Book #36 of 2020 | The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

Title: The Book of Longings

Author: Sue Monk Kidd

Thoughts: I struggled to get into this book at the beginning, but now that I’m done with it, I can’t stop thinking about it. The book is a fictionalized account that seeks to answer the question, “what if Jesus had been married?” Kidd takes the historical narrative presented in the Bible about Jesus’ life and weaves it together with her character, Ana. This story is not about religious truths; while it uses characters from the Bible and well-known parables from the Gospel, it does not seek to definitively answer whether or not Jesus had a wife—a question for which we may never have an answer. Rather, it is a story of women, and Ana’s fight to amplify their voices—her own included.

Favorite Lines:
“To be ignored, to be forgotten, this was the worst sadness of all. I swore an oath to set down their accomplishments and praise their flourishings, no matter how small. I would be a chronicler of lost stories. It was exactly the kind of boldness Mother despised.” (p. 5)

“His eyes were the most remarkable thing about him, not for their beauty, though they were beautiful in their way—widely spaced and black as my blackest ink—but it wasn’t that. There was a tiny fire in them, an expressiveness I could see even from where I stood. It was as if his thoughts floated in the wet, dark light of them, wanting to be read.” (p. 26)

“The vision was a promise, was it not, that the light in me would not be extinguished. The largeness in me would not shrink away. I would yet become visible in this world. My heart tumbled a little at the revelation.” (p. 40)

“When you love, you remember everything.” (p. 62)

“Grief and anger streamed from my fingers. The anger made me brace and the grief made me sure.” (p. 73)

“I’d thought of my aunt as invincible, impervious—someone assailed by life, but somehow unmaimed by it—but I saw her suddenly as a person of flaws and bruises like myself. There was an odd relief in it.” (p. 298)

“Mary laughed. Then we all laughed. There was a vast relief in it, as if the air had grown more spacious. Was laughter grieving, too?” (p. 386)

“‘I don’t mean that life won’t bring you tragedy. I only mean you will be well in spite of it. There’s a place in you that is inviolate. You’ll find your way there, when you need to. And you’ll know then what I speak of.” (p. 389)

“We stand, brushing away the dust, catching our breath. And it comes to me that the echoes of my own life will likely die away in that way thunder does. But this life, what a shining thing—it is enough.” (p. 407)

Click here to purchase The Book of Longings

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