The ancient world and its politics come to life through the eyes of a young Jewish woman, Mary of Nazareth
Miriam–also known as Mary–was born into a Palestine oppressed by Herod the Great; she is accustomed to living with uncertainty and unrest. But when her beloved father is wrongly imprisoned by the Romans, she takes action. She calls upon a well-known rebel by the name of Barabbas, and together they set out to save her father. A daring escape is accomplished and, against staggering odds, Miriam’s father is saved from crucifixion.
Barabbas, flush with the success of the rescue, is intent on leading a full-scale rebellion against Herod and the Romans. Along with Mary and her father, he speaks before Jewish leaders who have gathered from various communities. Miriam feels great frustration as the men endlessly debate morality, the wisdom of rebellion, and the nature of God’s will. Having almost lost her father, and knowing she will be ostracized, she nevertheless speaks out against the use of violence. And to her surprise, one man, Joseph, listens. He offers to take her to Magdala, where she will be allowed to study in the company of intelligent, well-read women. This rare opportunity sets into motion a series of events that will change Miriam’s life–and the history of the Jewish people–forever.
Based on extensive historical and biblical scholarship, Mary of Nazareth is a revealing, utterly captivating portrait of a woman whose story we only thought we knew.
About the Author
MAREK HALTER was born in Poland in 1936. During World War II, his family escaped the Warsaw ghetto and settled in France. He is the author of several critically acclaimed, internationally bestselling novels, including the Canaan Trilogy: Sarah; Zipporah, Wife of Moses; and Lilah.
"[In Mary of Nazareth] Halter has created a memorable and appealing heroine."
—Historical Novels Review
"A worthy heiress to Anita Diamant’s bestseller The Red Tent, [Sarah is] an entertaining read, with a heroine who uses both her brain and her femininity to astonishing effect."
“A brilliant achievement: packed with drama and suspense, powerfully engaging and thought-provoking. This is Halter at his best–by offering his own intriguing interpretation of Mary’s life, he builds bridges across the millennia and across different faiths and cultures.”
—Eva Etzioni-Halevy, author of The Song of Hannah and The Garden of Ruth
“How much can a mother influence the path that her child chooses? Halter provides a dazzling new look at the most famous mother of them all–in the important years before motherhood. In the midst of the political turmoil of first-century Palestine, Mary shines forth as an advocate for liberation through peaceful means. Like the great biblical heroines before her, she is a woman of faith, courage, and action. Mary of Nazareth will inspire women of all faiths who yearn for peace and freedom.”
—Rebecca Kohn, author of The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther
“By giving a voice to Mary of Nazareth, Merek Halter resurrects one of the most fascinating women in history. A story as richly imagined as it is illuminating.”
—Michelle Moran, national bestselling author of Nefertiti