“I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus.” So begins the new novel from the number one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings, an extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny in a time of great despair and great hope.
In her fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life, but finds no outlet for her considerable talents. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the eighteen-year-old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other’s spiritual and philosophical ideas. He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heart.
Their marriage unfolds with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, James and Simon, and their mother, Mary. Here, Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to the Roman occupation of Israel, partially led by her charismatic adopted brother, Judas. She is sustained by her indomitable aunt Yaltha, who is searching for her long-lost daughter, as well as by other women, including her friend Tabitha, who is sold into slavery after she was raped, and Phasaelis, the shrewd wife of Herod Antipas. Ana’s impetuous streak occasionally invites danger. When one such foray forces her to flee Nazareth for her safety shortly before Jesus’s public ministry begins, she makes her way with Yaltha to Alexandria, where she eventually finds refuge and purpose in unexpected surroundings.
Grounded in meticulous historical research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus’s life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring account of one woman’s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place, and culture devised to silence her.
Anita Diamant - The Red Tent
Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood—the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers—Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah—the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's society.
Anne Rice - Out of Egypt
This book seeks to present a realistic fictional portrait of Our Lord in Time. It is rooted in the faith that the Creator of the Universe became human in the person of Jesus Christ and “dwelt among us.” The magnificent mystery of the Incarnation is accepted and affirmed as fact. Scripture is the inspiration for the emotions and powers of the Child Jesus as they are envisioned here. History as well as the gospels is the source for this picture of a world in which Our Lord might have lived, as a little boy, in war and in peace, from day to day. Ad majorem Dei gloriam.
Anne Rice - The Road to Cana
Anne Rice's second book in her hugely ambitious and courageous life of Christ begins during his last winter before his baptism in the Jordan and concludes with the miracle at Cana. It is a novel in which we see Jesus—he is called Yeshua bar Joseph—during a winter of no rain, endless dust, and talk of trouble in Judea. Legends of a Virgin birth have long surrounded Yeshua, yet for decades he has lived as one among many who come to the synagogue on the Sabbath. All who know and love him find themselves waiting for some sign of the path he will eventually take. And at last we see him emerge from his baptism to confront his destiny—and the Devil. We see what happens when he takes the water of six great limestone jars, transforms it into cool red wine, is recognized as the anointed one, and urged to call all Israel to take up arms against Rome and follow him as the prophets have foretold. As with Out of Egypt, the opening novel, The Road to Cana is based on the Gospels and on the most respected New Testament scholarship. The book's power derives from the profound feeling its author brings to the writing and the way in which she summons up the presence of Jesus.
Robin Maxwell - To the Tower Born
In 1483, Edward and Richard of York—Edward, by law, already King of England—were placed, for their protection before Edward's coronation, in the Tower of London by their uncle Richard. Within months the boys disappeared without a trace, and for the next five hundred years the despised Richard III was suspected of their heartless murders. In To the Tower Born, Robin Maxwell ingeniously imagines what might have happened to the missing princes. The great and terrible events that shaped a kingdom are viewed through the eyes of quick-witted Nell Caxton, only daughter of the first English printer, and her dearest friend, "Bessie," sister to the lost boys and ultimate founder of the Tudor dynasty. It is a thrilling story brimming with mystery, color, and historical lore. With great bravery and heart, two friends navigate a dark and treacherous medieval landscape rendered more perilous by the era's scheming, ambitious, even murderous men and women who will stop at nothing to possess the throne.
Amy Tan - Saving Fish from Drowning
On an ill-fated art expedition of the Southern Shan State in Burma, eleven Americans leave their Floating Island Resort for a Christmas morning tour - and disappear. Through the twists of fate, curses, and just plain human error, they find themselves deep in the Burma jungle, where they encounter a tribe awaiting the return of the leader and the mythical book of wisdom that will protect them from the ravages and destruction of the Myanmar military regime. Filled with Amy Tan's signature 'idiosyncratic, sympathetic characters, haunting images, historical complexity, significant contemporary themes, and suspenseful mystery' (Los Angeles Times) 'Saving Fish from Drowning' seduces the reader with a facade of Buddhist illusions, magical tricks, and light comedy, even as the absurd and picaresque spiral into a gripping morality tale about the consequences of intentions - both good and bad - and of the shared responsibility that individuals must accept for the actions of others.
Anne Rice - The Mummy
With this kick-off to a new series, Vampire Chronicler Rice abandons her troupe of nocturnals for the living dead of another kind. In a tale that's part horror and part romance, Egyptian King Ramses, made immortal in his youth, is awakened from self-imposed dormancy and deposited in 1914 London. Ramses's introduction to modern times is charming but slow. The plot, however, revs up a bit when he returns to Cairo and runs into an old girlfriend. Much in this book will be familiar to Rice's fans, except in this case it doesn't work. The characters are mostly boring and the conflict is flimsy. You know nothing bad is going to happen to anybody--and nothing does. You're also cheated out of a genuine conclusion, which is both dissatisfying and unfair. Stick to those blood drinkers, Anne, and let the sleeping mummies lie. - Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"
Anne Rice - The Feast of All Saints
In the days before the Civil War, there lived in New Orleans the gens de couleur libre - copper-skinned half-casts, liberated by their owners, but confined by their color to a life of political nonexistence and social subordination. Still, an aristocracy would emerge in this society: artist, poets, and musicians, plantation owners, scientists and craftsmen whose talents and reputations would extend far beyond the limits of their small world. Mega-selling author Anne Rice's probing, lyrical style sweeps us into their midst as she introduces Marcel, the sensitive, blue-eyed scholar, Marie, his breathtakingly beautiful sister, whose curse is to pass for white; Christophe, novelist and teacher, the idol of all young gens and stunning Anna Bella, whose allure for the well-to-do white man would become legend. Here is a compelling and richly textured tale of a people forever caught in the shadows between black and white.
Barbara Wood - Soul Flame
Acclaimed novelist Barbara Wood combines her superb storytelling gifts with medical and historic fact to create the epic adventure of an unusual and gifted young woman seeking her destiny in the ancient healing arts. Born into the tumultuous world of ancient Antioch, Selene is orphaned at birth. But before her father dies, he leaves a puzzling clue to her heritage: she has come from the gods and has a special destiny to fulfill. In the coming years, Selene studies the primitive healing arts with Mera, the healer-woman who adopts her. She learns how to lower fevers by brewing Hecate's Cure from the willow tree, how to apply green mold to an open wound to prevent infection, and most importantly, how to calm a patient by summoning the inner power of the soul flame. But on her sixteenth birthday, Selene falls in love with Andreas, a passionate and troubled surgeon. When fate cruelly separates them, Selene's search for Andreas takes her to the great centers of civilization in the ancient world Egypt, Babylon, and Rome. Desperate to find Andreas, Selene is torn between love and her dreams of healing when a revolutionary vision brings her to the fulfillment of her destinyand the dawn of modern medicine.
György Spiró - Captivity
A literary sensation in Hungary, György Spiró’s Captivity is both a highly sophisticated historical novel and a gripping page-turner. Set in the tumultuous first century A.D., between the year of Christ’s death and the outbreak of the Jewish War, Captivity recounts the adventures of the feeble-bodied, bookish Uri, a young Roman Jew. Frustrated with his hapless son, Uri’s father sends the young man to the Holy Land to regain the family’s prestige. In Jerusalem, Uri is imprisoned by Herod and meets two thieves and (perhaps) Jesus before their crucifixion. Later, in cosmopolitan Alexandria, he undergoes a scholarly and sexual awakening—but must also escape a pogrom. Returning to Rome at last, he finds an entirely unexpected inheritance. Equal parts Homeric epic, brilliantly researched Jewish history, and picaresque adventure, Captivity is a dramatic tale of family, fate, and fortitude. In its weak-yet-valiant hero, fans will be reminded of Robert Graves’ classics of Ancient Rome, I, Claudius and Claudius the God.
Stephanie Dray - Ben Kane - E. Knight - Sophie Perinot - Kate Quinn - Vicky Alvear Shecter - A Day of Fire
Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain's wrath . . . and these are their stories: A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii's flourishing streets. An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire. An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished. A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue. A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls. A priestess and a whore seek redemption and resurrection as the town is buried. Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others' path during Pompeii's fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?
John Irving - Setting Free the Bears
It is 1967 and two Viennese university students want to liberate the Vienna Zoo, as was done after World War II. But their good intentions have both comic and gruesome consequences, in this first novel written by a twenty-five year old John Irving, already a master storyteller.
Mary Jo Putney - The Diabolical Baron
The ruthless Jason Kincaid, 19th Baron Radford, draws the name of Miss Caroline Hanscombe out of a hat, and wagers that he could make her marry him. But her soulmate is the gallant Captain Richard Davenport, who also lays siege to her heart.
Anita Diamant - The Last Days of Dogtown
Set on the high ground at the heart of Cape Ann, the village of Dogtown is peopled by widows, orphans, spinsters, scoundrels, whores, free Africans, and "witches." Among the inhabitants of this hamlet are Black Ruth, who dresses as a man and works as a stonemason; Mrs. Stanley, an imperious madam whose grandson, Sammy, comes of age in her brothel; Oliver Younger, who survives a miserable childhood at the hands of his aunt; and Cornelius Finson, a freed slave. At the center of it all is Judy Rhines, a fiercely independent soul, deeply lonely, who nonetheless builds a life for herself against all imaginable odds. Rendered in stunning, haunting detail, with Diamant's keen ear for language and profound compassion for her characters, The Last Days of Dogtown is an extraordinary retelling of a long-forgotten chapter of early American life.
Andreu Carranza - Esteban Martín - The Gaudi Key
Barcelona, city of mystery, and Antonio Gaudi, its most famous exponent are the subjects of this gripping new thriller for all lovers of religious conspiracy. As the Grand Master of an ancient religious brotherhood nears death, he chooses to entrust to Antonio Gaudi a sacred object whose existence has been a guarded secret since the early Christian era. The great architect protects the artefact by hiding it where he believes it might never be discovered! A new century, and a new danger. The granddaughter of Gaudi's apprentice is now charged with finding the holy object. With the help of Miguel, her mathematician boyfriend, Maria unravels the clues Gaudi placed in his work. The prize, she believes, is the whereabouts of a sacred relic. But as mutilated bodies and sinister enemies follow in their wake, both realize that what's at stake is of far greater importance! and their survivial is the key.
William Dietrich - The Rosetta Key
Surviving murderous thieves, a nerve-racking sea voyage, and the deadly sands of Egypt with Napoleon's army, American adventurer Ethan Gage solved a five-thousand-year-old riddle with the help of a mysterious medallion. But the danger is only beginning. . . . Gage finds himself hurled into the Holy Land in dogged pursuit of an ancient Egyptian scroll imbued with magic, even as Bonaparte launches his 1799 invasion of Israel, which will climax at the epic siege of Acre. Pursuing Napoleon to France, where the general hopes ancient secrets will catapult him to power, the wily and inventive Gage faces old enemies with unlikely new friends, and must use wit, humor, derring-do, and an archaeological key to prevent dark powers from seizing control of the world. Entertaining and vividly evocative, The Rosetta Key is William Dietrich at his fast-paced, cliff-hanger best. For lovers of stirring historical adventure laden with intriguing mystery and puzzles galore, The Rosetta Key is a terrific thrill ride not to be missed.
William Dietrich - The Dakota Cipher
William Dietrich is back with another fast-paced new adventure - one that brings together Norse mythology, the American wilderness, and a swashbuckling explorer in an irresistible page-turner. Ethan Gage, the hero of Napoleon's Pyramids and The Rosetta Key, just wants to enjoy the fruits of victory after helping Napoleon win the Battle of Marengo and end an undeclared naval war with the United States. But a foolish tryst with Bonaparte's married sister and the improbable schemes of a grizzled Norwegian named Magnus Bloodhammer soon send Ethan on a new treasure hunt on America's frontier that will have him dodging scheming aristocrats and hostile Indians. In 1801 newly elected president Thomas Jefferson, taking office in the burgeoning capital of Washington, D.C., convinces Ethan and Magnus to go on a scouting expedition - one that precedes that of Lewis and Clark - to investigate reports of woolly mammoths and blue-eyed Indians. The pair have their own motive, however, which they neglect to share with the president: a search for the mythical hammer of the Norse god Thor, allegedly brought by fugitive Norsemen to the center of North America 150 years before Columbus. Can the hammer control thunder and lightning? Is there a core of truth to this myth? Ethan's journey takes him across the Great Lakes to country no white man has seen, but not before he becomes entangled with a British temptress, a comely captive, a French voyageur, and a landscape as breathtaking as it is perilous. Ancient Norse runes will lead him to his most fantastic discovery yet - and to wonder, danger, mystery, and sorrow that will test every ounce of wit and skill Gage can muster. The Dakota Cipher is another exciting adventure by a writer who has quickly become one of America's most beloved and inventive thriller masterminds.
Stephen Lawhead - Hood
Robin Hood The Legend Begins Anew For centuries, the legend of Robin Hood and his band of thieves has captivated the imagination. Now the familiar tale takes on new life, fresh meaning, and an unexpected setting. Steeped in Celtic mythology and the political intrigue of medieval Britain, Stephen R. Lawhead's latest work conjures up an ancient past and holds a mirror to contemporary realities. Prepare yourself for an epic tale that dares to shatter everything you thought you knew about Robin Hood.
Francine Rivers - Redeeming Love
“Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers tells the story of Sarah, a girl born to a single mother as the result of an affair with a married man. From the start, Sarah’s father did not want her; she had even overheard him say that he wished she was aborted. Sarah’s mother fights poverty and finally resorts to prostitution to support herself and her girl. She dies when Sarah is only eight, and the girl ends up sold into prostitution by her mother’s boyfriend. Duke, Sarah’s new “owner,” does horrible things to her. No wonder that Sarah grows up hating men, herself, and the world. Prostitution being the only way to make a living Sarah knows, that’s what she does. Now eighteen, with her name changed to Angel, she works at a brothel in California. One day when Angel walks the streets, a Christian man named Michael Hosea sees her. Michael has been praying for a wife, and he suddenly feels that God is pointing out this woman to him and telling him to marry her. Michael is very serious about God and His commands, so he obeys. He goes to the brothel and pays the required price to be with Angel, but instead of having sex with her he tries to talk. Needless to say, when Angel hears that he wants to marry her, she thinks the man is crazy. Although she hates what she does, she cannot believe that anything good can happen to her and change her lifestyle. The concepts of love and marriage are absolutely foreign to Angel. Despite her refusal, Michael persists. One day, after Angel is severely beaten in the brothel, she agrees to marry Michael just to get away from the place. His love and kindness slowly begin to make their way into Angel’s shut-up heart, but she cannot just drop all her life-long defenses. When she realizes that she is developing feelings for Michael, she feels ashamed and unworthy of him, so she runs away and goes back to prostitution. Michael finds her and brings her back, more than once. As if Angel’s own feelings of guilt are not enough to deal with, there’s Paul, Michael’s brother-in-law who had used her “services” as a prostitute. He hates Angel and does all he can to drive her away. He succeeds one more time. When Angel is gone again, Michael decides not to chase her this time and see whether the unwavering love he had shown her will make her come back on her own.
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.