Monday, May 26, 2008

Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana by Anne Rice

This is the second of Anne Rice's series about the life of Jesus. When I read the first one, Out of Egypt, I was not aware that it was going to be a series. I did not like this one quite as well as that one. There is significantly less documentation of Jesus' life before he begins his ministry. The historical fiction that Rice created for the first book was wonderful. In this book, she is bound a bit more by the Gospel accounts.
The Road to Cana begins with Jesus as a carpenter in Nazareth, and does a lovely job of detailing the family and village life there. Jesus knows who he is, and he is conflicted, but knows what he must do. The village is focused on the current political turmoil, but also on little village dramas, such as who the village beauty will marry. This becomes pivotal to the story, as the wedding that ends the book is where Jesus turns the water into wine.
Rice describes the biblical events of Jesus' baptism by his cousin John, his forty days of fasting and temptation by the devil, the casting out of demons of a madwoman, and the wedding where he performs his first major miracle. She describes these events in the context of the time, and gives some very interesting historical and cultural information along with it. The book is intriguing, but it is difficult to say how further installments of the series will go.

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