Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review: The Way by Kristen Wolf

Finished: September 8, 2011

Synopsis: “Anna is a fiery tomboy living in ancient Palestine whose androgynous appearance provokes ridicule from the people around her and doubt within her own heart. When tragedy strikes her family, and Anna’s father—disguising her as a boy—sells her to a band of shepherds, she is captured by a mystical and secret society of women hiding in the desert. At first Anna is tempted to escape, but she soon finds that the sisterhood’s teachings and healing abilities, wrapped in an ancient philosophy they call “The Way,” have unleashed an unexpected power within her.” [from goodreads]

Thoughts: First, I would like to thank the publisher, author and Goodreads for sending me this book for review. You can purchase it July 12, 2011 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers. 

When I picked up The Way it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I don’t feel the synopsis really lets the reader know what they are in for. The Way is the story of Jesus told as if he were actually a female. I’ve never been religious. My family didn’t go to church when I was a child and I never had religion forced on me. Other than a brief time in high-school, when I attended youth group with friends, I really have no experience with religion. For this reason it was hard for me to rate this book, because religion isn’t really something I am interested in. While I found certain sections of the story to be enjoyable, the religious aspect of it just kept taking away from the story for me.

I quite enjoyed Anna’s character. I love the beginning of her story and the writer’s focus on the way women are seen as below men in certain religions, and just how wrong that is, and how it affects all involved. I loved Anna’s time with the sisters of The Way and her exploration of her womanhood and her connection to the Earth. The parts that lost me were the parts of Anna’s journey that she spent as Jesus. I’d find myself momentarily forgetting that Anna and Jesus were the same character.

At times I found the writing to be a bit preachy and heavy-handed. I also didn’t like the very short chapters. It felt like the story jumped around a lot and lost its focus. There were certain things I enjoyed, and perhaps if the book were written a bit differently I could have more easily moved past my disinterest in the subject matter, but I just don’t feel like it was the book for me.


Two out of Five Coffees


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