31 Jan 2013



Herod Antipas rules Galilee; Pontius Pilate is the new Roman governor of Judea; and the Roman Empire rules the world. In The Road to Cana we see Jesus - Yeshua Bar Joseph - during a winter of no rain, endless dust, and talk of trouble in Judea. He lives in the obscure village of Nazareth, with his large, close-knit Jewish family. Their life is quiet but it is a troubled time, when bandits can swoop down from the hills to terrorise the womenfolk and local fanaticism can flare up with sudden horror.

Whispers of a virgin birth have long surrounded Jesus. His brothers, his mother, his friends, wait for some sign of the path he will take, some with awe, others with impatience or incredulity. Both divine and human, he
struggles with the demands of his family, the human need for love and his overwhelming sense of destiny. Yet, at the moment of truth, at the wedding at Cana, he responds to his beloved mother's appeal to his sense of filial duty, transforming the water in seven great limestone jars into cool red wine - and the celebration goes on. 

Now in his thirtieth year, this quiet man of Nazareth emerges from his baptism in the river Jordan to confront his mission - and the Devil. He is urged to call on Israel to rise up and cast off the yoke of Rome. But his is a different and greater calling.
..... Inner front cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): Who is Christ the Lord?

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 226): The canopy was now spread to its full width. Flower petals were hurled in the air. The music grew stronger and quicker, and as the bride continued, in her phalanx of women, the men on either side, up ahead and behind, began to lock arms and dance.

MY THOUGHTS: Though hardly religious and not a huge fan of Anne Rice I have read enough re-imagined novels about the life of Christ and Anne Rice's vampire novels (written by the 'agnostic' Ms Rice as opposed to the 'recently returned to the Catholic faith of her childhood' Ms Rice) to be interested in these her Christ The Lord novels - the first in the series being Out Of Egypt.

Totally readable in its own right (after all many of us already know the story), this, the second book in the series, follows the months leading up to the beginning of the ministry of Jesus (Yeshua Bar Joseph) culminating in the (wonderfully descriptive) wedding at Cana.

Narrated in the first person by a very human, occasionally tormented Yeshua, though I suspect some may well be offended by his relationship with Avigail, as far as recent novels about the life of Christ go this was totally inoffensive.

Not all I had hoped it would be, I normally find myself deep in discussion about whether certain characters/events are actually in the bible but, my imagination obviously not altogether ignited, not so with this particular novel and, though a relatively short read of 242 pages, I maintain it says too little in too many pages. However, that said, it cannot be denied that Anne Rice has done a wonderful job in recreating the historical and cultural aspect of life at this time which is the only reason I rate it as highly as I do.

Am I inspired to read any of the other book in the series? Never say never - I would if from a library or a friend but I wouldn't go as far to buy them.

KEEP IT OR NOT?: Ex-library stock, Not one for the shelves, I do however have several friends waiting to read this.

 Disclaimer #1: Removal of any part of this post without my express consent is considered copyright infringement. This post was created by and for Petty Witter @ Pen and Paper. If you are reading this post on any other site please contact the original blog owner/reviewer.


Mary (Bookfan) said...

I think I've only read one book by Rice (Cry to Heaven) and that was eons ago. It was quite a story. I'm not sure this one is for me but it's such a short book and your review intrigues me so I'll keep it in mind.

Cherie Reich said...

Thanks for the review! I've enjoyed other books by Anne Rice, but I haven't read this series of hers.

Kelly said...

I've read two or three of her vampire series before I grew weary of them and loved the one mentioned above by Mary (Cry to Heaven). I knew she'd written a "religious" novel, but didn't realize it was part of a series. Considering all the great books waiting in my TBR stack, I'm not sure I care to add this one.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I never had an inkling to really read these novels. I could see her leaning that way in the later Vampire Chronicles series. She does write very visual so I can see it sparking that imagination.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Sorry this one wasn't better. It doesn't sound like my type of book- but I did enjoy your honest review. :)

the bookworm said...

I read two of Anne Rice's vampire novels and really enjoyed them, Interview was fantastic. I've been curious about her religious books such as this one.
Great review.

Suko said...

I could have written Mary's comment. Excellent review as usual, Tracy.

Rachel Bradford said...

I've not read very many of Rice's books besides Interview with the Vampire. I know a lot of people stopped liking her when she started writing Christian Fiction, though. I really should try it out and see for myself though. Thanks for the review.

DMS said...

Thanks for sharing! I have enjoyed many of Rice's books, but I haven't heard of these. Helpful review!