Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Magdalene by Rachel Starr Thomson

Rachel Starr Thomson is an author I learned about just last year. Of the ones I’ve read, her books are often allegories of the spiritual world—the angels, the demons, a Savior, and a kingdom not of this world. Of her books, the Seventh World Trilogy and the Oneness Cycle series are the most popular, and though I don’t have the complete sets of either series, I love the ones I have read. Secular fantasy is sometimes hard to grasp because it’s, well, fantasy, and fiction doesn’t often provide the depth I’m looking for while reading. But allegory is a genre I never tire of, especially when it connects clearly to Scripture and the Gospel.

Rachel also writes shorter works, one of which I’m happy to review today. Magdalene is a short story retelling of the biblical Mary Magdalene: a follower of Christ rescued from demon possession by none other than the Messiah she followed.

In order to understand the references and implications of this story, it is helpful to have a solid knowledge of the whole Gospel picture. In Magdalene, Mary is called Miriam, and that is fitting because the name Mary and Miriam come from the same Hebrew word, and the name Mary is frequently in the form of the name Miriam. Her name, along with the Israelite history, takes us back to the beginning of Exodus to the woman Miriam was named after—Moses’ sister. Beginning with her state under demon possession and ending with the resurrection of Christ, Rachel captures the emotion, imagery, and history of long ago her in her retelling of Mary Magdalene. It’s a beautiful story; the perfect length to read and reread again.

You can find Rachel Starr Thomson’s website HERE. The first books of both the Seventh World Trilogy and the Oneness Cycle are free [Kindle version] on her website, and I highly recommend you check them out!

Favorite Quotes
Slavery is letting the light go out of your eyes. And she wanted a miracle, like the miracles in the stories the rabbis told.
Only when her eyes are heavy and her limbs numb can her mind find any peace. Her life is a long seizure, but here and there is a quiet aftermath, and she rests.
She can still feel His touch. His strong grip. She closes her eyes to soak it in, to let memory saturate her nerves.

Suddenly a voice thunders: God’s voice, mighty in the olive trees, lighter than the angel, voice like the shofar, like a song, like deliverance from Egypt.


Have you read this book? Share your thoughts here!