Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Handmaid and the Carpenter

I was at the library last week, and decided to peruse the Christmas fiction to see what they had. I stumbled upon this little 150 page gem by Elizabeth Berg, which is a re-telling of Christ's birth. Actually, it chronicles the relationship of Mary and Joseph as they meet, are betrothed, fall in love, and eventually come to learn of their divine roles as parents to the Savior. It was an interesting take on a story we've all heard so many times.

The book isn't exceptionally well-written, nor is it completely accurate. However, it really got me thinking of the plight that this young family had to endure. Mary, coping with her responsibilities to her family, fiancee, and baby. Joseph, (with what must have been) his hesitation to claim a child that was not his own. The humiliation, and ultimately humility he would have to endure in choosing to stand by Mary's side. The characters were very real and three-dimensional, which also lent the story the gravity it needed to work.

Overall, a very touching and sweet Christmas book that you can easily read in a couple of hours.

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