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The Book of Longings: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Sue Monk Kidd

Narrated By: Sue Monk Kidd, Mozhan Marnò

Date: April 2020

Duration: 13 hours 23 minutes

Summary:

“An extraordinary novel . . . a triumph of insight and storytelling.” —Associated Press

“A true masterpiece.” —Glennon Doyle, author of Untamed

An extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny, from the celebrated number one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings

In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.

Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana's pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome's occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history.

Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus's life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman's bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.

Genres:

  • Lynn H.

    I enjoyed the book and the history of life during this time !

  • Kyle H.

    I loved this beautiful depiction of who could’ve been Jesus’ wife and the strong, resilient, and holy women who survived and found voice in such an oppressive time. Just lovely!!

  • Laura W.

    I found the idea for the novel compelling, and the story well-framed. The writing was flat and uneven. I felt certain characters were well-developed, i.e. Ana and Judas, while others, i.e. Jesus and Mary, felt shallow, as if the author was not interested in filling in the rough outlines the Bible offers, or didn't have to time to infuse them with feelings, emotions, thoughts, fears, life. Also, unfortunately, the monotone narration did not inspire, either.

  • Lynn H.

    I’ve enjoyed her other books but this one seemed lacking in charm and substance...it revolves around the suggestion that Jesus was married to a young woman who had disappointed her family and became a hindrance to her family’s prosperity. If the story became more about the sacred feminine and the sisterhood of the invisible women of that era.

  • Edwina M.

    If you are a reader who is made uncomfortable by entertaining the possibility that there was more to Jesus' life than what is revealed in the Bible, then this is not the book for you. I'm not one of those people and therefore thoroughly enjoyed this historical novel. It is well-written and meticulously researched, and the characters are layered and believable. The novel focuses mostly, though not exclusively, with the years during the life if Jesus that the Bible leaves blank and deals with his life as a human being. Given the cultural expectations for a Jewish man of the time, I find it no stretch at all to believe that he was married, and the emphasis on celibacy after a couple of hundred years in the early church explain why a wife was not mentioned in the gospels.

  • Anonymous

    Had I known this was Jesus story of his life and crucifixion but the addition of fictional characters namely a wife I never would have listened.

  • Anonymous

    I was hesitant to purchase this book because of my christian beliefs. But, I knew the story was fictional. Considering this, I thought it was very good. There were a few parts that were uncomfortable, considering my beIiefs, but it was a deep and touching fictional story. I was able to enjoy it. I have listened to all of the other books written by Sue Monk Kidd and loved them.

  • Anonymous

    Very disappointed. My beliefs of Jesus do not include the fictional characters in this book.

  • Anonymous

    Drivel. I gave it a full 30 chapters hoping it could somehow redeem itself, but it failed miserably. A complete waste of my time and money.

Book of Longings: A Novel

by Sue Monk Kidd

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Book of Longings: A Novel, Sue Monk Kidd
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