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Poisoned Honey: A Story of Mary Magdalene
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Poisoned Honey: A Story of Mary Magdalene

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3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  86 ratings  ·  22 reviews
This story begins with Mariamne, a vulnerable girl who knows little of the ways of the world. Much as she wants to be in control of her own destiny, she soon learns she has no such power. She must do as her father and brother see fit, and when tragedy strikes, Mari must marry a man she does not love and enter a household where she is not welcome, for the good of her family...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 8th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published 2001)
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Odette
Another imagining of the life of Mary Magdalene. This one really delved into the implications of demons/magic, and also dealt a lot with marriages, but that was interesting to see, especially because the magic could still be explained away with natural causes. Natural causes and a lot of coincidences. Either way, it was really, really scary at times.

Also, Jesus was completely adorable. Whenever he was in the scene, i was grinning like an idiot. What I mean here is: Jesus was extremely well-writt...more
Arya
Poisoned Honey by Beatrice Gormley 5 of 5 stars.

Mariamne is a vulnerable girl living in a time when women were put down and looked upon as barely better than children or slaves. Mariamne watches her life fall to pieces as one event after the other pushes her closer to a precipice where the fall is long and dark. As a child Mariamne saw visions, going so far as to believe she could fly only to find herself tumbling down a flight of stairs. She sees visions still, but as more and more people try t...more
Kara

I like the title - it suggests something has gone wrong in the land of milk and honey.


Poor Mary Magdalene.

For centuries, she’s been the punch line of dirty jokes, a name that brings a knowing smirk to the amateur theologian lips, or a rude wink from the Catholic artist.

Here, Gormley examines a possible background to the Magdalene before all myths and legends and 6th century versions of bathroom stall ‘for a good time’ graffiti started.

We meet the very human Miriam as a young girl, an ordinary m...more
Victoria
A bit slow going in the beginning - not to mention the author's annoying decision to put aside comments in unnecessary parentheses - but it gradually picked up stem about 150 pages in.

The author also told this story from the POV of Mary and interspersed chapters, told in the 3rd person, that filled in the story of Matthew. A bit of a jarring narrative device but the stories of the 2 eventual disciples eventually crossed paths.

A bit pedestrian and a bit elementary. Probably best for middle scho...more
Ian Wood
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's novels reviewed on the blog will generally have some images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a novel is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate a nove...more
*Queen Diva*
I picked this book up at the library book sale thinking it'd either be interesting or awful.... and I'm so happy to say it was the former! I really enjoyed this book. I am not a religious person (I'm the walking definition of agnosticism), and there is very little that I actually know about Mary Magdalene other than the big rumor that she was married to Jesus. I got this book purely because I really do enjoy reading people's renditions of biblical things simply because I find it enjoyable to spe...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: A realistic, and therefore, somewhat sad story of what the author perceives to be a good explanation of what Mary’s day-to-day life and major experiences may have been like, starting in adolescence and moving through to a more refreshing conclusion, perhaps to where the story would begin in the Bible.

Opening Sentence: I was possessed.

The Review:

Marianme, also called Mari, lives in a time period where, as we know, everything was controlled b...more
Cindy Huskey
At thirteen, Mari has visions and hears voices, traits her family dismisses as an over-active imagination. However, Mari succumbs to a series of tragic events, and she is forced into an arranged marriage to save her family from financial ruin. Repulsed by her husband and ostracized from her new family, Mari’s misery turns to desperation. With the help of an Egyptian wise woman, Mari develops the ability to escape her oppressed marriage to a secret garden in the spirit world where she soon become...more
Judith Wright
Like so many other authors, Beatrice Gormley tries to put a background to one of the most controversial Biblical characters ever: Mary Magdalena. In Poisoned Honey, Mariamne is a young girl of fourteen, who is learning that life can deal some cruel twists of fate at times. Mari quickly learns that she has no voice and her life is determined by the men in her family. Forced into an arranged marriage with an older man by her conniving brother and uncle, Mari learns to escapes the hardships of her...more
Patricia O'Sullivan
Mari is the daughter of a sardine merchant who dotes on her and a mother who thinks that it is her duty to train her daughter for the hard life of a Jewish woman in a Magdala ruled by Romans. Married at fourteen to an older man who ignores her and living in a household of women who despise her, Mari’s only comforts are her visions of the ancient prophet Maryam, sister of Moses, and the secret world of friends that live in her mind. When her husband dies unexpectedly, Mari finds herself free of h...more
Debra
Synopsis
Beatrice Gormley's fascinating depiction of Mary Magdalene as a young woman in search of faith and some control over her own life is gripping and imaginative. At 13, Mariamne is forced into an unwanted marriage for the sake of her family. Hoping that she'll be able to continue on the spiritual path introduced to her by a wisewoman, Mari delves deeply into a world that soon becomes overwhelming and out of control. Only one man can save her, changing the course of her life forever.
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Homewood Public Library
Like so many other authors, Beatrice Gormley tries to put a background to one of the most controversial Biblical characters ever: Mary Magdalena. In Poisoned Honey, Mariamne is a young girl of fourteen, who is learning that life can deal some cruel twists of fate at times. Mari quickly learns that she has no voice and her life is determined by the men in her family. Forced into an arranged marriage with an older man by her conniving brother and uncle, Mari learns to escapes the hardships of her...more
Bethany Miller
This book imagines the adolescence of Mary Magdalene. From a very young age, Mariamne has a special connection with the spiritual world. She sometimes sees things with the “eyes of her soul” and listens with the “ears of her soul.” When the time comes for Mari to get married, her father finds a match that he knows she will be pleased with; however, before the marriage takes place both her father and fiancé are killed by the Tishri fever. Mari’s brother Alexandros becomes the head of the family a...more
Ann
Sep 18, 2014 Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beth Harbonic
This came back to the library from Summer Reading and I asked the student as she returned a big pile of titles what was her favorite. This was her pick. It's been on our shelf and I never read it. Loved it...a very interesting take on Mary Magdalene, the way of life in the time of Jesus, and having faith. NOT overly preachy, uses the term Rabbi Yeshua for Jesus....I started it and had to keep reading to the end. Glad I did.
Carrie
I first came across Poisoned Honey at my local library as I was browsing the YA section for another book to add to my reading list. I read the back cover and was intrigued, thinking it would be entertaining.

I was a little disappointed.

The story starts off very slow which almost caused me to put the book down within the first few pages.

I also noticed a few moments in the first half of the story when the author was telling rather than showing. (I hope I wasn't the only one who noticed that.)

Thin
...more
Nicole
Quote from WORD for Teens:

I just felt like there wasn't enough time to connect to one plot point before it jumped to the other. Oh look, she's engaged; now she's not; now she is; now she's living a horrible life; now she's harnessing her magic; now she's a widow; now she's engaged; now she's ZOMGPOSESSED; now she's exorcised.

To read the full review, click here.
Missie Kay The Book Fix
I enjoyed this retelling of Mary Magdalene's story, especially how the author brought women to the forefront. Jesus' message of gender equality was also part of the story, which was nice to see. After finishing the story, I was actually surprised to realize that this was basically Christian fiction (extremely orthodox in theology), although published by a mainstream publisher.
Meggen
An intriguing look at one possiblity of how Mary Magdalene could have become possessed with seven devils. Interesting, yet disturbing at times as well. There were some very poignant sections about healing and how Christ's influence brings peace. I would have liked to read more about the rest of the story after Mary's cleansing.
Jean Piscopo
Took me some time to really believe in the story. My religious education is reflected in the facts Gormley presents. I was put off by some of the odd encounters and behavior of Mary which are infused about midway through the story. She recovers and presents a interestingly different portrait of this well-known woman.
Nicole
This book was actually better than I expected. It was very engaging and I couldn't put it down.
Jessica
I couldn't get into the book I stopped reading around page 50
Laurie
I was waiting for it to get good, but it never did.
Kiva Sutton
Kiva Sutton marked it as to-read
Oct 10, 2014
Rebecca Maurer
Rebecca Maurer marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2014
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Brittney marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2014
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Breana Mayhue marked it as to-read
Sep 02, 2014
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Gwen marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2014
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Evie marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2014
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Born in Glendale, California, Beatrice grew up in Southern California. After graduating from Pomona College, she worked in publishing near San Francisco. There she met and married Robert Gormley, and they moved to Massachusetts. They have two daughters.
Since age 9 Beatrice had wanted to become a writer. But it wasn't until after her children were born that she really focused on her writing. In 1...more
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