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The Road to Cana by Anne Rice
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really liked it

** spoiler alert ** So I have finished this second book of Anne Rice's and I am disappointed that she isn't writing more like it. She takes her readers through the year before Jesus commences his ministry and with many fictional but historically accurate characters, weaves a storyline that is riveting.

I find her work powerful and meaningful. For the first 220 pages much is happening that is derived from early first century Jewish history, we can feel and envision the happenings in Nazareth, we feel and respect the characters, we worry and anticipate for them.

But then the last 100 pages delves into the period / or onset of Jesus' ministry. We do have Gospel and Scripture to guide us here, and Rice lets it guide her work (thank goodness, there will be no worry of confusing scripture with her fiction).

In this last third or so of the book, Rice gives insight into what could have been a very human reaction to the divine call and path Jesus realizes he is on. When Jesus fully engages as to what this call means, to be 'with' each and every soul on its journey through life, through the "agonies and joys", to be there at their time of judgment and the realization that this is for all people that have existed, exist or will exist (time is handled well by Rice) he is overwhelmed, and it is not that he is overwhelmed only for himself. His few difficulties in life, his own sufferings and agonies, joys and bittersweet moments make him afraid for all those that will be in his care. "And every secret thing shall be opened, and every dark place illuminated." (an idea in both Ecclesiastes and The Gospel of Mark) He worries about them being able to handle it and himself being able to handle the sheer quantity/abundance of 'it' all.

There is also a wonderful conversation recounted between Jesus and Satan at the time of his temptation in the desert and I love the the fact that every name ever used for evil and satan is disempowered and debunked in these pages (I am refraining from too many spoilers).

Lastly, the cognizance of 'time' as being man-made or a gift from God in order to 'order' our world is depicted with great care, including two or more temptations on Jesus to subjugate time to limit suffering or to be empowered.

These three elements at the end of the book saved it for me, while I enjoyed the entire work, until these last sections, I was not as moved as I had been by the first book, Out of Egypt.

I highly recommend this book to any of those who love their faith, and are not afraid to read another's approach. I love finding works that can make my faith come alive for me, and this most certainly did.
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Reading Progress

February 3, 2015 – Started Reading
February 3, 2015 – Shelved
February 7, 2015 – Finished Reading

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