The Secret Magdalene

  • by Ki Longfellow
  • Narrated by Bernadette Dunne
  • 18 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Raised like sisters, Mariamne and Salome are indulged with riches, position, and learning - a rare thing for females in ancient Jerusalem. But Mariamne has a further gift: an illness has left her with visions - she has the power of prophecy. It is her prophesying that drives the two girls to flee to Egypt, where they study philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy in the Great Library of Alexandria. After seven years they return to a Judea, where many now believe John the Baptizer is the messiah. Salome too begins to believe, but Mariamne, now called Magdalene, is drawn to his cousin, Yeshu'a, a man touched by the divine in the same way she was during her days of illness. Together they speak of sharing their direct experience of God. But Yeshu'a unexpectedly gains a reputation as a healer, and as the ill and the troubled flock to him, he and Magdalene are forced to make a terrible decision.
This radical retelling of the greatest story ever told brings Mary Magdalene to life, not as a prostitute or demon-possessed, but as an educated woman who was truly the "apostle to the apostles".

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What the Critics Say

"Vividly imagined." (Publishers Weekly)
"A beautiful book....the writing [is] compelling." (Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University and author of The Gnostic Gospels)
"Imaginative, well-researched, and full of profound wisdom, this wonderful novel brings the ancient world to life." (Timothy Freke, co-author of The Laughing Jesus)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Captivating & Thought-Provoking

This is one of the best audiobooks I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. The characters seemed very real and the historical setting was extremely well-researched. Even though it's fiction - it has a truthfulness to it that allows for the suspension of disbelief.

I don't take it as an attack on the Christian religion - but then, I'm not religious. The philosophy, central to this book, that God is inside each of us & works through us doesn't seem (to me, at least) to be inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus.

So give this book a try. At the very least, it will make you think.
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- Michael Allen

It's a novel, albeit, a good novel.

The reader has to remember this book is a novel, albeit, a good novel. At first I thought this book would/should become as popular as Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, but knowledge of the historical Jesus may be needed to enjoy it to its fullest. Ms. Longfellow weaves the historical Jesus, the mythological Jesus and the theological Jesus into a very compelling novel through the eyes of Mariamne, Mary of Magdalene. Ms. Longfellow uses all the tools available; the apocrypha, the canon, and scholarly writings. This reader marveled and wondered at how the author got from one supposedly known Jesus adventure to the next. Without divulging the ending I have to make the following comment - the reasoning comprising the ending sequence probably wasn't conspired by the person she indicates as most scholars feel if this conspiracy came into play, it was devised after Jesus' crucifixion. Also, I was always looking for Ms. Longfellow to incorporate the Secret Gospel of Mark into the novel. It would have been a natural with Mariamne already posing as a boy. This reader enjoyed the book immensely. This book is not for the fundamentalist.
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- Ronald

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-28-2007
  • Publisher: Books on Tape