilliant, beloved storyteller who gifted us with The Secret Life of Bees, has done it again Her most recent treasure, The Book of Longings, is the first book that has literally taken my breath away As I read, I had to close it and breathe deeply, again and again.Both a radical reimagining of the New Testament, and an homage to all untamed, trespassing women, The Book of Longings is right on tim Why I love itby Glennon Doyle, Author of the 1 New York Times bestseller UntamedSue Monk Kidd, the brilliant, beloved storyteller who gifted us with The Secret Life of Bees, has done it again Her most recent treasure, The Book of Longings, is the first book that has literally taken my breath away As I read, I had to close it and breathe deeply, again and again.Both a radical reimagining of the New Testament, and an homage to all untamed, trespassing women, The Book of Longings is right on time for this moment The book tells the story of Ana a brave and ambitious woman who rails against her repressive society, fighting to express herself and realize her full potential As the daughter of a wealthy politician, Ana is expected to marry a man chosen for her, and not the penniless carpenter named Jesus she meets in a chance encounter What follows is a stunning and universal portrayal of women s longing, silencing, and awakening.I read The Book of Longings right after my own book Untamed made its way into the world, and found Ana of Sue Monk Kidd s masterpiece to be a breathtakingly untamed woman I will carry The Book of Longings in my heart forever, because it reflects what was always there I invite every trespassing woman to find her own journey in Ana s story and to finish this novel mesmerized, encouraged, and emboldened.Readat


  10. Ron Charles Ron Charles says:

    Jesus s wife is back.The kids won t believe it, but in 1988 the biggest thing we had to complain about was Martin Scorsese s The Last Temptation of Christ, a Hollywood adaptation of a novel by Nikos Kazantzakis that includes a vision of Jesus married to Mary Magdalene Protesters picketed theaters, and in Paris they set one on fire Scorsese received death threats Several countries banned the film.Now, into this controversial arena steps Sue Monk Kidd with The Book of Longings, a novel abou Jesus s wife is back.The kids won t believe it, but in 1988 the biggest thing we had to complain about was Martin Scorsese s The Last Temptation of Christ, a Hollywood adaptation of a novel by Nikos Kazantzakis that includes a vision of Jesus married to Mary Magdalene Protesters picketed theaters, and in Paris they set one on fire Scorsese received death threats Several countries banned the film.Now, into this controversial arena steps Sue Monk Kidd with The Book of Longings, a novel about Jesus s wife Such a story from Kidd makes sense Although best known for her 2001 blockbuster, The Secret Life of Bees, she began her writing career by publishing spiritual memoirs that described her move from the Baptist theology of her youth to the insights of Christian mystics old and new In the 20th anniversary edition of The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Kidd said she was motivated by a desire to introduce readers to the lost history of the sacred feminine and to the jolting idea that God can be visualized in feminine ways Naturally, that jolting idea was not welcomed in some To read the rest of this review, go to The Washington Post https www.washingtonpost.com entert