In this stunning debut by Kristen Wolf, The Way, published by Crown Publishers, July 2011, is sure to bring passionate discussions amongst readers for years to come.
Starting in 7 A.D. in a village on the outskirts of ancient Palestine, we meet Anna. From the moment I was introduced to Anna on the first page of the book, I was invested in her. I was invested in her well-being in a dominate male society where women were to be silent and to cover their faces and to serve the men. Anna is all but overlooked by her father who like most of the men of his time worships a male deity, that closely resembles the Christian God of our time.
Anna is routinely told that she is a handsome child, by her mother and an old women of the village who seems to have a vested interest in Anna. After Anna’s mother loses Anna’s baby brother, Anna’s parents become withdrawn and her father seems to become angry with Anna. Not long after, Anna endures another loss and her father sells her, disguised as a boy, to some shepherds. Anna decides to keep her disguise and learns to live among the shepherds as a man known as Jesus.
We follow Anna as Jesus though an amazing journey as she lives as a young man. Having the freedom to come and go as he pleases and to live the life that his mother wished he could live as a women. His mother even went as far as to say “Being a women in this world is a curse.” Jesus feels the way women are treated is wrong, however he doesn’t know what to do about it, until he meets the Sisters.
The Sisters, who live in caves and are the last keepers of The Way, believe that “every form of life and the very earth itself is a sacred manifestation of the Mother,” and that the “highest human power, and that which should be cherished above all, is the female capacity to create and nurture life.”
Jesus begins to live as Anna again and begins to live her life in the beliefs of The Way. That is until Anna and the Sisters have to leave their life in the caves and live amongst others. Anna feels there is no other option to keep herself and the Sisters safe, so she once again becomes Jesus.
Anna as Jesus becomes known as a healer, using the knowledge of The Way and helps many on his journey with his Sisters to his homeland.
I loved how the author took a story, that we all know, the story of Jesus of the Bible, recreated it. With a story that seems plausible, it should make you think, it will make you think. What if Jesus was a women?
I really enjoyed this book! As a recent deconvert from Christianity I myself have wondered, many times, where the stories and teaching of the Bible came from. I loved how Kristen Wolf’s vision seemed possible. Being a nature lover I also enjoyed the, what seems to me and for a lack of a better term, pagan beliefs of The Way. Though I don’t worship Mother Nature, I sure do appreciate what she has to offer. I’m thankful for what nature provides and I am in awe of her beauty.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite passages from the book, found on page 177.
The Way has existed since the beginning,” “Since the time when people bowed before the awesome power of Creation. When divinity and spirit dripped off every leaf. When each star was counted and loved. When people took what they needed, but no more. When life was treasured as a gift, not promised. “It was then that people revered the Great Mother, not because she symbolized a literal being, but because she represented and embodied the beauty, mystery, and sanctity of life. For them she personified the intrinsic and bountiful force that surges through everything, connecting the known and unknown, bringing hope of renewal.
I highly recommend The Way. I’ve heard rumor that it is possible that it will be a trilogy with two more books to come. I hope that’s true, because I look forward to reading them.
Disclaimer-I received this book free from FSB Associates. All that was required of me was to write a positive or negative book review on my site. To find out more about the book or to purchase it visit Kristen Wolf’s website.