I don't usually read Christian novels or novels based on movies, but I was curious about this book. I wanted to read something told from the point of view of Mary; what she felt and thought about being the mother of Jesus, the Son of God. This novel (Nonfiction novel? Historical? Not sure how to actually categorize this book.) was exactly what I was looking for.
One criticism is that I would have liked to know more about Joseph and his background. I'm pretty sure Joseph is ignored in most of the versions of the Nativity Story though and no one ever tells the story from his point of view.
*Warning: Minor Spoilers*
I also wonder why Joseph only dreamed of the prophecy and was never actually visited by the angel Gabriel. But then again, Elizabeth was never visited by the angel either.
I could have done without the scene where Herod's soldiers were killing all the babies under the age of two. I know in good writing there is the rule to "show don't tell" but when it comes to graphic scenes like this I would have been okay with Angela Hunt just telling me.
My biggest complaint is that the story ends right when it gets really good. This is not the authors fault because people have wondered what Jesus was like as a baby and child for two millennia. Did he cry like other babies? Did he fall and skin his knees? Did he have to learn to walk and talk or was he born knowing how to do that stuff?
In the book, there are a few descriptions of baby John the Baptist having knowledge beyond his infant years so one could only imagine what a baby Jesus was like. The odd thing is that what baby John experiences can only be described as being psychic.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. Honestly, I just don't think the movie would be as interesting. Without knowing what's going on inside Mary's mind, I think it would be rather boring. I do plan on watching the movie though. I'm curious to know how the story was done compared to the novelization.
Movie review coming soon!