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Not a new post. IGNORE!

bell hooks

Nonfiction 2001 | 238 pages

two-hearts

testing again.

 

I am lost. WHY are we reading this book in my Decolonization book club? It is a diatribe on everything that is not working. It begins with multiple chapters that point fingers at parents who lead dysfunctional families and do not teach their children how to love, and it goes downhill from there. I kept reading, seeking for when she might turn positive, and found a bit of redemption in the chapter on spirituality. I was hoping there might be more “new visions” (this book’s erroneous subtitle) in the chapter on romance, but she begins “Romance” with the assertion that we all have not been “schooled” in love, and therefore don’t know how to do it. It isn’t that hard, Ms. hooks. You open your heart and make a choice.

Plus, she quotes the Bible about 27 times more often than I am comfortable with.

A depressing book … I can’t come up with any reason to recommend it. She has written 39 (or so) books. I am not putting any on my reading list. This ranks near the top of my “books I struggled to finish because I sincerely disliked them” list.

February 2022

 

The Book of Longings

Sue Monk Kidd

Fiction 2020 | 432 pages

four-hearts

Writing this post feels like a sacred act.  For centuries biblical scholars have debated whether or not Jesus married.  The scholars have convened on “no” as the most likely answer.  However, Sue Monk Kidd has wondered all of her life if perhaps there is another story to tell.  She writes this novel from the perspective that Jesus did, in fact, take a wife.  Her name is Ana, and this is her story.  Fully immersed in the stories, fables, truths, realities, and parables that appear in the bible, Kidd adds a layer that will cause you to think, wonder, and enjoy the possibilities.  This is a truly engaging piece of art!

We see Judas (Ana’s brother), Lazarus, Mary and Martha, John, who baptizes new Christ-followers, Herod, Pilate, John and Joseph, Jesus’ mother Mary, and more.  All the context we would expect.  And yet this additional perspective retells the story of Jesus on this earth in a new light, especially the years that bible does not address at all, Jesus between the ages of 12 of 30.

I am not a Christian, and so I wondered how I would engage with this tale.  I found it delightful!  First of all, it is a love story.  A profound, beautiful, enduring love story.  Second, is a magnificent statement on women at the time of Christ … an entire gender we hear little about in the bible.  The women in this novel are surprisingly strong, delightfully self-knowledgeable, intriguingly active.  Ana, of course, portrays a strong and powerful woman who finds her voice, her destiny, and her passion for writing.  And her Aunt Yaltha, her mother-in-law Mary, her sister-in-law Pamphile, Chaya (Ana’s cousin) and numerous other women are not as we might picture them from reading the bible alone … where they are often depicted as chattel, powerless, demure, hidden.  So, in truth, this is also a feminist novel.  Actually, it is an intriguing and useful accompaniment to the bible.

I highly recommend The Book of Longings and look forward to your comments.

March 2022