While the Bible barely mentions Mary Magdalene, the "prostitute" who followed Jesus (there is no evidence that proves that was her profession), there are many churches devoted to her teachings as one of the prophets. She walked with Jesus and earned the title, "Apostle of the Apostles" by seeing visions of his fall and being the first to witness his rising from the dead through her faith.
However, who was Mary? The author uses carefully researched details to piece together a fictional account of a woman. Like Helen of Troy or other mythological women, it is fictional, but she brings much of it to life through Mary's actions.
How is this book different from Margaret George's other books? There is no man involved, other than Jesus. Without a romantic love conflict, there is no source of weakness for her main character, which I found absolutely refreshing. I've read several of George's books, and my main complaint has been that each character could be substituted for each other: Cleopatra for Helen for Mary of Scots. This Mary is bold when she should be floored with self-pity. This Mary leads rather than follows.
I liked the change in characterization, just as I liked the new approach of characterizing Jesus. He is not romanticized. In fact, he seems to go mad at times. Wouldn't you? It seemed to be a modern, realistic way of looking at how the Romans ruled, as well as how people treat one another.
Whether you are Christian or not, it is a fascinating look at a character in history, and I am not referring to the one who will judge the living and the dead.
4.0 out of 5.0 Simple Mary.