Thursday, March 02, 2006


For those of you who know me, this endorsement may surprise you, but check out Two Women of Galilee by Mary Rouke coming out this March in hardcover from MIRA books. It’s a debut novel and I just got sucked into the story when I read the manuscript for one of our acquisition meetings many months ago. I was so delighted to learn we had acquired it. You really know a story is compelling when you’re reading hundreds of manuscript pages as if it were a book, carrying it around with you, reading it on the subway, looking forward to picking it up again.
This story is about Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward, and is a Reader's Ring Book Club selection. The author takes us back to first century Galilee and Judaea where we see the world through Joanna’s eyes. There is certainly a powerful Christian element—Mary is Joanna’s cousin and Jesus is key figure in the story, but I read all the Rosemary Sutcliffe and Mary Renault stories when I was younger and this story captured me in the same way theirs did. I seamlessly entered a different world, a different time and lived—and for a time felt I understood—a different culture and people.

I loved visiting there and was sad to have the story end. Now I’m waiting for publication so I can read it again in book form! Or maybe I'll get the audio version. It's read by Gabra Zackman, the same reader that got such great reviews reading Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder—see my prior Read With Your Ears blog.

I didn’t read The Red Tent because I’m not all that interested in the Biblical angle per se, but many in the office have read both and assure me that if you liked The Red Tent, you’ll find Two Women of Galilee a worthy successor to Anita Diamant’s bestseller.

Read an Excerpt
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