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Monday, March 9, 2009

The Expected One by Kathleen McGowan

Two thousand years ago, Mary Magdalene hid a set of scrolls in the rocky foothills of the French Pyrenees, a gospel that contained her own version of the events and characters of the New Testament. Protected by supernatural forces, these sacred scrolls could be uncovered only by a special seeker, one who fulfills the ancient prophecy of l'attendue -- The Expected One.
When journalist Maureen Pascal begins the research for a new book, she has no idea that she is stepping into an ancient mystery so secret, so revolutionary, that thousands of people have killed and died for it. She becomes deeply immersed in the mystical cultures of southwest France as the eerie prophecy of The Expected One casts a shadow over her life and work and a long-buried family secret comes to light.
Maureen's extraordinary journey takes her from the dusty streets of Jerusalem to the cathedrals of Paris . . . and ultimately to search for the scrolls themselves. She must unravel clues that link history's great artistic masters, including Sandro Botticelli, Nicolas Poussin, and Jean Cocteau; the Medici, Bourbon, and Borgia dynasties; and great scientific minds like Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton. Ultimately, she, and the reader, come face-to-face with Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Judas, and Salome in the pages of a deeply moving and powerful new gospel, the life of Jesus as told by Mary Magdalene.
Before I start, let me just say that I think the cover is fantastic. Especially the book cover itself (when you take off the leaf of the hardcover). I was going to take a picture but I wouldn't think the library will appreciate the tampering... Anyway, scandalous yes, for the Catholic church and for hardcore catholics this is one of the "garbage book" that they keep warning me not too read anymore but I still do obviously.Yep blasphemy is the word. The story was about a discovery of none other than Mary Magdalene's gospel. The protagonist Maureen is a journalist who went to Jerusalem for research that later on lead to an unexpected discovrey of her history. I applaud McGowan for her brave plot and extensive research on the subject, however, the book wasn't really written very well, the story was unbelievably slow. I hate to elaborate, so I'm not going there. As much as I don't want to compare this to Da Vinci code, I have to, because it turned out very pretentious. Well really... conspirational form, secret societies, contrivance & deception in South of France, biblical characters, renaissance painting with clandestine meanings, and the very tempting idea of "what if it's true?". I do however like Maureen's feminist personality, there were discussions of famous female historical figures that had been maligned through out history, defending them- I admire her for. I did enjoy reading the book, as it is thrilling and gripping but... like what I said above. But I do not think I'm reading the other two books after this first part of the trilogy.

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