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The Book of Longings

The Book of Longings

FROM THE NUMBER ONE New York Times BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF The Secret Life of Bees AND The Invention of Wings

‘Superlative . . . From a writer at the top of her game . . . A practically perfect historical novel’ New York Journal of Books

‘A bold, imaginative reworking’ Sunday Times

‘Brilliant . . . Brava!” The Daily Mail

‘Fascinating . . . Clever, rebellious Ana is a memorable character’ The Times

‘I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus.’

Ana is a rebellious young woman, a gifted writer with a curious, brilliant mind, who writes secret narratives about the neglected and silenced women around her. Raised in a wealthy family in Galilee, she is sheltered from the brutality of Rome’s occupation of Israel. Ana is expected to marry an elderly widower to further her father’s ambitions, a prospect that horrifies her. A chance encounter with the eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything: his ideas and his passion are intoxicating.

Taking Ana on a journey she could never have imagined, The Book of Longings is a glorious evocation of a time and a place where astounding events unfolded, and of one woman’s fate when she fights to make her voice heard.

‘I kept having to close this novel and breathe deeply, again and again . . . It is a true masterpiece’ Glennon Doyle, author of Untamed

Unleashes the reader’s imagination with glorious evocations of extraordinary times and places, allowing our minds to roam . . . Original, challenging, beautiful’ Adele Parks, Platinum

‘Compelling . . . Ana is a truly wonderful character, strong and inspiring, and her life story so captivating that it swept me along’ Good Housekeeping

Over 10 million readers have devoured Sue Monk Kidd’s novels. Here’s why:


‘A wonderful book . . . Funny, sad and full of incident’ Daily Telegraph

‘Wonderfully written, poignant and humorous’ Joanna Trollope

‘Masterly . . . A story about empowering women to change the world . . . A remarkable novel’ Chicago Tribune
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Modern & Contemporary Fiction (post C 1945)

On Sale: 21st April 2020

Price: £20

ISBN-13: 9781472232496

Reviews

An inspiring story of a strong woman living in a society bent on her silence
Good Housekeeping (US)
Superlative . . . from a writer at the top of her game . . . A practically perfect historical novel
New York Journal of Books
Praise for Sue Monk Kidd's earlier novels
'Exhilarating. . . powerful'
Washington Post
'Moving, original, and accomplished . . . It is wonderfully written, powerful, poignant, and humorous'
Joanna Trollope
'The tale of one motherless daughter's discovery of what family really means - and of the strange and wondrous places we love'
Washington Post
'Wonderful - well-written, moving and engaging by turns, and always compelling'
Daily Mail
'A resonant, illuminating novel'
Observer
This year's The Help - but even better
Fabulous
'A remarkable novel that heightened my sense of what it meant to be a woman - slave or free . . . a conversation changer' - Oprah Winfrey, O, The Oprah Magazine
Oprah Winfrey, O, The Oprah Magazine
'The stunning metaphors and realistic characters are so poignant they will bring tears to your eyes'
Library Journal
'A testament to the author's talent for creating both compelling characters and intriguing story lines ... The intensity, bravery, and strength of character of Ana ... will inspire readers ... to live authentically and remain true to oneself'
Library Journal
'The message about the importance of kindness and the power of women's voices should resonate strongly with today's readers'
Booklist
Ana's ambition and strong sense of justice make her a sympathetic character for modern readers ... A vibrant portrait of a woman striving to preserve and celebrate women's stories - her own and countless others
Publishers Weekly
Unleashes the reader's imagination with glorious evocations of extraordinary times and places, allowing our minds to roam... Original, challenging, beautiful
Adele Parks, Platinum
Compelling ... Ana is a truly wonderful character, strong and inspiring, and her life story so captivating that it swept me along
Good Housekeeping
'A wonderfully researched novel ... reimagining the past through the eyes of a creative, curious and defiant woman'
Culturefly
A bold, imaginative reworking of the Christian tale from a female perspective
Sunday Times
Brilliant ... the familiar characters brought to vivid life
Daily Mail
"This novel has an intriguing premise . . . The novel's evocation of life in Galilee is fascinating, and clever, rebellious Ana is a memorable character."
—The Times (UK)
This is not Jesus' story, but Ana's. [...] The Book of Longings is the testament of a bold woman, and the story of many stolen female voices.
Irish Times
· A master of literary women's fiction, Kidd always strikes a chord with her strong, feisty female protagonists . . . [The Book of Longings] is an engaging story about a young woman defying the odds to make her voice heard, a story that remains relevant today . . . [and] underscore[s] what's lost when one group - be it one gender, race or religion - gets to write the history for all.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
I kept having to close this novel and breathe deeply, again and again. A radical re-imagining of the New Testament that reflects on women's longing and silencing and awakening, it is a true masterpiece.
Glennon Doyle, author of Untamed
Kidd's bold narrative revisionism allows her protagonist to be in every respect the equal of her husband while posing this question: How would Western culture be different if men and women had grown in appreciation of each other's spirit?
O, The Oprah Magazine
No other writer has fleshed out a partner who can stand on her own, who is intellectually and spiritually well matched with Jesus . . . Kidd's research into first-century Jewish life, along with her vivid descriptions of the villages and terrain, make Ana's story come alive
Christian Science Monitor
Kidd uses her unexpected narrator to reveal new perspectives on an endlessly parsed era.
The Washington Post
Imaginative . . . Charts a young woman's struggle to confront the ways in which society dictates what she can and cannot do.
TIME
I will be reading Sue Monk Kidd's The Book of Longings this summer . . . I am captivated by the idea of a strong female character being at its heart, the kind whose voice can still be heard centuries later. I loved The Secret Life of Bees . . . and have been eagerly awaiting this new novel.
Caroline Montague, Woman & Home
"Riveting . . . A wonderful adventure which reads like Wilbur Smith crossed with Margaret Atwood. A gripping read.
Sunday Business Post