Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Daughter of Jerusalem” as Want to Read:
Daughter of Jerusalem
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Daughter of Jerusalem

(Biblical Fiction)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  531 ratings  ·  138 reviews
She was a widow, a businesswoman, an adulteress.

In her lifetime, she knew murder, prejudice, and faith. She transformed from a Jewish girl longing for family to one of the closest friends of Jesus of Nazareth—the Son of God.


In this fictionalized story of one of the Bible's most compelling women, New York Times best-selling author Joan Wolf beaut
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Worthy Books (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Daughter of Jerusalem, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Daughter of Jerusalem

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  531 ratings  ·  138 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Lydia (Overweight Bookshelf)
Full review here:

If you are looking for a theological analysis of Daughter of Jerusalem, this review is not it. I have expressed my reservations about taking liberties with biblical accounts and truth in the past (coincidentally discussing another of Joan Wolf's novels) and do not wish to regurgitate my views it yet another review. On the topic of theology and historical accuracy I will only say this: Is it impossible that Mary Magdalene and Mary, sister
Mary Chrapliwy
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the reasons I've never seen the movie The Passion of the Christ is that I knew it would reduce me to tears that would be more than a little difficult to recover from. I never expected that this book would have the power to do the same.

Joan Wolf, a veteran historical writer with many titles under her belt, clearly did meticulous research on the region where Mary of Magdala lived. There have been more than a few versions of Mary through history. Wolf gives us the one that characterizes Mary
Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it
If you can get over all of the many historical inaccuracy's of this book, then you will enjoy it. I would have given this book 4-5 stars if the author had been more true to the history put forth in the bible. First of all, it is highly unlikely that Mary Magdalene was the sister of Lazarus and Martha, as she is portrayed in this book. I'm uncertain as to why the author thought it necessary to make them one and the same woman as the majority of Christian scholars fid them to be two different Mary ...more
Oct 05, 2012 rated it liked it

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley from Worthy Publishing.

If there is such thing as hard sci fi, then I want to coin the term hard historical fiction. This is not hard historical fiction. This is a light and modern look at Mary Magdalene. I never fully felt transported to first century Israel but I did feel like I could relate to Mary and it gave me a real sense of how unbelievable Jesus's ministry must have been. As inspirational fiction, it hits its mark. As historically accurat
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've read many stories telling of the life (fictional, of course) of Mary Magdalene. Some portrayed her as a harlot, others as a woefully unfortunate woman. This book, by Joan Wolf, portrays her in the best possible light. As a woman. A woman who is a victim of her circumstances. A young woman sold into an unhappy marriage, who finds love with another. This is a highly likable Mary. A woman I felt for, a woman I would be happy to call a friend. We laugh with Mary, cry with her, and mourn with he ...more
Darla Cornelison
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
If you can get past the fact that this book does not follow any kind of biblical history that you have ever heard of and just read it at face value, it is pretty good. Writing is good and as far as the story itself goes it is pretty good. But for this to be categorized if it is as Christian fiction, it is not. The facts of the bible and this book do not match AT ALL. So if are wanting historical fiction based on bible fact this book is not for you. If you want a book with some familiar biblical ...more
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an easy to read novel that purports to tell the story of Mary Magdelane. It is well written, engrossing and captures the time and history of the events it describes. The author takes some creative license in placing Mary in events that she probably did not participate least not all of them None the less, for those interested in Christian books, this books gives one a real flavor for the politics of that time period, including the position of women in society. I really enjoyed it ...more
Solid story!

I like Joan Wolf's style of story telling. I wavered on rating it's probably 3.8-3.9... just not quite a four for me, because half the book was a 5..but the very last of Part 3.. I felt the story was bit dull, little creativity w/interaction with Jesus.
Amanda Caldwell
First let me just say, wow. I can't even gather my thoughts in a coherent manner to write the beautiful review I want to give this book. I'd first just like to say thank you so much to Worthy Publishing and Joan Wolf for providing me with a free copy of this book to read and for allowing me the honor of participating in the Daughter of Jerusalem blog tour. I'm not trying to suck up (lol), but this book has truly been such a blessing in my life. When I was first asked to participate in the blog t ...more
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from Worthy Publishing free in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

She was a widow, a businesswoman, an adulteress.
In her lifetime, she knew murder, prejudice, and faith. She transformed from a Jewish girl longing for family to one of the closest friends of Jesus of Nazareth -- the Son of God.


In this fictionalized story of one of the Bible's most compelling women, New York Times best-
Review originally posted at

Even though I am not a religious person myself, I am very much interested in the various world religions and their origins. I also adore reading historical books, so I was definitely looking forward to reading this book. And I have to say I really enjoyed it. It may be surprising to hear that this isn’t an overly religious book, in spite of the fact that the main character is Mary Magdalene, and a large part of the book is focused on
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Joan Wolf tells a uniquely fresh account of the life of the woman known today in Christian texts as Mary Magdalene.

In the beginning of the story, a young Mary of Magdala is sent from her father's home because of conflicts with her stepmother. Leaving behind her younger sister, Martha, and her brother Lazarus, Mary finds herself living with her Aunt Leah. Her new Jewish home is filled with many members of Leah's family by marriage but, Mary struggles to make friends with the other young girls o
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Normally I do not read a lot of biblical fiction, but reading this book made me want to swallow up all the biblical fiction I could find. It was a wonderful read that made the biblical story of Mary Magdalene come to life. While all these events did not necessarily happen to the biblical Mary, this was a great fictional tale of the story of Mary.
The story opens when Mary is just 10 years old. After having problems at her own home, she is sent to live with her Aunt Leah at the home of Lord Benjam
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mary Magdalene is a controversial figure and many historical fiction portrayals of her have not done her justice as a strong female character. I really appreciated the treatment of her here, especially since she's not a prostitute. Coming from an insignificant family, Mary is forced to abandon her true love for an arranged marriage to a wealthy merchant. Submerged in the decadent lifestyle of Roman influence, she abandons her religion embraces a life of sin (according to Judaism). Heartbreak aft ...more
I won a copy through the Goodreads' First reads program, compliments of Worth Publishing, in exchange for an unbiased review.

Jesus' closest earthly friend. The one who understood him better than anyone alive - was a woman whose sins marked her with a scarlet letter. DAUGHTER OF JERUSALEM is the historical fiction account of Mary of Magdala. The cover is entrancing and bright; the story within enchanting. I finished this book in just a few days (usually takes me a couple weeks with my schedule).
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received this novel through a Goodreads giveaway.

I have found this book to be extremely interesting to read. The way the author portrays this important religious and historical figure really made me stop and think about who this person really was. Being raised Christian, I heard of Mary Magdalan and her being a follower of Jesus. Many stories portrayed this woman as a harlot and a prostitute and never delve into who this person really was. I began reading this novel knowing that the young Chil
This book was definitely different, but it didn't command my attention like a good narrative should.
I found I was easily sidetracked and it took me three weeks to read.

While the story is very descriptive and the time comes to life as you read, there was nothing really compelling to keep me going. Unfortunately it's a story where you know what will happen, whether you're religious or not, and I wish there had been more in the way of unanticipated ventures. I could have stopped reading the book in
Wendy Hines
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've read many stories about Mary of Magdalene, but this is the first one that is contemporary in my opinion. Daughter of Jerusalem follows the live of Mary from her first marriage until she meets Jesus. The writing is keen and Wolf has a knack of painting vivid pictures with her words. Jerusalem just comes to life, creating an authentic background for Wolf's Magdalene.

Inspiring, emotional and complex, Daughter of Jerusalem is a compelling read. It makes me want to be a better person after readi
Oct 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This was just ok for me... really enjoyed the first two sections and thought that the part pertaining to Mary's relationship with Jesus would interest me more!!! However that part of the story just fell completely flat for me!!! I did like how it was told in more of a historical way rather than religious... gave me a much better understanding of the conflicts of the time and why Jesus was seen as such a threat both religiously and politically!!! Quick read if you just want a learn something more ...more
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story and the depth of character given to Mary of Magdala. One of the reasons I enjoy Biblical fiction is, despite how accurate it is or isn't, it reminds me that even the people who may appear in one or two lines in the Bible, led entire lives before/after their appearance in scripture. The only negatives I give this one are some obvious omissions in the last section of the book, particularly in regards to Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Overall, however, recommended.
Melisende d'Outremer
The story of Mary of Magdala - daughter, wife, fallen woman and disciple.

Fuller review can be read at Melisende's Library
Jun 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
1.5 stars (for the 1,000,000th time, Goodreads come out with half stars)

I didn’t fully agree with how certain people were portrayed in the book, especially Jesus. I felt as though he was portrayed way too humanly. I know he took on human flesh, but he was still perfect. The author described him as having a short temper and getting angry quite often. I seriously don’t believe this is how Jesus was.

I know the Bible doesn’t share much deep information in each story, so this is called biblical fict
Linda Branich
Three and a half stars rounded to four, not because of poor writing, but because some things are put forth in this book that I believe are not Scripturally correct. There is a lot of disagreement among scholars and pastors about these things. In this book, Mary Magdalene is portrayed as a woman who cheated on her husband. Scripture does not support that she was ever married or widowed. It also portrays her as the sister of Martha and Lazarus. I do not believe Scripture supports Mary of Bethany ( ...more
Gloria Tomlinson
Good read

Enjoyed the book but some areas were not scripturally correct. I realize this is fiction but if writing about a biblical person it should not change what the scripture says. I enjoyed it otherwise.
Tonya Fowlkes
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
While I understand this is a fiction book and by definition "fiction" is not true but this was supposed to be based on actual events and there were too many inaccuracies for my liking. I've read Biblical fiction before and this one just wasn't one of my favorites.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Mary Magdalene. Really loved this story about the Bible's most famous prostitute. Her fictional life, and the love received from Christ was inspiring. She was truly one of his favorite and devoted followers. Great read.
Elizabeth Peters
Good read, some Biblical differences

Overall this was a very interesting read. My main complaint, however, is that some of the Biblical content differs from what the Bible says.

Read this novel with consideration that it is FICTION inspired by the Bible.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A well written book about Mary Magdala...perfect historical fiction book to read now during the Lenten season.
Carrie Eastridge
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this book and have since lent it to others. Highly recommend!
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, review

Mary Magdalene's life has always been ruled by men. After being ripped away from her first love to be thrust into a loveless marriage, Mary's life is filled with misery and Roman life. Then, she meets a Roman man who makes her feel alive, but when tragedy strikes the weight of her sins threaten to overcome her and lead her to leave all her friends and memories and head to the place where her childhood was, a place where she receives the ultimate healing.

She moves to Capernaum and tries to put
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Rebekah (Wives of the Patriarchs, #2)
  • Josiah's Treasure
  • Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate
  • Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
  • In the Shadow of Jezebel (Treasure of His Love)
  • Reign: The Chronicles Of Queen Jezebel (Lost Loves of the Bible #3)
  • Twice Loved
  • So Shines the Night (Seven Wonders #5)
  • David and Bathsheba
  • My Hope Is Found (The Cadence of Grace, #3)
  • For Love or Loyalty (The MacGregor Legacy, #1)
  • The Thief (The Living Water, #2)
  • Harvest of Gold (Harvest of Rubies, #2)
  • Nightingale (Brothers in Arms, #2)
  • The Siren's Secret (The Shapeshifter's Secret, #2)
See similar books…
Joan Wolf is a USA TODAY bestselling American writer, whose acclaimed Regency romances have earned her national recognition as a master of the genre. Her many historical and contemporary romances, some of which have been chosen as Literary Guild selections, have been highly praised by reviewers and authors alike.

Joan was born in 1951 and she grew up in the Bronx, New York. A former English teacher

Other books in the series

Biblical Fiction (3 books)
  • A Reluctant Queen: The Love Story of Esther
  • This Scarlet Cord: The Love Story of Rahab