Starting with a dark-skinned girl barely out of adolescence when she gives birth, Lesley Hazleton weaves together the many facets of Mary's existence: peasant villager, wise woman and healer, activist, mother, teacher, and yes, virgin, though in a sense we have long forgotten. She follows her through the worst any mother can experience-the excruciating death of her child-and then looks at how she transforms grief into wisdom, disaster into renewal. Strong and courageous, the Mary we see here does not merely assent to her role in history, but chooses it and lives it to the fullest.
"An intelligent, trenchant puzzling over [of] the details of history and culture, as well as a reclamation project…A tremendous accomplishment."
"Mary has the starch of real history to it...[Hazleton's] writing flows like wine..."
"A thoughtful, astute biography."
"Readers who loved... The Red Tent will find this book about Mary, the mother of Jesus, just as enthralling...A page-turner."
"Thoughtful, evocative, and eminently readable...Dazzling to read and weighty to ponder."
"…simultaneously intellectual, fanciful, respectful and impious … an original, contrary view, with something to challenge everyone who picks it up."
"A real, flesh-and-blood Mary… Mary's life as a brown-skinned, struggling peasant girl invites us deeper into the paradoxical mystery of faith."
-Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking
"A knowledgeable journalist profiles history's most renowned Jewish mother...Throughout it all, Maryam remains full of grace."
"Hazleton takes readers through an impressive array of historical, cultural, literary, and spiritual topics."
"Powerful and empowering, inspired and inspiring, this is a book that will move you to tears."