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Book ReviewsChrist the Lord: The Road to Cana

Book written by Anne Rice

 

This is Anne Rice’s second volume in her fictional Christ the Lord series.  This book and the first one are fictional depictions of the life of Jesus Christ.   Rice based these books on the Gospels, non-canonical books like the Gospel of St. Thomas and history.  This second book is based more on the Gospels and history with her imagination of what the life of Jesus might have been like.  She covers the period from the time before Jesus’ baptism and temptation in the desert to the wedding of Cana where he turned water into wine, but does not cover the period between Jesus’ childhood days to when he was in his thirties. 

 

Rice begins her second book in this series with a controversial scene.  Jesus is in the woods and is praying when he hears commotion from a crowd accusing two boys of being homosexuals.  Before a trial could be conducted, some in the crowd picked up stones and stoned the two boys to death.  It is not clear if the boys were guilty or not of this sin.  However, a grievous sin is committed by those acted on rumors and stoned the boys without a trial.  The stoners made quick judgments and stoned the boys without proof.  There can be a moral with this, do not jump to conclusions because an innocent person could be harmed or even killed.

 

As in the first book, Rice has Jesus speaking to the reader as if he is telling the story of his life.  In this second book Jesus knows he is the Son of God.  His neighbors and some in his family wonder why he, a man of 30, has not married yet.  Some may even wonder if he is gay as the stoning story would infer.  He tells his family that he will not marry – many accept this, but some do not.  Some think he is in love with a woman named Avigail whom he saves from her mentally ill father.  He saves her and then arranges for her marriage.

 

St. Joseph is still alive in this second book.  It is not known when St. Joseph died, but Tradition holds that he died before Jesus started his public ministry and that his mother, Mary was a widow.  Jesus lived with his mother and his foster father Joseph and his children.  Mary’s brother is present too in the story with his family.  This holds to traditional Catholic and Orthodox teachings that the Blessed Virgin Mary was ever virgin.

 

The people of Nazareth and the family of Joseph heard that John the Baptist was baptizing people so they decided to join other people from other towns and go out to see what was going on.  Jesus went with them.  They met up with John the Baptist.  Jesus came forward to be baptized by John who thought that Jesus should baptize him instead. 

 

Afterwards Jesus goes out into the desert as the Gospels tell us.  After fasting and praying for forty days the devil comes to tempt him.  The devil does not know exactly who Jesus is.  He thinks he is only a prophet and had no idea this man was the Son of God.  After the temptation which Rice recreates and expands on the Gospels telling of it; he meets up with John the Baptist again and begins to collect disciples.  Jesus and his disciples join his family and others at his friends wedding at Cana.  Again here Rice expands on the Gospel’s telling of this event.  The book ends with the miracle of the water being turned into wine.

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This book is fictional but it is based on the Gospels and historical events.  This book is wonderful to read and ponder.  This book shows the humanity and the divinity of Jesus.  It is so good that one can read it easily.  It is so enthralling that one loses track of time.  This reviewer read this book during the holy days of Holy Thursday and Good Friday.  Though this book is not about the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus it was still a treat to ponder on him during that time.  It provides a glimpse into Anne Rice’s spirituality and imagination of what she imagines Jesus was or is like.  She shows and thinks Jesus is a caring and loving God who wishes all to live.  Though this book is fictional, it is also very spiritual. 

 

This book is very highly recommended to those who like Christian fiction, to those who are looking for a spiritual fiction book, and to those who are looking for a book to ponder on Jesus.  

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