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Mary of Nazareth

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  673 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
"Adakah orang di muka bumi ini yang mengabaikan keberadaan Maria? Dialah peletak perubahan spiritual terbesar sejak munculnya monoteisme. Kaum Evangelis telah meringkasnya dalam beberapa ayat yang eliptis dan misterius."

Selama beberapa tahun menuliskan novel ini dan melukiskan profil "Maria-ku”, saya berusaha menggambarkan Maria de Nazareth , yang lahir di Galilea dalam ke
Paperback, 477 pages
Published December 19th 2011 by Imania (first published 2006)
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Josephine (Jo)
This was one of those "what if", "could have been" historical fiction books which I enjoy. I was a little dubious about it because it was about Mary the mother of Jesus. I was concerned that the author may try to cast her in some sort of role that took away from the lovely image I have of her. This was not the case. The story showed Mary as a daughter who would do anything to save her father Joachim from the wrath of the Romans. Mary and all the other characters are given the traditional Jewish ...more
Oct 03, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was soooo disappointed in this book. I mean, I understand that in "historical FICTION" the author takes license to tell a story that she/he wants to tell regardless of the facts...However, this particular story, having to do with Mary, the mother of Jesus was so outrageous, that I almost stopped halfway through.

I did like the idea of Mary, the activist as opposed to how she is usually portrayed, not that I really believe that a woman in Isreal in 3BC could have really been an "activist" in th
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. Gives an account of what Mary's life may have been like prior to the birth of jesus. The jist of the story is that Mary and the rest of her villagers (all of israel really) is under the thumb of Roman rule, specifically under the rule of Herod who is a paranoid, greedy, lunatic. After her father is taken away to be crucified for standing up against Roman mercenaries, she contacts Barabas who is a robin hood like hero of the people to help her rescue him.

Afterwards, Mary and her fami
Erisca Febriani
One word for this novel; AWESOME.
Because writing historical fiction about biblical figures must be sooo enormously daunting task. And an author who lets his imagination run wild runs the risk of being offensive, while an author who errs on the side of caution runs the risk of boring the reader by rehashing Sunday School stories.
In this novel, Halter chooses a middle ground, creating a pure but not flawless Miriam who’s even allowed a chaste love with one of Barabbas’s followers.
And i really lo
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Marek Halter. I was looking forward to reading this one.

It's a good story about a woman living in Biblical times. It has strong characters and a good plot.

However, I found myself having a hard time believing this was Mary of Nazareth's story. I was expecting a story either filling in the blanks on the story in the Bible or an alternative explanation for how she became pregnant. Halter's version takes so many liberties with the original story that I found it hard to believe this
Sep 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
A translation of a novel by a Polish Jew who has written best-selling novels about several women from the Hebrew Bible. An epigraph from David Ben-Gurion says, "Jesus is the most radiant figure in History. But although everyone now knows that he was a Jew, no one knows that his mother Mary was also a Jew." She's certainly a Jew here, but one who rebels against the Jewish strictures on women. This story imagines her life mostly BEFORE Jesus, except for an odd, disingenuous, perhaps dishonest, epi ...more
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Who was Mary of Nazareth before she became the Mother of Yeshua? This novel, whose main character is based on Jesus' mother, attempts to shed a ray of light to the unrevealed life that Mary had. It would've been more effective, in my opinion if it were the sort of novel that filled in the blanks - Girl With a Pearl Earring comes to mind, and not a novel that created an alternate reality distorting what are widely-accepted facts and beliefs. The problem with a subject so popular and well-loved as ...more
Jul 02, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was an exciting book for the first few chapters but it soon went downhill for me. I was surprised that the mother of Jesus could be depicted as annoying and condescending. I feel as though the author wanted to portray Mary as having wisdom and strength that astonished those around her, but instead she came off as very haughty and holier-than-thou. I am disappointed that I tarnished my idea of Mary by reading this book.
It had some interesting twists. A Jewish perspective of Mary. He covered the times and cultural events. The resurrection was not part of the author's belief system yet implied reincarnation?
Janine Treannie
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading this book I was very impressed at how well the author brought out and wrote about the life of Mary of Nazareth or as many know her The Virgin Mary.

The book is mainly about the life of Mary as she is growing up in her home town of Nazareth. Starting from when she was a little girl to the age of maybe 18-20 when she was about to give birth to Jesus.

The author makes you feel how much strength, respect, love and passion this young girl to women has. The trials she must go through in
Pelican Rapids
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cpb
very very interesting
Sep 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another book in my year-long book reading project. I had very mixed feelings about this book. For the most part, I enjoyed it. There is not much written in the Bible about Mary prior to her giving birth to Jesus. The author was able to recreate Mary’s supposed life with great detail and elegance. Along the way, you meet people you may be familiar with: Joseph of Arimethea, Elizabeth, and even Mary Magdalene and Joseph, but not necessarily as you might have imagined them to be (based off ...more
2,5 bintang -- Virgin Mary sebagian besar berkisah tentang masa muda Maria. Selama ini saya membayangkan Maria dalam konteks ke-Kristen-an, agama yang menempatkannya sebagai orang istimewa yang mengandung Yesus sang Mesias. Novel ini mengubah pandangan saya, dengan menggambarkan Maria bukan sebagai orang Kristen, tetapi sebagai perempuan Yahudi, yang tentu memang demikianlah halnya. Cukup menarik juga mengetahui kehidupan masyarakat Yahudi pada zaman itu, yang terpecah belah dalam berbagai alira ...more
I have a hard time giving a Christian book a bad review, so to be honest up front, that's one of the reasons why this book is rated 3 stars, not 2.

I picked this book up to read at the library, because I enjoy reading fiction books about Biblical women (the Red Tent immediately comes to mind). I've never read a book by this author, & I was intrigued to read a book from a Jewish prospective - one that is slightly different from the Christian framepoint I was raised with.

I enjoyed the book unti
Jennifer Kim
Jul 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fascinating read! I always wondered what more is there to the story of Mary who was the mother of Jesus. I mean, if I was God, I would pick the best woman or young girl out there to bear my son. She would also have the character and the strength to guide him and face what God must have known was ahead of both mother and the child.

The Bible fails miserably at painting the portrait of this important woman. Maybe the most important woman in history! She is stubborn, feisty, rebellious, and f
Khoiriyyah Azzahro
Mary hidup di masa kekuasaan Raja Herodes
(pada sebuah film tentang Maryam yang pernah
Saya tonton di televisi, sang raja juga dikenal
dengan Raja Herod –tanpa akhiran ‘es’). Raja ini
terkenal amat lalim dan semena-mena terhadap
rakyatnya. Suatu hari, serombongan tentara
bayaran raja menggeledah satu persatu rumah
penduduk. Mereka sedang mencari orang-orang
yang mereka anggap sebagai bandit-bandit
pemberontak. Menurut mereka bandit-bandit ini
ingin merampok petugas pajak dan menculik raja.
Bandit-bandit in
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had liked Marek Halter's books: Sarah,Zipporah, Wife of Moses, and Lilah. While he took a few liberties when telling those stories as well (it is fiction after all), this book goes far beyond okay and intriguing departures from the Biblical story. First of all, his Mary is too unrealistic: she is a feminist who becomes highly educated,(view spoiler) ...more

Making a departure from my non-fiction reading, I picked up a historical novel about the most famous mother of all time.

The story starts out with Miriam and her family struggling to survive the yoke of the tyrannical Roman rule under King Herod. By a freak accident, Miriam's father is set to be crucified. The precocious Miriam boldly sets out to rescue him with the help of a dangerous friend, Barrabas.

It's a crisp book that doesn't weight the soul down with diatribes of heavy handed preaching.
I don't know how I feel about this story of Mary. Maybe because I'm familiar with and like the peaceful, pure fairy tale of the young, meek and virginal Mary, an angel incarnate, a humble vessel. In Halter's story, she's fearless, a rebel, not complacent with her role as a woman. She first hides Barrabas, the "thief," then conspires and frees her father from the cross. The book gave good insight to the troubles from the Romans at that time. The book shows Mary - Miriam - as present and part of t ...more
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman-historique
" Existe-t-il une personne au monde qui ignorerait le nom de Marie, mère de Jésus, celle qui engendra le plus grand bouleversement spirituel depuis la naissance du monothéisme.

Pourtant, ce que nous disent les Evangiles se résume à quelques versets elliptiques et mystérieux.

Durant les années nécessaires à la rédaction de ce roman, dressant le portrait de "ma Marie", je me suis efforcé d'imaginer qui avait pu être cette Miryem de Nazareth, née en Galilée dans le chaotique royaume d'Israël en but
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Une agréable biographie évidemment complètement romancée de la vie de Marie selon le point de vue de Marek Halter, mais surtout une très brillante ouverture d'une page d'histoire sur ce coin du globe.

Il me sera compliqué d’émettre la moindre remarque sur la trame de fond qu'est la vie de Marie, car ma lecture des textes bibliques est parcellaire et ancienne. Qui plus est, il ne semble exister aucuns textes relatant cette vie, si ce n'est apocryphes. J'ai donc pris le parti de lire ce roman comm
Aug 23, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Je suis très dubitative après avoir lu ce livre.

D'une part quant à l'écriture de l'auteur en elle-même, qui est pauvre, simpliste, avec peu de recherche littéraire. Parfois cela me "retire" de l'atmosphère.

D'autre part quant au manque de connaissances historiques de l'auteur. On ne se lance pas dans une fiction historique sans avoir au préalable un minimum de connaissances. Ce qui manque cruellement à l'auteur.

Littérature de train. Médiocre.

De plus le fac-similé d'évangile apocryphe confié par u
Carol Lueck
This story reveals Miriam (Mary) in a new way for me. I think that is why I like to read historical fiction. Even though it is fiction it can open new vistas in our thinking. The Miriam in this novel is a young girl eager to study and learn - not a privilege allowed to the women of her era. She becomes fearless in standing up for what she believes to be right and speaks her mind among learned men of the time. The portrayal of the political times during which Miriam lived helped me to see another ...more
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
" En conclusion, Marie restera longtemps dans mon esprit parce qu’il m’aura fascinée en mettant en avant cette femme que j’admire et porte dans mon cœur d’une façon particulière. Elle n’est pas lisse, peut-être pas parfaite mais elle ne s’écarte pas trop de l’image de celle que nous connaissons tous (ou presque), tout en devenant plus humaine, plus… caractérielle, peut-être. On découvre son histoire avec un énorme intérêt, comprenant que certains personnages mentionnés dans les Evangiles sont pl ...more
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Without a doubt, the best book I've read this season! Miriam, who later is known as Mary of Nazareth, as a young girl saves a young thief Barabus from the Roman mercenaries. Later, she goes to him and asks for his help in saving her father from the cross. Their young paths intertwine, and they both hate the cruelty of the rule from Herod and from Rome. Each has a different way of fighting the injustice, one through battle and one through becoming the mother of the Messiah.

This book, based on int
Nov 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This insightful book about Miriam (Mary) of Nazareth told the story of Mary, the mother of Yeshua (Jesus), as a young girl --- the Mary you only thought you knew. Other characters who figured prominently in the story were Barabbas the outlaw; Joachim, Mary's father; Joseph of Arimathea, an Essene healer; and Miriamne (Mary Magdalene). It was well-written and well-researched, and an enjoyable read. The only problematic elements of the story came near the end of the book. I'd like to hear from oth ...more
I liked the story. I love reading someone else's ideas about biblical characters' lives and relationships. It is amazing to think about Mary and what her life must have been like to have been ready to have the Savior as her son. I really liked his take on some things, not so much on others. The epilogue is a little weird, useless to the story and made me feel like he was saying Jesus didn't really die and resurrect. I'm not sure if he was, but that is what it sounded like. Either way, I liked th ...more
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I guess I forgot to put this book in when I started it. I really enjoyed it. The lives of these people, who we have heard about since we were children, fascinates me. I know it's only a novel, but it brings them to life for me. Ever since I read The Other Boleyn Girl, I've been very curious about other figures in our past. Mary's story may not be real in this book, but she is real to me. I hope that, if you have any curiosity about biblical figures, you read this book, and others by Marek Halter ...more
Aug 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will give this novel 3.5 stars. I loved the history of Mary of Nazareth when I am so used to another Book. The scenes were nice, the actions of the characters were well developed. It was a good book. It gets 3 stars because of the history and the vivid detail of living in the early Roman Empire and under Herod. It's missing 2 stars because it was slow a lot of times and seemed to be catching up. Also, I know it was just keeping with tradition but there were pages and pages of mourning. I almos ...more
Fertina N M
if you wanna know better about history of christianity, you may read this book.. after i finished it, i have many perception.. and the most, i think that every religion teaches everyone about kindness.. and it's the most important to live in this world..this book will make you aware about kindness, other people around you and the place where you live.. so save our planet and be kind with other people even though they have different skin, the color of eyes, hair, languages, country and religion ! ...more
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Marek Halter was born in Poland in 1936. During World War II, he and his parents narrowly escaped from the Warsaw ghetto. After a time in Russia and Uzbekistan, they emigrated to France in 1950. There Halter studied pantomime with Marcel Marceau and embarked on a career as a painter that led to several international exhibitions. In 1967, he founded the International Committee for a Negotiated Peac ...more
More about Marek Halter...

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“What could be more beautiful than this lake, these hills, the flowers on the apple tree? Galilee is beautiful. We are beautiful. You, Miriam, our friends... The Almighty has given us this beauty. Why would he want us to ignore it? On the contrary, we should feed on the joy and happiness he gives us, not just the horrors of Herod!” 1 likes
“I no longer know what the Lord wants of us... Even what we're doing here seems pointless to me! What's the use of the books I've brought with me? All those bookcases in the house? The things we learn, the things we discuss? Not so long ago, I was convinced that cultivating our minds would help us change the course of this world. I told myself, 'We women should change. Then we might be able to curb the folly of men.' I don't believe that now. As soon as I leave Magdala, as soon as I spend a day in the streets of Tarichea, I get the feeling we're becoming more and more learned and more and more useless.” 0 likes
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