Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The Secret Magdalene by Ki Longfellow
Visit Ki Longfellow at: http://kilongfellow.com/
The Secret Magdalene, Ki Longfellow, Three Rivers Press, $14.95, USD, $19.95 CAN, trade paperback, 978-0-307-344667-4
In the 1st century A.D., 10 year old Mariamne recovers from a strange illness which has left her with the gift of prophecy. Whenever she sees the future, she is possessed of a voice not her own. Born into a life of priviledge, Mariamne and her sister Salome, develop an interest in the occult through a friend of their father, Josephus of Arimathaea. The two girls dream adventure and traveling the world as future sorceresses.
But their dreams soon dissolve when their illicit study is discovered by one of their father's friends who introduces them to a religious sect who await the discovery of the One who will come and save them. Mariamne and Salome visit regularly. Late one night, the two girls escape and while on their way to a meeting with these people, they are discovered. Enraged at their disobedience and fall from virtue, their father casts them out of his life.
A philosopher adopts the two girls and permits them to pursue their interests. The sisters are raised diverse religious ideas strongly influenced by their mentor's passion for Socrates.
From the first time she met him, Salome is taken by John the Baptist and she believes he is the promised Messiah, Mariamne becomes a follower and close friend of Yehoshua (Jesus) of Galilee, a cousin of the Baptist.
What makes this particular story unique, is that it is told through the point of view of a young innocent woman who searches to find joy and meaning in her life. It is a novel not to be taken lightly, but rather read carefully and at a leisurely pace to benefit from the deep emotion and powerful story contained within its pages. It is satisfying and moving, rich and thought provoking.
Mirella Patzer, author of Bloodstone Castle