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Maggy Whitehouse

Book of Deborah, The


Since her marriage in 1992 Maggy Whitehouse and her Jewish husband have been studying Judeo-Christian mysticism and promoting inter-denominational thinking. The Book of Deborah, her first novel, is bound to cause controversy centred as it is around the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of Deborah, raised as his sister, who had learnt and taught with him throughout his ministry. So why have we never heard her words? Primarily, because she was a woman; but also because she was the wife of the man history calls Judas and party to the truth of what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane. I can't comment on the accuracy of her depiction of 1st century Judaic theology and practice, but I found the whole story fascinating, instructive and thought provoking. It has a lot to say about the role and expectations of women in society and the rigid hypocrisy of a society that holds its members together through fear and ignorance rather than love and understanding. I believed in the characters and admired their strength, courage and tenacity of faith in the face of huge disappointment. "In [Nazareth] I thought they would be glad to see that everything they had always prayed for and believed in the coming of a Messiah from their line - had actually come to pass. I should have known better!" In the light of two millennia of religious intolerance and lack of understanding, I welcome such new interpretations and recommend this book to open minded readers with enquiring minds. - Luke Mulrany From The Historical Novel Review (1998), published by the Historical Novel Society.

- Luke Mulrany, 12/19/2005

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