Customer Reviews for

The Secret Magdalene

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( 14 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2007

    A reviewer

    I had no idea what I would be reading when I bought this book. Was it another Grail adventure? A Christian apology? A debunking of whatever the author wished to debunk? What I found was a work of literature, gorgeously written, a page turner, and at the same time a seamless explanation of early Christianity, a portrait of Jesus so complex and believable I was captivated, and a complete human being in Mariamne Magdal-eder, a child who grows into a woman of honesty and wisdom and well deserving of the love of Jesus. As for the portrayal of Judas, I never thought I could be moved as much. Many many stars.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2009

    Beautifully written

    What a grand read for those looking for a new look at spirituality in a realistic setting. Fact and fiction are blended in a believable setting, rich charactors leaving you with a feeling of being there or at the least, wishing you were there. For lovers of historical fiction this is a can't miss writing of literary art.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2007

    Sometimes a book is more than a book, it¿s a revelation

    I read this book when it first came out in its small press debut and gave it a five star review. I¿ve just read it again in its new incarnation. There are changes. For instance, the first few scrolls sweep the reader into the story faster. I can see this is needed for a reader in today¿s world. Once upon a time, when there was so much less to divert a person, people savored their books more, wanted them to last longer. I¿m one of those old fashioned types and yet to this book, thank god, no harm has been done. (Thank you, Crown/Random House.) As a matter of fact, if the changes make it more accessible I¿m all for them because this is a truly important book. And there¿s a map! I love maps. In a book like this a map is a treasure. The Secret Magdalene is the story of Jesus and the Magdalene from the Magdalene¿s point of view. We are never out of her head, and I for one, never wished to be. Through the fabulous brain of Longfellow¿s Magdalene flow the most wonderful thoughts, sometimes silly or confused or jealous or mean-spirited, oftentimes frightened or threatened, but always curious and always self-revealing, and over and over and over profoundly understanding of the nature of humanity, in other words, a real person experiencing real feelings. Longfellow¿s Magdalene is magnificent. From girlhood on, she grows right in front of your eyes saying things you wished you¿d said, feeling things you know you¿ve felt, experiencing a life you don¿t know if you could have withstood. Longfellow¿s Magdalene is heroic, intelligent, curious, self-critical, a seeker of knowledge and truth, and ultimately gifted with such a profound wisdom her very thoughts, if heard, could change the world. They should have changed the world. But the Church, with its lack of wisdom and patriarchal jealousy, silenced her with rumor and innuendo and finally by turning its back on the feminine. A huge loss to world, one that manifests itself now in ways that become more evident each day. I¿m in love with Longfellow¿s Mariamne Magdal-eder. How could Jesus not have been in love with her? As for Jesus, he is a stunning achievement. Longfellow¿s Jesus is a man struggling with tradition, duty, the expectation of others, his own dawning revelation, and with the spirit of the Father flowing through every driven mystical vein. And then there¿s his brother Jude. Jude will break your heart. All Longfellow¿s characters will break your heart as I think they are intended to do, just as a mystery play is meant to put you through the most extreme emotions in order to deliver you up to ¿gnosis,¿ which means divine knowledge and is the great awakening to the truth of reality. But a broken heart is a small price to pay for the filling of your whole self with beauty and wisdom. This book is an incomparable gift to us from a brilliant artist.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fascinating biblical tale

    Although the daughter of a privileged affluent Jewish aristocrat Mariamne is unable to overtly display her love of learning as females do not obtain a formal education. Thus she secretly studies whatever she, her personal slave Tata, or her father¿s ward Salome can borrow without anyone knowing. After becoming ill, she began hearing voices in her head that she assumed were prophecies even as she fully recovers from her ailment. --- When her father catches Salome alone with a young male guest and no escort, he becomes irate and tosses her out with nothing except the clothes that she is wearing. Though he has no evidence except a nebulous guilt by association, he also accuses his daughter of the same outrageous behavior and exiles her to his brother-in-law¿s house with an admonishment to never see Salome again. Instead Mariamne and Salome, dressed as males, run off to Alexandria, where they study in the library. Eventually Salome meets John the Baptizer while Mariamne finds herself attracted to Yeshu. The latter two share a love and the premonition of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. --- Providing a female perspective to the birth, death, and rebirth of Jesus, readers see a unique viewpoint from that of THE SECRET MAGDALENE. Mariamne and Salome are terrific protagonists, who besides a retelling of the major events in Jesus¿ life enable the audience to obtain a look at the restricted lifestyle of even a wealthy female in the Holy Land. Though the action is limited, readers who want to a wider feminist glimpse of the last days will want to read Ki Longfellow¿s fascinating biblical tale. --- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Has a book ever made you shiver?

    This one did. All my life I've asked questions. Drove my parents nuts. And so when I read a book about a woman full of questions of course I'm right there. But the difference between my life and this book is the answers! There are answers here that don't claim to be truths and yet they are closer to what I suspect is the TRUTH than anything I ever heard or read in my entire life! There are all these "self-help" guru books out there and some are even interesting, but to have it all told in a dazzling story of "what might have been" from the mouth of a Mary Magdalene who is so real and so human and so blessed with intelligence and humor and feeling, well this book just gave me goosebumps.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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