Girl Mary, by Petru Popescu

girlmaryI found out about this book and got it through A Writer’s Edge, so thank you again, Georganna. It is a book with a religious theme and written by a Romanian writer, so my interest in it is twofold. I have, however, taken my own sweet time reading it. So, you can be warned: this is not a book that you will read in a day and a night, unable to put it down. It does need time to win you over, but it is worth it if you let it do so.

My difficulties in reading it came from the painstaking, researched accuracy of historic details, of Latin language. I was not looking for a scholarly treatise on the times just before Jesus’ birth, but for the other truths that only fiction can bring about. So, I found this aspect a little difficult, although for others it might be fun. Even I, actually, was very happy to learn the Latin for one of my favorite sayings: audaces fortuna juvat–fate will favor the bold (the daring).

After forcing my mind to go into that time and place so well crafted and detailed, the story started to flow smoothly. A story of people who seem real and very human, despite the great role they were about to play in history. The story of a Roman called Apella, known by very few by his real name of Pontius Pilates, an orphan, gifted wood carver by the name of Joseph and a daring girl from the desert who talked to God like he was just another man.

I found fascinating the dialogues between Mary and God, and how he reveals himself to her as a lonely, longing man, disconnected from his creation. I found fascinating her rebellion regarding the condition of the woman as only an object controlled by men, with no will, no power of her own, as a secondary, minor creation that was not given a second thought. And I found fascinating how the story unfolds to reveal a different truth, and how beautiful written are the parts describing the great love between Mary and Joseph.

For a taste of it:

“Back in that garden, the instant that she had opened her eyes, Eve knew her future. Which astonished Him, and his crafting hands, and his soul which had just marveled, She is good.”

“So the male God had created a female. And he became instantly fascinated with her, and anxious about her unexpected intentions, some of which, most shocking to God’s own mind, he could not easily guess.”

A very interesting read, which will put you in the right mood for reading this book, is also the author’s article: Was Mary a Template for Today’s Feminism?, published in the Huffington Post.