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The Book of Longings is an audacious approach to history and imagines a world in which Jesus had a wife named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything. Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome’s occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history. Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus’s life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman’s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.
Sue Monk Kidd’s debut, The Secret Life of Bees, spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S., was turned into an award-winning major motion picture and an Off-Broadway musical, and has been translated into 36 languages. Her second novel, The Mermaid Chair, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and was adapted into a television movie. Her third novel, The Invention of Wings, an Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 pick, was also a #1 New York Times bestseller. She is the author of the acclaimed memoirs The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, a groundbreaking work on religion and feminism, and the New York Times bestseller Traveling with Pomegranates, written with her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Your PBC Guru Moderator:
Megan Behm is a Book Club Operations Manager at PBC Guru, a book club management company that believes in the power of lifelong learning communities centered around reading and thoughtful discussion. PBC Guru partners with more than 250 higher education alumni associations and private high schools, businesses, library systems, and professional societies worldwide to create meaningful and vibrant online book clubs. PBC Guru's virtual book clubs allow over 130,000 members to connect from anywhere they are, at whatever time is convenient. With PBC Guru, Megan develops the content for and moderates the discussions for over 50 book clubs reading titles from all genres. Before joining PBC Guru, Megan spent ten years working in the performing arts and literary industries in Washington, D.C., and New York City. She is a life-long bookworm and a proud graduate of the College of William & Mary.