Thursday, April 06, 2006

BOM: The Results/Reader Reaction

I've decided to keep the talking head for a while, at least--and I've named her Sally. Don't know why . . . and it doesn't really seem to fit her voice, so if you have a better suggestion, I'm open. I've also decided to give her a new "thought for the day" every day to keep her from getting wearisome.

On to our regularly-scheduled blog topic: there hasn't been a lot of time for reader reaction to Magdalene, but I have received a few emails and read a few online reviews. Here are some snippets, and forgive me if I seem to be tooting my horn . . . I would post negative reviews if I'd found them. I'm sure some will crop up. [VBG]

Only a skillful novelist could create such a multilayered, captivating
portrait of Mary Magdalene. Unlike Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, which
proposed that Mary had married Jesus, Hunt's latest provides a perspective that
will appeal more to traditional Christian readers. Mary is portrayed as someone
who walked among the disciples of Jesus but who did not always understand his
mission. Hunt's attention to detail in her historical research, combined with
her bright imagination, fills in the sketchy biographical facts and creates a
fascinating and convincing Magdalene. First-rate biblical fiction, this will
appeal to readers who enjoy D.S. Lliteras (The Silence of John; Jerusalem's
Rain
) or Anita Diamant's The Red Tent. ~~From Library
Journal

Angela Hunt's work never fails to satisfy, and she lives up to her reputation
in this compelling portrait of one of the most controversial of Biblical women.
Mary Magdalene, Miryam of Magdala in this book, has been portrayed as fallen
woman, demoniac, and romantic interest throughout the years. This is a Mary I
never expected to know. I had a hard time connecting to the character until
about midway through the book when I was forced to recognize that her hardness
of heart was my own, and how she believed without fulling trusting in Jesus was
so similar to my own walk with him that it was hard, but rewarding, reading for
me. Hunt's use of richness of detail and scholarship brings 1st century AD life
alive. Miryam loses her entire family to the Romans after a rash act by her son.
That loss leads from one unto the next until the shell of a woman is renewed by
meeting with the prophet Yeshua (Jesus). But changing her heart is up to Miryam,
and she holds tight to her anger. Atticus is an unexpected character whose world
and faith are so different than Miryam's. As their stories weave together and
apart, we're led to a stunning climax that leaves no one untouched. This is not
the Mary Magdalene we've come to expect, Hunt has written her as far more human, far more like us, and the reader is blessed for it. ~~Christina Lockstein,
Amazon.com review

A reader letter:

Let me say first that I loved Magdalene. The writing was excellent, the
attention to detail amazing. Most of all, I loved your characterizations—those
characters certainly came to life, jumping off the pages! Wonderful. I did not
want to put it down and was sad when it ended.

The only problem I had with the entire book was Miryam’s “ultimate sin” at the end. I’m not saying that Christians don’t sin; we do. I’m not saying that Christians don’t hold on to past hurts; we do. I was just surprised that someone so close to Yeshua and filled with the Holy Spirit would have committed such an act. Even with that said, I still loved the book and have already “talked it up” and recommended
it.

Angie here again: I'll be the first to admit that I struggled with this very point--could one of the early Christians who walked with Jesus commit a grave sin? After much deliberation, I decided they could. Why? Because they were human, they still possessed a sin nature, and whenever we love something more than God, we sin. At a certain point in the story, Miryam loved her wounds more than she loved Jesus . . . and so she stepped out and did something she later regretted. (Again, hard not to reveal a spoiler!)

Tomorrow: Questions and Answers. If you have any questions at all, leave them in the comments section and I'll answer them tomorrow! I am traveling again, so bear with me if I'm incommunicado . . .

~~Angie

9 comments:

Carrie said...

I am so excited to start this book! I'm just finishing up one I am late reviewing for Mind and Media and then I'm jumping in. Oh, and I think the talking head seems more classy than a Sally. Maybe a Veronica or Vivian? ;)

Carrie said...

Oops - I should think before I speak - I'm not implying that anyone with the name Sally is not classy or is somehow undesirable.... Um, excuse me while I remove my foot from my mouth.

Betsy said...

My questions are 1.) Are you going to write more historicals? 2.) What did you learn about Jesus as a direct result of writing this novel? 3.)What gems of wisdom have you gained from writing this book? 4.)Have you read the other Magdalene stories? If so what did you think of them.

Carlton W. H. said...

Some interesting reactions today . . . VBG. The talking head is neat, even though it's freaky when her eyes follow the mouse around the page. As for a name, she seems more like a "Celine" or a "Selena" to me. I pray God's blessing on Magdalene and on your future releases. Questions: Was it harder/more stressful to write Magdalene as a commissioned work on a tighter deadline, as opposed to your other novels? What were some of the major differences in this situation?

Accidental Poet said...

THE RED TENT?!?!?!??!?!?!? I think this book is an antithesis to books like The Red Tent, which took a Biblical account and DIRECTLY CONTRADICTED IT ...

please pay no attention to the screaming woman on the soapbox, someone pushed my "Red Tent" button ...

Cindy said...

I immediately thought "Helena" for the talking head...she's so British. Maybe even "Felicity" or "Althea."

I, of course, loved "Magdalene" and also reviewed it on my blog.

Ane Mulligan said...

My hubby is a Brit, so I thought about some of the family names like Betty, Rita, Nadine, Zoe, Gladys.

Then from Keeping Up Appearances, there's always Hyacinth and her sisters, Daisy and Rose.

Anonymous said...

I'm slowly getting used to the talking head. And I'm really glad we're naming her. I think it will reduce her "creepy-factor" a little more! Personally, I think she looks and sounds a lot like a Vanessa.
Angie, I'm so thrilled to read the great reviews of your book. They are much deserved. I'm plugging it like crazy with my friends.

Kelli Standish said...

Angie,
When I first saw your cybercharacter, I thought, hmm, she looks like a Riena.

Still think so. I'll be interested to hear what you finally name her:)