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Mary & Joseph
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Mary & Joseph

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  288 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
In this remarkable new historical novel, best-selling author Robert Marcum focuses his considerable talent on perhaps the most challenging topic of his career: telling the sweet, complex, and exhilarating story of Mary and Joseph, Jesus' earthly parents and two of the most important people in His mortal life and ministry.

Extensively researched, this rich, immersive story
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Covenant Communications, Inc.
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Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, although it’s clearly a lot of conjecture and guessing as to the gaps in what little we actually know about them (and the author begins the book by addressing this in the preface), but he does employ his own knowledge (and it’s thorough) of Jewish practices and rites under the Law of Moses. This understanding, coupled with what we know historically and through the Bible, helps him to write a book about what might have happened (and some things that certainly did) on a ...more
Feb 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
I'm surprised I liked this as well as I did. It's very obviously a fictional account of what Jesus' parents went through and what their lives could have been like, but it was pretty interesting.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy the novel stories about Christ's birth because it gives me the ability to find insight and reality in it that is sometimes hard to envision. This book was written with some good perspective and relationships. It's not been my favorite novel of this sort, but I enjoyed it.
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
I particularly liked the cultural background information including in the story, although the author doesn't use explanatory footnotes much. Here's an example. Joseph and Mary were likely quite poor and scrolls containing the scriptures, needing to be copied by hand, were very expensive. Marcum makes up a story of Seth, a rich man that Joseph and Mary befriend on the road to Bethlehem. Seth is a Jew living in Athens but going to Jerusalem on business. He speaks of the importance of learning to r ...more
Nathalie S
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is the well known story of Joseph and Mary but written in fiction form with many enriching details of daily life and culture as it would have been back then. It really brings this beautiful love story to life and makes you realize once more just how difficult this would have been for Mary and Joseph both religiously and culturally. They were indeed amazing people chosen by God to be Jesus's parents just as Adam and Eve were amazing people chosen by God to be our first earth ...more
Nov 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lyndsey by: Heidi
I don't usually like historical fiction much but I liked/really liked this book. The author repeatedly states that this is a fictional account, despite his many hours of research and study. After realizing that, I enjoyed the book. Mostly because for the first time in my life, I was able to think of Jesus, Mary, & Joseph as real people who really lived real lives. The book stresses that if they weren't real people, who did real people things and lived fairly normal lives, how would everybody ...more
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a very well done story. I never like when a book is given a high rating purely for the subject matter when the writing or story development, characters or setting is clearly poorly done. This is not the case with Robert Marcum's Mary and Joseph. Despite the subject matter (despite: denotation, not connotation) the book charcaters and story line was brilliantly done. The interacation of the characters and their development was fantastic.
Mostly, this is a book of Joseph, which, as a Cath
Apr 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was a fictional portrayal of the lives of Mary and Joseph, centered around the events of the birth and raising of Jesus. Usually I'm not a big fan of fictional books where the main characters were real people and the author has to speculate about everything, but I felt that this book was very well done. The writing was good, as far as I could tell everything was historically accurate and well-researched, and when I was done reading I had a greater appreciation for the sacrifices that must h ...more
Sandy T
...a well thought out and researched story, and I learned a lot of things about the culture and circumstances surrounding the Savior's birth. It also helped me appreciate the amazing people that Mary and Joseph must have been. But, beyond that, it failed to move me the way I had hoped it would. I remember reading Two From Galilee years ago and was hoping this would have the same effect on me, but it didn't. Ironically, maybe I was just too busy with Christmas (sad commentary), but it really seem ...more
Heather Murphy
Apr 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful story bringing one’s heart closer to the parents of our Savior and helping one understand the customs of the day. Through the character development throughout, I feel connected to the individuals in the story, particularly Jesus as a youth and a couple of Joseph’s friends. Reading about the lives of these outstanding people is inspiring to me. Reading the scriptures has become more alive to me through this story as well.

I would have liked the author to have told in a side note at the
Jan 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lds-novels
Loved this book. It really made me think about things. It reminded me of how I felt reading the Work and the Glory series. Makes Mary and Joseph seem like real people, although fictionalized, it made me think more about what their lives were like. I really liked the author's perspective and insites into the Law of Moses, and feel like I need to repent of my previous feelings about how trivial the laws seemed --not realizing that they actually needed these things to help them keep focused on the ...more
Apr 04, 2009 rated it liked it
This book was written by my religion teacher from back in the day at Ricks. (It was Ricks when I went there, so I'm still allowed to call it that.) This is basically the only reason I read this book, as this type of forced sentimentality is really not my bag. That being said, I actually enjoyed it more than I expected to. It brought up some cultural aspects and historical details that helped me understand some of the "whys" a little better. I felt he approached the the topic with respect and rev ...more
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book. Although I didn't give it 4 stars for the writing, which is extremely simplistic, I think the content is fascinating. There were many golden nuggets of doctrine sprinkled through-out and not too deeply hidden which I appreciated. The best part of this book though is the way it makes you think. I loved the spirit that was upon me as I was reading and I'm thankful to Brother Marcum for engaging me through his writing and helping me draw a little closer to my Savior. ...more
Feb 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Remembering this is a fictional story... This book made me have a better understand of what it could have been like for Mary to be the mother of Christ. The feelings she had and the love she had for him not only as her savior but her son. I have always believed she was a wonderful woman and mother. This book brought the bible story to life. I learned some of the Jewish customs and cleansing process of the time which are of great interest to me.
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
**UPDATE** I loved this book. Although it is a historical fiction, it has given me a perspective on the parents of the Savior that I have never contemplated before... I sobbed at the end of the book. Very touching. Very moving.

With Christmas approaching I am finally diving into this book.... (my mom let me borrow it LAST Christmas... ahhh.) Anyway... so far it has kept my attention... I'll let you know.... You know me though... I am a four or five star gal!!!! I can't help it....
Apr 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Biblical fiction is not always my favorite, especially not such holy characters as the Savior. The beginning part was well done following scripture with tasteful interpretation. I enjoyed it for a December read. I quit reading the book after the birth of Christ. I have no interest in reading complete fiction about him growing up. There is very little written about his childhood. I just didn't want to read that part. I guess I am a bit of a purest on things like this.
Feb 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Christian romance-novel fanatics with a flair for the ancient
Recommended to Molly by: Book Group
Maybe it's just that I listened to the CDs instead of reading, but this book drove me nuts! For starters, it was bit soap-like. Also, Marcum throws in a bunch of Hebrew terms and Israeli history to show off his research, but then writes things like "I lost thirty pounds" that negate any feeling of authenticity. I didn't finish it in time for my book group discussion, and I don't plan to. All I gained from it is confusion as to what actually did and did not happen to Mary & Joseph.
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very interesting point of view on things that could have happened. I also felt very enlightened on culture and Jewish traditions in those days. I did cry at the end in the way that Joseph died, but it was probably because I felt much closer to his character after reading who this man was...or probably was.
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is my favorite book by Bob Marcum. Although I have to admit my bias, since he is my uncle. I thought he provided a tasteful insight into the possible life of Mary and Joseph, (with the exception of a couple parts which may have not been quite true to the times e.g., lost 30 pounds). Overall, an enjoyable read.
Feb 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this in August of '07 but only got through half of it. It's my mom's book and I was on vacation. Then I came back and had to finish the last half. It was interesting enough to keep me reading. I've never read a fiction about the life of Christ. The end is the most interesting of all. I enjoyed reading someone's imaginings of our Savior's family and life.
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Oh I enjoyed this book! This is our book club book for this month. I gained a greater appreciation for Mary AND Joseph -- but also Jesus Christ too. This is a historical fiction novel which gives a glimpse into the family life of a most wonderful family. It also helped me really get into the spirit of the Christmas season and love Christ even more.
Mar 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It changed my perspective about Mary and Joseph and the young life of Jesus. Though it is "historical fiction," and has elements of drama introduced to the already well-known story, it is a refreshing and faith-inspiring story. It is out of print though, so needs to be ordered through a carrier on-line.
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Sweet and beautiful, this made me think about different aspects of the Bible story and what it would have been like to raise the Son of God, with very few other people knowing who He really was, since they had to protect Him. I look forward to someday knowing the real true story about Mary and Joseph.
Apr 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
A very great book about the relationship of Mary and Joseph and how they might of acted and how they maught have raised the Savior until it was time for Him to take over His life mission. I really enjoyed the historical aspect with the fiction, it was an interesting and enlightening way to look at life when Jesus was growing up. Good book.
Apr 21, 2009 rated it liked it
This gave some interesting insight into how Joseph and Mary's lives might have been. I enjoyed some of the historical aspects that explained the temple ceremonies and customs as well as the political background. I had a hard time getting to the end...the book kind of lost it's pull half way through.
Dec 05, 2009 rated it liked it
I was pretty skeptical about this book, but my brother suggested it and said it was pretty good, so I figured I'd give it a try. It was a pretty quick read and I enjoyed it, so I didn't feel like it was a waste of time. Of course, it's not 100% doctrinally correct, but as long as you read it with FICTION in mind, it was fun to think of how life POSSIBLY could have been for the first few years.
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
Beautiful story of history's most endearing couple. Robert Marcum brings a newness to the age old story of Mary and Joseph. He focuses on them before the birth of Jesus and the up to time He starts His minstry. I loved the way he handled Mary and Joseph's knowledge of who Jesus was and what they knew about His future, and Jesus coming to this knowledge himself.
Dec 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This was very interesting to read over the Christmas holiday, as it focuses on Jesus and his birth. Of course the author took some liberties with the story as we don't know much about Mary and Joseph. I appreciate how the author handled it. It brought them to life, and made them more real. Some parts read slow, but overall a sweet story.
Jul 17, 2008 rated it liked it
I actually really enjoyed this book. It brought a lot of things to mind that I have never thought about with the earthly parents of Jesus. It did not speculate too much on the life of Jesus, the author dealt with facts and fictionalized the relationship between Mary and Joseph mainly. This was a good read.
Feb 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Makes you think about Jesus' upbringing and how Joseph was as equal to rearing him as was Mary. Also, the wisemen didn't just appear they traveled a long distance and probably were in a caravan and came to them in the night. Interesting perspective. We went to Israel with the Marcums in 1984. I did enjoy the book. Thanks Lisa.
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