About the Book
“Blessed are you, Mary, chosen of God.”
Mary is ordinary girl from Nazareth. She helps her mother with household chores, she daydreams about a handsome carpenter’s son named Joseph, and at night she lies on the roof and contemplates at the stars. But one evening, a heavenly visitor comes with unexpected news—and her life is changed forever.
Experience the life of the Messiah from the perspective of his mother, who must place her trust and obedience in Adonai, the Most High, as he fulfills centuries of anticipation in the middle of her daily life. Walk with Mary as she witnesses Yeshua grow, mature, minister, and even crucified—and then raised again, to the kindling of her new faith.
When I first glimpsed the cover of Mary Chosen of God, I determined it would by my Christmas novel for 2016. However, what I found was a story which spans nearly 50 years of Mary’s life and encompasses the books of Matthew through the second chapter of Acts. This book is not bound by a season.
One of the joys of reading biblical fiction is discovering new elements of Hebrew life, tradition, and culture. In this way, Diana Wallis Taylor’s retelling of the life of Mary was very rewarding. Intertwined in the narrative are thorough descriptions of the Passover Seder, Sukkot, as well as the Jewish rites of passage Jesus would have undertaken. Taylor also immerses her readers in the landscapes of the region as Mary travels first to Juttah, then to Bethlehem, Egypt, and later Cana. As devout followers of God, she and her family make multiple pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Whether in Mary’s home, the marketplace, or on the road, I could fully visualize and sense each scene.
Taylor’s writing made me wonder whether it would be more challenging to write scenes where the Bible is silent, or compose a fictional storyline where gospel accounts are well defined and familiar to readers. I found in instances where the Bible was silent, she tended to compose deeper dialogue and more engaging scenes. Where the scriptures are clear, I felt she was trying to usher her characters along to the next historically documented occurrence.
Despite it’s slow beginning, the last 2/3 of the book progressed swiftly and presented a strong gospel message. Taylor gave a believable reason why Christ may have placed Mary into John’s care from the cross. Additionally, she provided me with a new vantage point of Christ’s ministry through the viewpoint of His siblings. In short, she addresses many questions which may have arisen in your own reading of these accounts.
I received this book from Whitaker House in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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