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The Nativity Story: A Novelization
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The Nativity Story: A Novelization

4.5 4
by Angela Elwell Hunt, Mike Rich

Based on the major motion picture, The Nativity Story is the very human, very dramatic, and uniquely inspiring saga of a journey of faith. Best-selling author Angie Hunt, who most recently wrote Magdalene, a historical fiction novel of the story of Mary Magdalene that was tied to The Da Vinci Code movie, now focuses on Mary, the mother of Jesus


Based on the major motion picture, The Nativity Story is the very human, very dramatic, and uniquely inspiring saga of a journey of faith. Best-selling author Angie Hunt, who most recently wrote Magdalene, a historical fiction novel of the story of Mary Magdalene that was tied to The Da Vinci Code movie, now focuses on Mary, the mother of Jesus. She has adapted the screenplay for The Nativity Story into a powerful, historical novel. Her moving novelization of this film tells the extraordinary tale of two common people, Mary and Joseph, a miraculous pregnancy, an arduous journey, and the history-defining birth of Jesus. Brought to life with an unprecedented attention to detail and commitment to historical accuracy, Hunt tells how from humble beginnings, great things can come.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It's a difficult task to retell the biblical nativity story in a fresh way-after all, it has been novelized, brought to stage and screen, and is the stuff of endless children's Christmas pageants. Yet this companion novel to the New Line Cinema feature film (which will hit theaters December 1) should find a place on the bookshelf as a fresh and viable retelling. Hunt, the author of more than 70 books and working from Mike Rich's screenplay, refrains from oversanitizing the story, although Mary and Joseph are fairly one-dimensional (there aren't a lot of character flaws here). She depicts their gritty, hardscrabble existence as balanced by the love of family. As a thoughtful reader would expect, the census trip to Bethlehem is no picnic, but some readers may be surprised that the shepherds and wise men show up at the stable together, unlike in the gospel account. The good-natured joshing among the three wise men provides a lighter note to the chapters where Herod's cruelty is well portrayed. Hunt balances the necessary violence with a sensitivity that will expand her readership. Her rich prose and cultural details utilize the five senses to recreate the familiar story, which spans many points of view and includes a fine subplot about Elizabeth, Zechariah and John. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 8.25(d)

Read an Excerpt

the nativity story

A Novelization

By Angela Hunt

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © MMVI

New Line Productions, Inc.

All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-4143-1462-0

Chapter One

At the sound of voices, Mary pulled a square of linen over her hair, then
scooped up the other three pieces of cloth and sprinted across the furrowed
ground. All four girls had left their veils on a rock by the side of
the road, certain they would be reaping alone in their families' fields.
They had been left to themselves for most of the morning, but now the
sun stood high overhead, and the voices that had reached Mary's ear
belonged to men.

"Naomi!" she hissed, cupping her hand to her mouth. "Rebecca,
Aliyah! Someone comes!"

The other girls, who had been laughing and calling to one another
as they cut the tender heads of barley from the stalks, stopped and

"Who comes?" Naomi wanted to know.

"I'm not sure," Mary said, tossing a rectangular cloth to her, "but
they're men."

Rebecca and Aliyah left their rows and hastened to smooth their
veils over their tumbling tresses.

With her back to the road, Mary felt for the edges of her own
rough veil, then tucked a rebellious hank of hair behind her ear. No virtuous
young woman would dare be so immodest as to publicly approach
a man with her hair exposed, but each of the four friends had
only recently entered womanhood. The habits of freewheelingchildhood
clung to them like vines.

Rebecca smoothed her veil and wiped a trickle of perspiration
from her forehead. "How do I look?"

"You'll look better without seeds on your brow." Mary reached up
to wipe a speckling of barley from Rebecca's damp forehead, then nodded.
"You look fine."

"I only hope whoever it is deserves the trouble we're taking,"
Naomi groused, repositioning the leather strap of the bag on her shoulder.
"If it's Josiah and his friends ..."

Mary suppressed a smile as the girls moved toward the road.
Naomi always made a fuss when Josiah came into view, and Mary suspected
that Naomi complained far more than necessary. Surely it wasn't
natural to spend so much time thinking about a boy unless you liked
him more than a little.

Her thoughts scattered as a knot of young men crested the hill,
Josiah among them. Mary saw Naomi blush when he looked her way.

"Greetings," Rebecca called to the group. "Come you to the fields
to work or to play?"

"To work, of course." Josiah scowled in Naomi's direction. "As
long as you girls don't get in our way."

Naomi stepped forward, her eyes blazing above a demure smile. "I
do believe the four of us can work faster than the-" she paused to
count-"six of you."

Josiah's scowl deepened. "Tend to your family's plot, woman. Your
father sent me out here to keep an eye on you."

Naomi placed a hand on her hip as her lower lip edged forward in
a pout. "And what business have you with my father? I can't believe he
would speak to you, let alone permit you through our courtyard gate."

"He speaks to me often." Josiah left the other boys to step closer.
"And he groans and moans most piteously because he has a headstrong
daughter, one who will almost certainly never be married-"

"I will be married but certainly not to the likes of you!" Naomi's
words would have stung if not for the smile on her lips and the challenge
in her eyes.

Mary stood back, watching in amused wonder as Naomi took off
across the field, barley spilling from her bag with every step.

Not willing to be dismissed, Josiah took off after her, catching the
girl before they had run half the length of the field.

"I've seen her run faster," Rebecca whispered.

Mary laughed, and something stirred in her heart as Josiah
caught Naomi by the waist and pulled her down.

"Should we ... help her?" Aliyah asked, her voice small.

Mary kept her eye on the pair but shook her head. "They are only

Rebecca turned, a look of wonder in her dark eyes. "Do you think
he's really been talking to her father?"

Mary watched as Naomi and Josiah smiled at each other; then she
shifted her gaze to the older boys, most of whom had already waded
into their families' fields. "I think our fathers have begun to talk a lot
about the future. We have begun our monthly courses, so we are old
enough to make our fathers anxious about finding us husbands ... and
providing a dowry."

The three girls stood in silence under the cloud-heavy expanse of
sky. Then Rebecca whispered what Mary had been thinking: "Sometimes
I wish I could remain a child forever."


Excerpted from the nativity story
by Angela Hunt
Copyright © MMVI by New Line Productions, Inc..
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Nativity Story: A Novelization 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
I read the book before watching the movie so I went to the film knowing a lot of what was going to happen. If I thought the movie made the familiar characters more human and real, the book does even more so. The book adds to the movie script and includes more scenes that help to develop the characters. Mary is seen as caught between childhood and becoming a married women. We feel her struggle as she has to leave her old life behind. The reader is taken to understand what she went through after the angel told her what was going to happen to her. Since in the Bible, we don't hear a lot about Joseph what is written here shows him as an understanding and devout man. He loves Mary and wants to take care of her and the baby even though it will not be his completely. I enjoyed the research that went on towards the writing of this book. It's full of historical detail and knowledge. You get a feel of the time, from Mary and Joseph's perspective, from Herod's, and the Wise Men. I know there is much debate about when the Wise Men showed up or even how many there are. I just find it amazing that any persons would come, near or far, to see a baby being born. Imagine how the shepherds felt when they saw Jesus, their Messiah had finally come. I also liked the prologue, which showed a modern view on the Nativity which is what most people believe in and have become immune to. The Christmas season should be remembered in the way Hunt portrays the first Christmas. Very simple, with lots of faith and belief. The book shows that these were real people who were struggling to understand why they were chosen, yet they believed without a doubt. We today should follow in their footsteps. Another powerful read from one of my favorite authors.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! You have to read it and see the movie! I am so proud of it! This is somehting for the whole family around christmas!
harstan More than 1 year ago
This is the novelization based on Mike Rich's screenplay for the upcoming Nativity Story film. Angela Hunt for the most part tells THE NATIVITY STORY as most readers know it (no sense repeating the obvious). However, surprisingly, she makes her rendition fresh especially humanizing the Three Wise Men by intelligently yet humorously having them tease each other (sort of like locker room bantering) as a needed counterpoint to the cruel excesses of King Herod. Ancient Judea is vividly portrayed so much so that readers will feel they journeyed along side the travelers until they reach the stable while also avoiding Herod. This is a great rendition of the ¿greatest story ever told¿ that fans of Christian literature will fully appreciate as the holiday season is upon us. --- Harriet Klausner