PurplyCookie's Reviews > Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana

Christ the Lord by Anne Rice
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's review
Apr 26, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: religious, book-series, biography-memoir, family-saga, historical-fiction
Read in April, 2009

"I'd always known who I really was. I was God. And I'd chosen not to know it. Well, now I knew just what it meant to be the man who knew he was God."

As the novel opens, Yeshua (Jesus) struggles with a sense of restlessness of purpose and a deep love for a comely kinswoman. Waves of isolation sweep over him as he comes to understand that serving the Lord's will takes precedence over the desires of his own heart. Whereas the first novel in this series, "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt", hewed so closely to Scripture and to the author's meticulous research, the sequel puts forth the "lost" young adulthood of Jesus, offers wise and haunting speculation where the Bible is silent.

"Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana" takes a big chronological leap forward, and the storytelling seems to reflect the maturation of her subject. Yeshua bar Joseph (Jesus of Nazareth) is now a man on the brink of embracing his identity and his purpose. He's God in the flesh, as he himself knows, but he also struggles with the human desires for companionship, family, and acceptance. His relatives and the local villagers sometimes call him Yeshua, the Sinless. "This is where I live. Not in the Temple, but in the world. And in the world, I learn what the world is and what the world will teach, and I am of the world. The world's made of wood and stone and iron, and I work in it. No, not in the Temple. In the world. And I study the Torah; and I pray with the assembly; and on the feasts I go to Jerusalem to stand before the Lord -- in the Temple -- but this is in the world, all this. In the world. And when it is time for me to do what the Lord has sent me to do in this world, this world which belongs to HNim, this world of wood and stone and iron and grass and air, He will reveal it to me. And what this carpenter shall yet build in this world on that day, the Lord knows, and the Lord shall reveal it."

We follow along as he fights against the ignorance and cruelty that leads to the stoning of two youths suspected of homosexuality. We marvel at the stirring sequences with John the Baptist. We share his anguish when scandal falls upon the innocent, desperate Avigail. Especially moving was his giving up of the only chance he has of a "normal" human life -- that of getting married and raising a family of his own. Instead, Yeshua chooses to turn water into wine -- at the request of his mother, Mary -- when he attended Avigail's wedding at Cana.

Rice, through Yeshua's eyes, lets us in for peeks at the heart of God, as it relates to the human struggle. This culminates in Yeshua's face-off with Satan in the wilderness, during his forty days of fasting -- a masterpiece of textured prose -- and in the following incident with Mary of Magdala. "And then the remembering came, driving away the random voices of censure, the remembering...of every single solitary thing I'd ever done in this, my earthly existence. And sparkling in the density were the moments of pain -- of loss, fear, of sudden regret, of grief, of discomforting and tormented amazement."

For future readers, please pay particular attention to the chapter wherein Jesus engages in a dialogue with Satan; that alone is worth the price of the entire book. It brilliantly, lucidly, and accurately outlines the fundamental basis for the incarnation of Christ, the Delusion of Lucifer, and the underlying Catholic philosophical underpinnings to this complex, yet necessary 'debate' and 'revelation' between God and Satan. This Chapter alone is absolutely stunning in that it captures extremely complex philosophical concepts and presents them in a cogent, coherent 'conversation' between the Father and the Deluded Morning Star.

Not only is this book to be regarded as the latest masterpiece of Anne Rice, but I feel that it can be appreciated by both believers and non-believers alike. You need not be a Roman Catholic like myself or a Christian to appreciate this work.

Book Details:

Title Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana
Author Anne Rice
Reviewed By Purplycookie
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PurplyCookie Thanks for liking my review, Jim! :)

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