This is a wonderful book that gives the reader a rich
and rewarding reading experience.
The reader is taken on Miri’s journeys of discovery,
love, anguish and coming of age as the story progresses, sharing in her thoughts and secrets as a close confidante. Richards’ portrayal of Miri as a strong, faithful and somewhat feisty young woman gave a new and quite captivating dimension to this young woman, whose character is quite one-dimensional and only briefly touched upon in Biblical accounts. An important note is that the novel does not purport to be a retelling of any Biblical story, nor does it seek to preach or “convert” anyone: this is historical fiction, and must be understood as such. Comparisons with the Bible must be put aside when one picks up this book and enters the world of Miri, Yeshua and their families. It is a considerable achievement on the author’s part to have succeeded in blending historical traditions with fiction to craft such a powerful and beautiful story.
The fabric of the novel is woven seamlessly. Events, relationships and challenges interweave to create a compelling story that develops against the backdrop of first-century Galilee. The entire cast of characters is vibrant and realistic, each richly portrayed through expressive writing and magnificent imagery. Every setting is vibrant and full of life, feeding the reader’s imagination with enough detail to allow each scene and environment to evolve in the mind as one reads. This novel offers rich sensory experiences – sounds and smells abound with the narration, and the reader experiences both the heat of the day and the coolness of a tiled floor underfoot with equal impact.
One of the most enchanting elements of this novel is the dialogue, which almost speaks itself aloud in one’s mind as the story is read. The reader can hear the voices, the laughter, and the feeling between characters as they converse and tell their own stories through the pages of the book.
The mystery and questions that develop throughout the novel also serve to keep the reader engrossed, always wanting to know more and to discover the answers that they, and the characters, are seeking.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Miriamne the Magdala’ and look forward to reading the next book in the series.