Mini Review: The Expected One (Book #1: Magdalene Line Trilogy) by Kathleen McGowan

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Two thousand years ago, Mary Magdalene hid a set of scrolls in the rocky foothills of the French Pyrenees, a gospel that contained her own version of the events and characters of the New Testament. Protected by supernatural forces, these sacred scrolls could be uncovered only by a special seeker, one who fulfills the ancient prophecy of l’attendue — The Expected One.

When journalist Maureen Pascal begins the research for a new book, she has no idea that she is stepping into an ancient mystery so secret, so revolutionary, that thousands of people have killed and died for it. She becomes deeply immersed in the mystical cultures of southwest France as the eerie prophecy of The Expected One casts a shadow over her life and work and a long-buried family secret comes to light.

Maureen’s extraordinary journey takes her from the dusty streets of Jerusalem to the cathedrals of Paris . . . and ultimately to search for the scrolls themselves. She must unravel clues that link history’s great artistic masters, including Sandro Botticelli, Nicolas Poussin, and Jean Cocteau; the Medici, Bourbon, and Borgia dynasties; and great scientific minds like Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton. Ultimately, she, and the reader, come face-to-face with Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Judas, and Salome in the pages of a deeply moving and powerful new gospel, the life of Jesus as told by Mary Magdalene.

Source: Purchase Rating: 5 stars

The Bottom Line:  For a whole host of reasons, Mary Magdalene has long been one of my favorite historical figures.  I find her story and the narratives that have been spun about her over the last 2,000 years to be utterly fascinating.  I have read this particular book at least three times now and I have yet to lose my interest in this story.  This book tends a bit more toward the esoteric, the spin off groups with their various beliefs about the Magdalene, as well as the Biblical research related to her life.  I devoured every bit of this book, but my favorite parts without doubt are the chapters that are told from the perspective of the Magdalene.  Once the story leaves the present and delves deeply into the past, I could not turn pages fast enough.  This is most certainly an alternative narrative and because of that I do not think it will appeal to all readers.  For me, this alternative seems highly likely and not only possible but plausible.  In truth, I would sincerely hope and wish the life of the Magdalene presented in this fictional story is something which would have happened for one of history’s most misunderstood women.  With all this being said, I must also mention the skill with which the time slips are handled in this book.  Time slips either go wonderfully right or horribly wrong; in this instance, the shifts between the past and the present shift smoothly and encourage further reading.  Finally, I found the explanations of some of history’s most truly complicated and complex characters and situations to be easily accessible.  In all, a fairly perfect read for me.

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