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by Leo Tolstoy, Trans. By Louise Maude
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From Publishers Weekly
A temperate entry in the rapidly overheating Da Vinci Code sweepstakes, Malarkey's second novel (following An Obvious Enchantment) illuminates the spiritual yearnings underlying and bolstering that boffo megaseller's more sensationalistic elements. Set in Egypt just after WWII, the novel fictionalizes the discovery of the Gnostic gospels, early Christian writings whose explosive intimations—that a growing nonauthoritarian sect was suppressed as Christianity was incorporated into the Roman empire—have been expertly explored by the great scholar Elaine Pagels. Malarkey, a founding editor of Tin House, is clearly enamored of these writings, but she makes a hash of the intrigue around their discovery. A faulty sense of period (a character at one point anachronistically calls for "security") and characters and situations straight from romance fiction ("This is the most beautiful part of the horse, and, I think, some women") mix uneasily with fairly sophisticated Bible readings, as young Brit Gemma Bastian follows her archeologist father to Cairo and gets mixed up with the household of his friend David Lazar—and David's sons. Such criticisms would be quibbles if Resurrection possessed the pulpy energy of Da Vinci, but it doesn't. Budding Gnostics and Essenes would be better off going straight to Pagels. (Aug.)
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The Gnostic Gospels, once believed to have been destroyed but discovered in 1945, form the basis for this thriller set in London and Cairo. Kate Reading creates the dark mood of postwar London, which is echoed in the emotions of Gemma Bastion when she learns of the suspicious death of her archaeologist father. When Gemma travels to Cairo to settle his estate, she discovers that his last project involved the Gnostic Gospel of Mary Magdalene. As the drama unfolds, the listener feels Gemma's emergence from depression through Kate Reading's quickening pace. Reading's skill with suspenseful narration builds the tension as Gemma adroitly escapes a murderer intent on stealing the Gospel. K.A.T. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
Like The Da Vinci Code, Marlakey's novel professes to find the hidden meaning of Christianity buried behind deceptive orthodoxies. But here the secret comes from the ancient gnostic Gospels recovered from Nag Hammadi, Egypt, shortly after World War II. The sleuth who uncovers the Gospels, Gemma Basian, comes to Egypt to bury the remains of her archaeologist father, who has died in Cairo under suspicious circumstances._As Gemma investigates her father's death, she finds herself increasingly drawn into the mysteries that drew him to the land of Isis. The gnostic Gospels he finally discovers before his death reveal to him--and then to Gemma--everything he had been looking for: individual salvation without a church, sexual ecstasy rather than celibacy, Egyptian magic rather than Hebrew morality. The gnostic Gospels also accord women a much larger role than the New Testament, identifying Mary Magdalene as Jesus' lover and as the apostle first vouchsafed a vision of the Resurrection. The recovered words of gnostic scripture thus reconnect Gemma with her murdered father--and embolden her in challenging a society long darkened by ecclesiastical conspiracy. Although some readers may enjoy Malarkey's novel simply as a literary thriller, many will find themselves wrestling with theological conundrums. In fact, controversy will surely surround this novel, as readers who hail it as a daring expose clash with those who see it as a slander against their faith. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Pages Magazine, July/August 2006
a provocative mystery-a story of love and murder that calls into question the founding of Christianity...
People, July 10, 2006
...an elegantly written thriller.
Booklist, July 2006
Although some readers may enjoy Malarkey's novel simply as a literary thriller, many will find themselves wrestling with theological conundrums.
A lost past. A hidden Gospel. A shocking discovery.
It's 1948, and British nurse Gemma Bastian travels to Cairo to close the affairs of her late father, staying at the home of David Lazar, her father's oldest friend, and his enigmatic sons. While she's there she stumbles across her father's last and most closely guarded archaeological project, one that could change the Christian world forever: the discovery of the legendary Lost Gospels. Torn between two brothers and beset by ominous warnings, Gemma finds herself caught in an intricate web of love and betrayal where she fights to resurrect her own shattered life and a faith that was lost to all of humanity.
About the Author
Tucker Malarkey is a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and is a former researcher/writer for The Washington Post. This is her second novel after the critically acclaimed An Obvious Enchantment. Website created for the book: resurrectionthebook.com
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