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The Passion of Mary Magdalen

(Maeve Chronicles #2)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  974 ratings  ·  117 reviews
For the millions of readers fascinated by Dan Brown's revelations about Mary Magdalen in The Da Vinci Code, here, at last, is their chance to meet the Gospel's most provocative woman face to face-on her own terms.

Make way for a new Magdalen. Born on a Celtic isle to eight warrior-witch mothers, Maeve is raised to be as brave as any hero. In her stubborn, enchanting voice,
Paperback, 640 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Monkfish Book Publishing (first published 2006)
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4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  974 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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Dec 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This novel truly took me by surprise. This is the second of a trilogy of books featuring the title character, who calls herself Maeve. The premise is this:

What if Mary Magdalen of the New Testament was actually of Gaelic decent -- a Celt with blazing red hair who was raised as a sort of Pagan priestess in a culture with more female than male deities? What if she and Jesus became friends as kids, and fell in love in young adulthood? And what if they were separated and went through enough travails
Lee Ann
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, favorites, 2018
I was raised a Catholic. I went to a Catholic middle school, and currently attend a Jesuit college. In high school, I went to religion class on Sundays and made my Confirmation.

But try as I might (prepare for some blasphemy here), I could not bring myself to care about Jesus.

Okay: "Not care" may not be the right way to describe it. I couldn't relate, is what I'm trying to say. I knew teachers who got teary-eyed during the Stations of the Cross every year, but to me that particular Mass was just
PJ Who Once Was Peejay
Dec 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The title of this book doesn't do justice to just how astonishing it is. At turns reverent and irreverent, bawdy, earthy, spiritual, funny, moving, human and divine, it's an incredible journey with wonderfully dimensional characters. A massive book, and so involving, I had to put it down periodically and take a breather, but each time I picked it up again I fell right into the narrative, drawn away and drawn in so completely.

The narrator, Maeve, aka Mary Magdalen, is a voluptuous Celtic girl who
Jun 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I don't give a lot of five's but this is a book of truly extraordinary delight. It is the story of the Jesus mythos last days told through the eyes of his saucy, celtic/druid reared, Goddess Isis worshipping sacred whore/lover/wife Maeve also known as Mary of Magdala. The book is at times raucous laugh out loud funny and at other times it will break your heart. I loved the humanness as well as the divinity and the rendering of the disciples from thick as a block to plotters, schemers and all the ...more
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have always hated the fact that Mary Magdalene has been called a prostitute throughout history when she in fact was not one.

That being said, if you completely disconnect this book from the bible, Christianity and Judaism, its a great historical novel about women in ancient times. It is full of sex, passion, sorrow and drama.

The relationship between Jesus and Mary is beautiful. Elizabeth Cunningham manages to describe an infinite love that is grander than just two people.

You will love this b
Jul 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth Cunningham's long-awaited sequel to _Daughter of the Shining Isles_ (now sold under a different name), this book follows Maeve in her days as a slave in the Holy Land. Although it's a thick book, I read this in no time at all since I could never put it down. Maeve goes through so much in this story....from slavery to harlotry to sacred/spiritual harlotry...from the depths of despair to being the lover of the Christ (but never quite his unquestioning "follower").

Being of a Christian ba
Mary Helene
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Against my better judgement: 4 stars, because (a) she did her homework and (b) was wildly imaginative. The tone is romance-novel with tongue-in-cheek (or not) and her sentences are often clichés. I just finished Mary Karr’s Lit, which is so beautifully written that I kept reading sentences aloud to anyone who would listen. In the first 200 pages of The Passion of Mary Magdalen, I read aloud sentences because they were so bad.
And yet. Her imagined Mary Magdalene is at her best taking on well kno
Apr 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: maria-magdalena
Earlier this year I read the prequel to this novel and absolutely loved it. Something I can’t say all together about this part of the series. Don’t get me wrong, I still like the story and Maeve is still het witty, feisty, funny and dramatic. The writing is still amazing and the authors family background with 9 generations of Episcopal priests shows all through the writing.
So with didn’t I like about this book? Well the first 60% of the book. It took forever before Jesus showed up and we really
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I started this book with mixed feelings, and I'm very glad I finished it.

Considering I loved Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore, which many find blasphemous I was surprised that I found the book jolting, but in the end moving.

Maeve Rhuad, who becomes Mary Magdalen, is a Celt warrior goddess. I didn't read the first volume of the Chronicles, where she meets Jesus, and then is cast away, where she is captured, becomes a Roman slave. In this volume, sh
The whole Maeve Chronicles series is superlative, highly recommended, one of my favorites. I would recommend it for fans of strong women, Celtic fantasy, Biblical reinterpretation, myth and magic, Goddess fiction, the Mists of Avalon. In a nutshell, Mary Magdalen is re-visioned as a Celtic ex-pat and Jesus' wife, a magical and strong and sometimes foolish woman, and her tale spans the course of four well-researched and well-written books. Written with cheek and humor and glory and beauty, all at ...more
Jenny Yates
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It's one of my favorite readings of the character of Mary Magdalen, aka Maeve, the goddess-worshipping Celt. She's feisty, tough, omnisexual, and just as magical as Jesus. She has serious reservations about Yahweh, but she's crazy about Jesus, so she manages to (mostly) go along with his agenda.

I'm not a huge fan of retellings of the Jesus story, but this is definitely one of the best of the genre. It's well-written, with every character distinct and interesting. It's
Sep 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
epic. not christian.
Mrs. The King
Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! It is seriously controversial. It is a huge read. I actually have a copy signed by the author!
Jul 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Not a biblical tale.
Ann Patricia
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the Audio book.

I am mourning the end of this book. The actress reading the book was Mary Magdalena. She was the accent that belongs with the character.

The story is told in first person and she is talking to the reader in modern time about life back then. So she uses phrases with comments saying "well what he really said doesn't translate well into modern English but it's equivalent is ______."

It shows a possible back story for the woman who knew Jesus possibly in a more the bibli
Sara Teixido
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A friend recommended this book to me last summer. Half way through this first book, I knew I would have to read the entire series. I ordered them all in hardback so I can revisit them. They may be considered fiction, but the imagery, historical settings and characters resonated with me deeply.
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
love this book. love the series
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An amazing story and a beautifully written book. Highly recommend.
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in a series where Mary Magdalen is actually a Celtic druid student turned slave turned prostitute turned priestess named Maeve, who is also Jesus's soulmate. Yeah. I'M SURE THIS HAS TOTALLY SOLD YOU ON THIS BOOK, AMIRITE? I'll try again: this book is more or less Kushiel's Dart meets Lamb: the Gospel According to Christ's Childhood Pal Biff, only with less BDSM and less laugh out loud funny. I haven't read the first book in the series where I guess Jesus and Maeve meet an ...more
Sharon Buchbinder
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Cunningham, descendant of nine (9) generations of Episcopal priests, knows whereof she speaks in all things biblical. My impression of this author is that she literally ate, drank, slept and breathed Bible stories from birth—no from conception. And, rather than hew to the party line, so to speak, she listened for the voice of the women in these tales and found them missing. In THE PASSION OF MARY MAGDALEN, Ms. Cunningham gave Mary Magdalen and the other two Marys of the New Testament, ...more
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Part of my review of the first book in the series: "Magdalen Rising: the Beginning":

"For anyone who finds that the Bible "stories" of Mary Magdalen don't quite make sense and wants a better understanding of the times in which Jesus and Mary lived and what the social environment and cultures were, this series is a very plausible, albeit fictional, explanation. "

As for this 2nd book in the series, at first I wondered why there was such extensive elaboration of her sexual exploitation and experienc
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: fiction
The Passion of Mary Magdalen by Elizabeth Cunningham / Monkfish Book Publishing Company / 0-9766843-0-6 / 620pps / $29.95

The passion, indeed. Based on Celtic anthropology and Biblical texts, Cunningham elaborates a fiery, redheaded Druid Priestess of Isis as Maeve, the star of this novel. Actually, it was in Druid school that she first met and fell in love with Esus (Jesus). In an almost Romeo and Juliet vein, their lives are torn apart by dire circumstances and they both set out on quests to
Jyothi Jose
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mary Magdalene has always been one of the most controversial characters in Christianity, no thanks to the Catholic agenda and that makes this book all the more precious!
This book carries a story of a woman so raw in the beauty of her soul and unabashedly honest about the choices she made to survive. No matter her choices, nothing can take away the purity of her love for her man. Jesus has always been one of the most inspirational figures the world has ever seen, some call him a teacher, some ca
Shauna Angel Blue
Aug 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A Gust of Wind on the 6th, 2008

Dear Elizabeth Cunningham,
I am moved to write you. I have just finished "The Passion of Mary Magdalen", recommended to me by my friend Claude Convers. As I was laying in bed feeling some of the last chapters I realized I wanted to write and express my thanks. So, if you will allow me.

1. I have received a TREEmendous healing from this book. In several places, I wept at the depth of forgiveness and grace.
2. Thank you for writing this book. You have given me a great g
Meghann Andreassen
I'll state up front this is not a book for everyone; and by that I mean anyone who is uncomfortable with an author taking liberties with biblical scripture might dislike what Elizabeth Cunningham has written strictly on principle. But for those who can take this for what it is - a brilliantly written novel told from the perspective of a fantastic female protagonist - I think it's an absolute gem. I remember when I first plucked it off a shelf with some trepidation at the book store. I had no ide ...more
G (galen)
Jun 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: genre-study, series
Vol. 2 of a four-book series. Thought at first this was really, really stupid, then realized that you have to have a sense of humor and take it as just good storytelling. Mary M. was actually born Maeve, from Ireland, a redhead everywhere, giving new meaning to the biblical "burning bush" phrase (that comes straight from the book). She has been kicked out of "Druid College" because she had this thing going with this foreigner "Esus". The Druids wanted to use him for a human sacrifice, because th ...more
As the title suggests, this book is all about the passionate relationship between Maeve, aka Mary of Magdalen and Jesus. I usually enjoy reading stories set in this time period and the style of this one sets it apart. The book is full of humour and very engaging with a modern day narrator cracking jokes and commentating on the action.

The first half of the story centres around her life as a slave and prostitute in Rome. The second half reunites Mary with Jesus and his disciples in the holy land.
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story of Jesus and how he found his calling, as told by "Mary Magdalen", a women's viewpoint, is both spiritual and entertaining. It makes you ponder the life of Jesus in a whole, new way. We have Dan Brown to thank for the Da Vinci Code, causing people to know that women were a big part of Jesus's life.

He shares his life and journey with his beloved Maeve, a Celtic Goddess, who stands out like a sore thumb, being a red haired whore in Jerusalem. She was raped by her own Father, cast out t
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Does this really have anything to do with Mary Magdalen? 1 4 Jan 05, 2015 02:01PM  
Next Book 1 12 Apr 01, 2008 09:46AM  
  • The Moon Under Her Feet
  • Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile
  • Confessions of a Pagan Nun
  • The Maid of the White Hands (Tristan and Isolde, #2)
  • Celtic Myth & Magick: Harnessing the Power of the Gods and Goddesses (Llewellyn's World Religion and Magic Series)
  • Book of Shadows
  • Wisdom's Daughter: A Novel of Solomon and Sheba
  • The Power of Poppy Pendle
  • Unholy Awakening (Hanno Stiffeniis, #4)
  • Women and Authority: Re-Emerging Mormon Feminism
  • Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing
  • Reincarnation and the Law of Karma A Study of the Old-New World-Doctrine of Rebirth, and Spiritual Cause and Effect
  • Past Lives, Future Lives
  • The King's Witch
  • The Fourth Queen
  • Living Druidry
  • London Calling (Susanna and the Spy, #2)
  • Jesus Hopped the A Train

Other books in the series

Maeve Chronicles (4 books)
  • Magdalen Rising: The Beginning (Maeve Chronicles, #1)
  • Bright Dark Madonna (Maeve Chronicles, #3)
  • Red-Robed Priestess (Maeve Chronicles, #4)
“Being lost is the way, how else can you be found?” 16 likes
“This is a passion story: my passion, his, ours — yours.” 12 likes
More quotes…