Sunday, July 17, 2005

Song of Mary Magdalene, by Donna Jo Napoli

Napoli goes into riskier territory, creating a back story for the life of Mary Magdalene (prior to her meeting Jesus). In Napoli's story, Mariam is an independently minded girl who befriends a cripple and loves to sing songs. Haunted by seizures, she is assaulted and unjustly accused of prostitution, before fleeing her home in Galilee. These and other events gives her the wider mind set and tolerance of diversity that explain her later (and more well-known) acts of charity.

Like Sirena and Zel, Napoli takes a very interesting concept and doesn't quite seem to know where to run with it. The story drags a bit and leaves the reader really wondering why they should bother. I held on to see what would happen when she met Jesus, but that is at the very end and doesn't provide much of a pay-off.

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