What if Jesus had a wife? That is the question Sue Monk Kidd asked herself.
She had the courage to go with the thought and make up a story about it, and not only the possibility of this happening, but of what this remarkable woman would be like, who she might be, and the strength of her voice. It is a fictitious story set in a factual time period. And while it is technically historical fiction, it is so much more. Ms. Kidd creates a world so real, that by the end, you are pondering the difference in the world had a story like this been what really happened.
It is not a religious treatise; it is a story about how a woman wrote and flourished when men ruled, decided, and manipulated in political power grabs, religious zealotry, and control over women. Ana, our heroine, is a feminist set into the backdrop of one of the greatest societal religious changes ever to have occurred. The well-crafted writing pulls you in, and when Ana feels pain, takes a step, or wins over someone, you are there with her. Visceral. Thought provoking. Ms. Kidd answered the question of what if? And you will be grateful she did.
What really happened is the framework; what could have happened is the fictitious story that makes for a great read. The Book Of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd, published by Viking 2020, 407p.