My rating: 5 of 5 stars
by Dandi Daley Mackall
Genre: Christian Contemporary
Publisher: Tyndale House
Stars: ***** five stars!
Onliner Review: “A well portrayed, non-sugar coated, realistic, and modern twist to the story of Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ.”
First off, this is a lovely book, that my cousin Ashley has let me barrow. Maggie’s Story immediately caught my attention from the pitch. I’ve always wondered how Mary Magdalene thought and lived. I know that this book really doesn’t display the absolute truth, it’s only from one person’s thoughts and perspective on how Mary was. What really caught my full attention was that the time line was brought up to date. As if Jesus’s life didn’t happen two thousand years ago; but, happened now, in this day and age. It gets your mind wondering on how people would take Jesus nowadays, considering all this sin and stuff in this world of today.
It’s refreshing to not think on how it would be yourself, but to read it from someone else’s perspective on how they would think everyone would react to it. When you read this story you find it very likely on how people would act, if Jesus’s era had happened now.
I’ll officially begin my review with the run down by the basic plot.
Anyways, this story wasn’t really based on Jesus, even though he played a huge part in this—actually he was the main part of this story, because he is the main thing of everything. But I’m going to review this book of Mary—I mean Maggie’s perspective of this story. Especially when the book is title “Maggie’s Story”.
I found this story very relatable and realistic, of a modern girl that had earth shattering troubles in her life. Deaths, heart aches, loneliness, sin, depression, suicidal, and abuse. Maggie Dale’s life— as stated in the pitch— was headed nowhere. With a dead end job, abusive no good for nothing—possibly married—boyfriend, and lived in sin day in and day out. Her drug addictions became so bad that it endangered her life, she knew this and did not care. She hated her life and wanted a numbness to the horrors and trials, and if death was on the horizon for her, she would’ve took it. Maggie’s drug addiction was basically the start of her journey to/with Josh.
Josh Davidson is the modern day Jesus Christ of this story. He is well portrayed and modernized through out this story, almost just as good as in the Bible. The story follows along the lines of all the miracles Jesus had done, and gave them a modern twist, but basically the same impression is left, as they had happened in the past. Josh gathered, spoke, performed miracles, and traveled like Jesus had done. Of course, in this book, the time of Jesus hadn’t happened, Josh is the one and only Jesus in this story. Just as if God decided to wait until now to send his son to us. It’s a awesome aspect and thought.
Just think of how it would be if Jesus lived in your time. Picture the chance that you could actually meet him face to face, touch, speak, and witness his glory here on earth.
It gives me chills, just to think of the thought.
But with this concept it makes me think of the scripture. Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” –John 20:29
However, as the story progresses, Maggie grows to love and believe in Josh, with that a new dawn of hope springs into her life. Of course, it takes a few miracles and his words of wisdom for her to cave in and follow him and his disciples. But as she decides to follow Josh, her mind is still at war with herself.
Sound familiar? It does to me, and it speaks to my very core. That I am always at war with myself, even when things are good for me. I don’t necessarily struggle with her type of struggles, but my own doubts and thoughts, can give the same impact that she’s put through in this book. You know that nagging sensation in your mind that gets you thinking? I think everyone has it at some point in their walk with Jesus.
Nevertheless, things are very good for Maggie at this time. She’s traveling all around Ohio with Josh, Pete, Matt, Brad, Bob, Jude, Andy, Tom, Thad, Phil, Nate, and all the rest of the disciples that are modernized. She keeps blaming and hating herself for a past tragedy, dealing with her, her mom, her ex boyfriend Alan, and Chance. The Chance that Maggie writes letters to through out the book, almost as if writing to him is like a diary. Through these letters you can see the growth in her character, if you take notice as you read. Even though, Josh and the Father had forgiven her of her sins. Maggie still had not forgiven herself, in result, making her faith and forgiveness not as strong as it should be, for a period of time.
I, myself, can find this very realistic and relatable the most. Not forgiving yourself and letting the past go. It’s a very hard thing to do.
Also, Maggie finds herself worrying over how people thought of her, even though, Josh had said to not worry about it. As these tiny wars wore on inside Maggie, her trust and faith in Josh isn’t it’s strongest. One day, time, and miracle, she came to her breaking point, and ran away from Josh. Back to her dead end life. She falls back into her old routine, but not as bad as before, because she still believes in Josh, and he keeps her from going back completely into her old habits. Her men habits were ignored and turned down. Her ex boyfriend Ben, did not take that well. But her drug habits came back, not as bad though, and not for long.
Maggie eventually goes back to Josh, when he sends someone for her. The group welcomes her back with open arms and she feels that she is home and belongs with them more than ever. Maggie comes back to Josh just in time to witness the worst of the worst.
The plot follows to Josh’s demise. But not through crucifixion, but an hypodermic needle execution. A different way to go at it, but still the very same impact. Before he is put to death, Maggie gets to talk to him about Chance. Well, she didn’t get to talk to him, he pretty much told her he knew, and he was the only person who knew. Maggie had kept Chance a secret, from fear of what people would think. But he knew. At this very part I was crying, where it was so bittersweet and heart wrenching.
The death of Joshua Davidson, is still just as heart breaking as the real demise of Jesus Christ. It tops your mind with how people would really react to the kindness and goodness of God’s Son sent to save us. I know it was supposed to happen, but it don’t make me feel any less ashamed of how people could be, and had been back in the day. But it was in God’s will, it was supposed to happen for us to have eternal life.
The plot stays true to the events and impact, just as they had done in the past. And is very likely, if Jesus were to live and die in this time, would have came about. And also, how the beloved Mary Magdalene would have lived, thought, and felt. This perspective and concept is exceptional.
The characters, are amazingly written and portrayed.
Maggie’s character is relatable and realistic. Relatable, because her situations in life could very easily happened to a person, it could even be totally completely different approaches, and find yourself in her same position in life. Realistic, because she’s a very true character, that has had reality aspects dealt into her story, that anyone can see their selves or someone they know in it.
Josh is portrayed as Jesus very well in this story, in a realistic, modernized manner. Realistic, with how he reacts like nowadays’ person. Modernized, because he has the modern aura about him, with his slang. It makes you feel comfortable and understand the Son in a better sense, sort of way.
All the other characters has a refreshing, realistic mannerism, about them. I’m only going to name a couple off the top of my head, and leave the rest for you to decipher and read about.
Pete and Andy (Peter and Andrew), are brothers that run a auto repair shop. Pete’s the baseball player that was heading for the majors, but turns them down to follow Josh. Andy is the laid back hard working man, that shuts down the business to go along with his brother and Josh.
Jude (Judas) is the greedy, paparazzi, that is only following Josh to get money and fame and obviously still betrays Josh in the end to the politicians that condemn Him to death.
This story is so refreshing, and has became one of my favorite books! I really recommend this to anyone! It’s such a amazing, inspiring read!
With lots of love, Kristia S.<3<3<3
1 Peter 4:10<3<3<3