Tyndale House Publishers
Karen Kingsbury’s novel Divine is a modern-day retelling of Mary Magdalene’s story and the contemporary demons she faces. She recounts her past of physical and sexual abuse, drug addiction and suicidal thoughts at an abuse shelter she runs.
The book is well written, except for a few parts where the story slowed or seemed redundant. However, the character development was excellent and completely realistic. The choices that characters make in light of their pained histories are believable, although traumatic.
The majority of the story is Mary telling her past to a woman who has left her abusive husband. Mary’s history is darkly traumatizing and leads her down a dangerous path in life where only Christ could rescue her. However, Mary relives her past in order that another woman will be saved.
All of the characters involved in the book have gone through stressful patches of life. Kingsbury’s characters are easy to connect with and the relationships developed between the various characters accurately show the ups and downs of living a life of abuse and a life lived in darkness.
Overall, the book was excellent. It is an inspiration for Christians to go out and minister to those who have led lives like Mary’s. Mid-teens and older, especially women, would receive the most enjoyment from the book, in particular those who have suffered through abuse or those who know someone who is currently dealing with issues of abuse. However, it also just an enjoyable read to gain perspective through another person’s eyes. – Molly Schnepel, Christian Book Previews.com
Biblical heroine Mary Magdalene has become the subject of a cultural firestorm with the popularity of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. Was she a prostitute? Was she more than a disciple to Jesus? Did she marry Jesus and give birth to his child?
In her new hardcover novel, Divine, top inspirational writer Karen Kingsbury uses a contemporary parable of Mary Magdalene to explore the potential heart and soul of one of Christ's most devoted followers--a woman whose image has now been called into question.
The Book of Luke explains that Jesus saved Mary Magdalene from seven demons--with no further explanation of their type. In Divine, Kingsbury has created the character Mary Madison, an influential director of a Washington, DC, women's shelter, who is rescued from seven horrors, including abuse, prostitution, and drug addiction.
Although many readers may not personally releate to the horrendous experiences endured by Mary Madison in Divine, Kingsbury hopes readers can relate to the need everyone has to find freedom. "I bring you a story about a modern-day Mary Magdalene for one reason," writes Kingsbury. "Mary's story is our story. I see myself in Mary Magdalene, and I pray you see yourself there too...Trapped by our own frailty and futility--until we meet up with Jesus."