The Book of Love (Anglais) Relié – mars 2009
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Présentation de l'éditeur
History has overlooked—or covered up—Matilda, but Maureen realizes the significance of the document and a new search begins. Matilda’s long-hidden scrolls demand the return of her “most precious books and documents” to the Abbey of Orval—the same Abbey from which the prophecy of the Expected One originated. Maureen plunges into the search for the Book of Love, the gospel written in Jesus’ own hand, and begins to see the eerie connections between herself and Matilda. .
Expertly researched with dazzling plot twists, The Book of Love is a spiritual thriller sure to delight readers as they follow Maureen across Europe as she uncovers secrets and shines light on the hidden corners of Christianity.. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Quatrième de couverture
As Maureen learns more about Matilda, a warrior countess who was secretly married to a Pope who joined her, not only in her bed, but also in using the Lost Gospel of Jesus to form a radical new kind of church, she begins to see the eerie connections between herself and Matilda, connections she must unravel quickly if she is to stop the wrong people from finding The Book of Love and hiding it forever.
Combining expert research with dazzling plot twists, The Book of Love is sure to thrill readers as they follow Maureen's search for clues through the world's greatest art, architecture, and history, until a potentially fatal encounter reveals The Book of Love to her - and to us. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
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The first book, "The Expected One", takes place alternately in the present time and two thousand years ago, with the heroine Maureen researching, discovering and re-membering events from the time of Jesus. These are exquisitely told through passages from the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, discovered as the book unfolds and alternating as flash-backs with events in present time. Teachings of compassion, deep forgiveness and equal place for the voice of the divine feminine in all matters spiritual and temporal.
This second book, "The Book of Love (The Magdalene Line)", should only be read after the first (or you will, in my opinion, be cheating yourself of a wonderful reading experience and perhaps also the truly life-changing opportunity which these books offer). It weaves together three main time periods and is infused with its teachings of the Way of Love in ways which touch the heart and mind again and again both directly and subtly as these teachings are illustrated in the lives of its characters. Balance of masculine and feminine, expression of love in its many aspects, personal and universal, and service to truth form a rich tapestry as, in the words of the book, "The Time Returns.Lire la suite ›
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The majority of the book is about Matilda of Tuscany rather than the heroine from the prior book (Maureen.) For me, TEO promised to delve into the alleged Cathar's "Book of Love" and its contents in this second book of the trilogy. Unfortunately, very little further information is revealed on that 'lost' book. Maureen supposedly finds the book which she cannot translate due to its undecipherable language. Then she magically absorbs light from it, and it glows, and she is able to understand the contents. Weird, huh? Yet we still don't learn what the BoL contained since it's never really explained.
Other than that silliness, it was difficult to keep up with all of the flashbacks. The reader has to contantly flip back-and-forth to try to keep track of characters, time-frames and events. For me, this is just too much work since I want entertainment from a good novel! It just got too exasperating and was a very fragmented read.
I honestly could not recommend this book to anyone unless they are suffering from insomnia- this book is the perfect remedy. I'm generously giving it a 2-star since I can tell that the author worked diligently on her new novel. But overall, it reads like a cheap modern romance - not a historical novel but instead a modern story set in medieval times. If you're looking for an experience of medieval immersion, get another book. However, if you're looking for a 21st century "emotion-fest" set in 12th century clothes, this book is for you.
And really, it has a soul, this book. You're just rollicking along with it and by the end, you realize you've been moved - deeply. How many pieces of pop culture manage that?
However, I was extremely pleased to discover, upon starting the first few pages that McGowan is an excellent writer - I immediately loved her descriptions and details - especially when it came to describing all the beautiful areas of the world. She has a way of making it sound as though I am standing right there!
I think what I liked most about The Book of Love is that this book is a indeed an adventure/thriller storyline, but it also includes a vast knowledge of history (which I always enjoy). The story of Matilda of Tuscany and the Pope was fascinating to me and to think that I never even knew these people could have existed. There is, of course, a beautiful love story entertwined in this book and the adventure and pace is non-stop.
At times, I got a little confused with all the characters - especially when the action was at its heaviest, but once I had all the players figured out, I was fine.
The story itself was interesting. The plot was interesting. The story about the women in history; such as Matilda de Canossa, was interesting. In fact it was fascinating and left me wanting to learn more.
Here were some of the things that I think needed to be shared with others reading this book.
1. It is not a fast moving novel. It moves fairly slow. IF you have read DaVinci Code (Dan Brown); while this book is marketed and seems like it will be similar to that- it is not. This is a fairly slow moving book with much less drama. Even the climatic point of the novel seemed to be somewhat flat.
2. The book was overly melodramatic at times. This was the biggest problem I had with this book. Other reviewers have used the word cheesy. I think it is an apt discription of some of the dream sequences.
3. The other big problem I had with this book was the phrase that is repeated over and over again. Almost every third or fourth page is the phrase 'for those with ears to hear..' For me it became this hammer that kept hitting away and saying 'you don't get it because you don't have ears to hear', if you really read it, really understood this book, really believed, you would hear the truth. It became very old very quickly.
I have rated as high as I have because despite the three problems I had with this book- it is an overall interesting read with a fascinating concept behind it. It was not a complete waste of time to read this book. I simply believe it could be better written without the overly melodramatic language and the push through repitition to force you to believe, as this author does, that this is truth embodied in fiction.
McGowan has done extensive research and has dug through old documents across France and Italy to build the basis for this wonderful novel. It is part historical fiction, part mystery, part thriller and completely engrossing. It's the kind of book that makes you feel as though you're living right alongside the characters, not only in the distant past but also her character, Maurine who is a present day author and kind of her alter ego. This is the kind of novel that makes history fun, because so much of history is filling in the blanks and some that is simply conjecture based on known facts that are available. McGowan makes a convincing case for her belief that there is a much more feminine side to religion and that God has a feminine side as well as the masculine.
There is also the conspiracy theory that the Catholic Church and Vatican is covering up, hiding or trying to change elements of written history. This is much like what we read in other novels such as those written by Dan Brown or Kate Mosse. If you like that type of story, I think you'll enjoy this one. Given the length of about 500 pages, it's the perfect book to curl up with on a beach or on a hammock in the back yard this summer.
I wish I had read a book like this before traveling to France and seeing the Chartres Cathedral years ago. It would have made it even more interesting to have these stories to attach to that incredible place. The book was completely enjoyable and I look forward to McGowan's next novel.