On Saturdays I will have some “sampler” posts that are not necessarily about quilting. It may be a recipe, what I’m currently watching or listening to, general musing, or like today, a book review. Today’s review is for A Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd.
I looked forward to reading this book since I read and liked two of Sue Monk Kidd’s other books; The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings. When I got The Book of Longings, I didn’t know what it was about. When I discovered the subject matter, admittedly, I was a little hesitant to read it. Essentially, the book is a fictional account of the narrator, Ana, who lived in the first century and was Jesus’s wife. Whoa! What a risk to write a book like this. In all my Bible reading I have never read anything about Jesus having a wife, but then again, I have never read that he didn’t.
However, this book isn’t really about Jesus or his relationship with Ana. In fact, Jesus, is a minor character in the story. The Book of Longings generally follows the timeline of the gospels and we all know how the story ends and will recognize many of the male characters. This, though, is Ana’s story. Ana is a bright young woman who lived during a time when women were treated as chattel. Women’s thoughts were not usually recognized. Ana longs to learn to read and write. She is a free spirit who is trying to come to terms with her dreams and ambitions.
This book will definitely make you think. It is a very brave and sensitive subject to tackle and I think Sue Monk Kidd handled it brilliantly. It is very respectful of stories told in the Bible and these familiar stories are what make this book so compelling. We are all familiar with the backstory, but women are woefully underrepresented in the Bible. The book is well researched and Ana’s story, as well as those of other female characters in the novel, are compelling and very believable.
I love historical fiction and found her portrayal of women during biblical times interesting. As with all of Sue Monk Kidd’s books, this one is very well written. At times, the prose is a little wordy and a bit too lyrical at times, but overall it was a joy to read. If you enjoy historical fiction I highly recommend The Book of Longings. Have you read this book? If so, let me know what you thought of it.
This book has a 4.5/5.0 rating on Amazon and is available here. It has a 4.4/5.0 rating on Barnes and Noble and is available here. Goodreads readers rate this book as 4.25/5.0.
In just a little bit of quilty news, I ripped out the quilting, then un-sewed this block.
The picture is a little wonky but the block has been turned and sewn correctly. Generally, I think it is faster and easier to start over than to fix something this far along, but I’m not a quitter. Now I can FINALLY get back to quilting it after about an 18 year hiatus!!!