Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana

Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana

by Anne Rice


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Anne Rice’s second book in her hugely ambitious and courageous life of Christ begins during his last winter before his baptism in the Jordan and concludes with the miracle at Cana.

It is a novel in which we see Jesus–he is called Yeshua bar Joseph–during a winter of no rain, endless dust, and talk of trouble in Judea. Legends of a Virgin birth have long surrounded Yeshua, yet for decades he has lived as one among many who come to the synagogue on the Sabbath. All who know and love him find themselves waiting for some sign of the path he will eventually take.

And at last we see him emerge from his baptism to confront his destiny–and the Devil. We see what happens when he takes the water of six great limestone jars, transforms it into cool red wine, is recognized as the anointed one, and urged to call all Israel to take up arms against Rome and follow him as the prophets have foretold.

As with Out of Egypt, the opening novel, THE ROAD TO CANA is based on the Gospels...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307741196
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/01/2011
Series: Christ the Lord Series , #2
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 741,053
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Anne Rice is the author of thirty-five books. She lives in Palm Desert, California.


Rancho Mirage, California

Date of Birth:

October 4, 1941

Place of Birth:

Rancho Mirage, California


B.A., San Francisco State University, 1964; M.A., 1971

Read an Excerpt

Who is Christ the Lord? Angels sang at his birth. Magi from the East brought gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They gave these gifts to him, and to his mother, Mary, and the man, Joseph, who claimed to be his father.In the Temple, an old man gathered the babe in his arms. The old man said to the Lord, as he held the babe, “A light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”My mother told me those stories.That was years and years ago.Is it possible that Christ the Lord is a carpenter in the town of Nazareth, a man past thirty years of age, and one of a family of carpenters, a family of men and women and children that fill ten rooms of an ancient house, and, that in this winter of no rain, of endless dust, of talk of trouble in Judea, Christ the Lord sleeps in a worn woolen robe, in a room with other men, beside a smoking brazier? Is it possible that in that room, asleep, he dreams? Yes. I know it’s possible. I am Christ the Lord. I know. What I must know, I know. And what I must learn, I learn.And in this skin, I live and sweat and breathe and groan. My shoulders ache. My eyes are dry from these dreadful rainless days–from the long walks to Sepphoris through the gray fields in which the seeds burn under the dim winter sun because the rains don’t come.I am Christ the Lord. I know. Others know, but what they know they often forget. My mother hasn’t spoken a word on it for years. My foster father, Joseph, is old now, white haired, and given to dreaming.I never forget.And as I fall asleep, sometimes I’m afraid–because my dreams are not my friends. My dreams are wild like bracken or sudden hot winds that sweep down into the parched valleys of Galilee.But I do dream, as all men dream.And so this night, beside the brazier, hands and feet cold, under my cloak, I dreamed.I dreamed of a woman, close, a woman, mine, a woman who became a maiden who became in the easy tumult of dreams my Avigail.I woke. I sat up in the dark. All the others lay sleeping still, with open mouths, and the coals in the brazier were ashes.Go away, beloved girl. This is not for me to know, and Christ the Lord will not know what he does not want to know–or what he would know only by the shape of its absence.She wouldn’t go–not this, the Avigail of dreams with hair tumbled down loose over my hands, as if the Lord had made her for me in the Garden of Eden.No. Perhaps the Lord made dreams for such knowing– or so it seemed for Christ the Lord.I climbed up off the mat, and quietly as I could, I put more coals into the brazier. My brothers and my nephews didn’t stir. James was off with his wife tonight in the room they shared. Little Judas and Little Joseph, fathers both, slept here tonight away from little ones huddled around their wives. And there lay the sons of James–Menachim, Isaac, and Shabi, tumbled together like puppies.I stepped over one after another and took a clean robe from the chest, the wool smelling of the sunshine in which it had been dried. Everything in that chest was clean.I took the robe and went out of the house. Blast of cold air in the empty courtyard. Crunch of broken leaves.And for a moment in the hard pebbly street I stopped and looked up at the great sweep of glittering stars beyond the huddled rooftops.Cloudless, this cold sky, and so filled with these infinitesimal lights, it seemed for a moment beautiful. My heart hurt. It seemed to be looking at me, enfolding me–a thing of kindness and witness–an immense web flung out by a single hand–rather than the vast inevitable hollow of the night above the tiny slumbering town that spilled like a hundred others down a slope between distant caves of bones and thirsting fields, and groves of olive trees.I was alone.Somewhere far down the hill, near the sometime marketplace, a man sang in a low drunken voice and a spark of light shone there, in the doorway of the sometime tavern. Echo of laughter.But all the rest was quiet, without a torch to light the way.The house of Avigail across from ours was shut up like any other. Inside, Avigail, my young kinswoman, slept with Silent Hannah, her sweet companion, and the two old women who served her and the bitter man, Shemayah, who was her father.Nazareth did not always have a beauty. I’d seen generations of young maidens grow up, each fresh and lovely to behold as any flower in the wild. Fathers did not want their daughters to be beauties. But Nazareth had a beauty now, and it was Avigail. She’d refused two suitors of late, or so her father had done on her behalf, and there was a real question in the minds of the women of our house as to whether Avigail herself even knew the suitors had come calling.It fell hard on me suddenly that I would sometime very soon be standing among the torchbearers at her wedding. Avigail was fifteen. She might have been married a year ago, but Shemayah kept her close. Shemayah was a rich man who had but one thing and one thing alone that made him happy, and that was his daughter, Avigail.I walked up the hill and over the top. I knew every family behind every door. I knew the few strangers who came and went, one huddled in a courtyard outside the Rabbi’s house, and the other on the roof above where so many slept, even in winter. It was a town of day-to-day quiet, and seemingly not a single secret.I walked down the other side of the slope until I came to the spring, the dust rising with every step I took, until I was coughing from it.Dust and dust and dust.Thank You, Father of the Universe, that this night is not so cold, no, not as cold as it might be, and send us the rain in Your own good time because You know that we need it.Passing the synagogue, I could hear the spring before I saw it.The spring was drying up, but for now it still ran, and it filled the two large rock-cut basins in the side of the hill, and spilled down in glistening streaks to the rocky bed it followed off and away into the distant forest.The grass grew soft here and fragrant.I knew that in less than an hour, the women would be coming, some to fill jugs, others, the poorer women, to wash their clothes here as best they could and beat them on the rocks.But for now the spring was mine.I stripped off the old robe and flung it down into the creek bed where the water soon filled it up and darkened it to where I couldn’t see it. I set the clean robe aside and approached the basin. With my cupped hands I bathed in the cold water, drenching my hair, my face, my chest, letting it run down my back and my legs. Yes, cast away the dreams like the old robe, and bathe them away. The dream woman has no name now and no voice, and what it was, that painful flicker when she laughed or reached out, well, that was gone, fading, like the night itself was fading, and gone too was the dust for this moment, the suffocating dust. There was only cold. There was only water.I lay down on the far bank, opposite the synagogue. The birds had begun, and as always I’d missed the exact moment. It was a game I played, trying to hear the very first of the birds, the birds that knew the sun was coming when no one else did.I could see the big thick palm trees around the synagogue emerging from the clump of shapeless shadows. Palms could grow in a drought. Palms didn’t care if the dust coated every branch. Palms went on as if made for all seasons.The cold was outside me. I think my beating heart kept me warm. Then the first light seeped up over the distant bluff, and I picked up the fresh robe, and slipped it over my head. So good, this, this luxuriously clean cloth, this fresh-smelling cloth.I lay back down again and my thoughts drifted. I felt the breeze before I heard the trees sigh with it.Far up the hill was an old olive grove to which I loved to go at times to be alone. I thought of it now. How good it would be to lie in that soft bed of dead leaf and sleep the day away.But there was no chance of it, not now with the tasks that had to be done, and with the village charged with new worries and new talk over a new Roman Governor come to Judea, who, until he settled in as every other Governor had done, would trouble the land from one end to the other.The land. When I say the land, I mean Judea and Galilee as well. I mean the Holy Land, the Land of Israel, the Land of God. It was no matter that this man didn’t govern us. He governed Judea and the Holy City where the Temple stood, and so he might as well have been our King instead of Herod Antipas. They worked together, these two, Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, and this new man, Pontius Pilate, whom men feared, and beyond Jordan Herod Philip ruled and worked with them as well. And so the land had been carved up for a long, long time, and Antipas and Philip we knew, but Pontius Pilate we didn’t know and the reports were already evil.What could a carpenter in Nazareth do about it? Nothing, but when there was no rain, when men were restive and angry and full of fear, when people spoke of the curse of Heaven on the withering grass, and Roman slights, and an anxious Emperor gone into exile in mourning for a son poisoned, when all the world seemed filled with the pressure to put one’s shoulder to it and push, well, in such a time, I didn’t go off to the grove of trees to sleep the day away.It was getting light.A figure broke from the dark shapes of the houses of the village, hurrying downhill towards me, one hand upraised. My brother James. Older brother–son of Joseph and Joseph’s first wife who died before Joseph married my mother. No mistaking James, for his long hair, knotted at the back of his neck and streaming down his back, and his narrow anxious shoulders and the speed with which he came, James the Nazirite, James, the captain of our band of workers, James, who now in Joseph’s old age was head of the family.He stopped at the far side of the little spring, mostly a broad swatch of dry stones now with the glittering ribbon of water gurgling through the center of it, and I could plainly make out his face as he stared at me. He stepped on one big stone after another as he came across the creek to me. I had sat up and now I climbed to my feet, a common enough courtesy for my older brother. “What are you doing out here?” he demanded. “What’s the matter with you? Why do you always worry me?”I didn’t say anything.He threw up his hands and looked to the trees and the fields for an explanation.“When will you take a wife?” he asked. “No, don’t stop me, don’t put up your hand to me to silence me. I will not be silenced. When will you take a wife? Are you wed to this miserable creek, to this cold water? What will you do when it runs dry, and it will this year, you know.”I laughed under my breath.He went right on.“There are two men as old as you in this town who’ve never married. One is crippled. The other’s an idiot, and everyone knows this.”He was right. I was past thirty and not married.“How many times have we talked about this, James?” I asked.It was a beautiful thing to watch the growing light, to see the color coming to the palms clustered around the synagogue. I thought I heard shouting in the distance. But perhaps it was just the usual noises of a town tearing off its blankets.“Tell me what’s really eating at you this morning?” I asked. I picked up the wet robe from the stream and spread it out on the grass where it would dry. “Every year you come to look more like your father,” I said, “but you never have your father’s face really. You never have his peace of mind.”“I was born worried,” he confessed with a shrug. He was looking anxiously towards the village. “Do you hear that?”“I hear something,” I said.“This is the worst dry spell we’ve ever had,” he said, glancing up at the sky. “And cold as it is, it’s not cold enough. You know the cisterns are almost empty. The mikvah’s almost empty. And you, you are a constant worry to me, Yeshua, a constant worry. You come out here in the dark to the creek. You go off to that grove where no one dares to go. . . .”“They’re wrong about that grove,” I said. “Those old stones mean nothing.” That was a village superstition, that something pagan and dreadful had once taken place in that grove. But it was the mere ruins of an old olive press in there, stones that went way back to the years before Nazareth had been Nazareth. “I tell you this once a year, don’t I? But I don’t want to worry you, James.”

Reading Group Guide

"Hypnotic, incantatory. . . . Readers will be lured by the promise of simply rendered holiness."
The New York Times

The introduction, questions, and suggestions for further reading that follow are intended to enhance your reading of Anne Rice's Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana.

1. In the Christian New Testament, the Gospel of John records that Jesus' first miracle happened at the wedding feast of Cana, where water was changed into wine. Also in the Christian New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew states that, before performing any miracles, Jesus first entered the desert, where he was tempted by the Devil. Rice's first title for this book was The Temptation. Why do you think she changed the title to The Road to Cana?

2. Rice has customarily written in the first person, which offers the reader a particular insight into the inner life of the protagonist. In The Road to Cana, does the first-person narration give us insight into the inner life of Jesus? Is the intent of God elucidated? Discuss how revelations of Jesus' personal life are meaningful for contemporary Christians.

3. In The Road to Cana, Jesus says, "What I must know, I know. And what I must learn, I learn". Thomas Aquinas explicated Jesus' human intellect as having a threefold font of knowledge: divine knowledge, infused knowledge, and experiential knowledge. With regard to Jesus' experiential knowledge specifically, how does Avigail contribute to Jesus' experience and knowledge of love? Does he learn about human love? Discuss whether experience and knowledge can help one to love more humanely.

4. Discuss the divine power that Jesus demonstrates as God's son in The Road to Cana. In chapter 22, how does Jesus overpower Satan?

5. The New York Times book review of Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt states: "Ms. Rice retains her obsessions with ritual and purification. . . . She writes this book in a simpler, leaner style, giving it the slow but inexorable rhythm of an incantation." Are the Christ the Lord books a prayer for Rice? Discuss instances in The Road to Cana where Rice has written rituals of purification and incantation.

6. Which of the four Christian gospels most influenced The Road to Cana? Which Gospel stories are distinctly portrayed? Discuss whether these Gospel stories inspire rites of maturity for all Christian faiths today.

7. First-century Jewish women worshiped in the Ezrat Nashim—the Women's Courtyard—which was located beside or behind the men's place of worship. How does Rice's scholarship and penchant for historical authenticity enable her to accurately depict the role of Jewish women in first-century Palestine? In The Road to Cana, does Jesus criticize, whether by word or by deed, this masculine/feminine segregation? Discuss how new understandings of masculinity and femininity have influenced today's religious practices.

8. The Gospel of John is the only biblical source that mentions the wedding feast at Cana. In John's account, Jesus' mother, Mary, informs him at the wedding feast that the wine has run out. It is Jesus' reply to her that has mystified many throughout the centuries. In the final chapter of The Road to Cana, Rice quotes this reply: "Woman? . . . What has this to do with you and me?" Catholic saints, Christian biblical scholars, and homilists have attempted to explain this seemingly callous rejoinder, but their explications vary. How does The Road to Cana treat the mystery behind this dialogue between mother and son? Discuss whether Rice lends a mother's tenderness to the scene.

9. Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ (2004) focuses on the suffering and death of Jesus. In what ways does Rice's Jesus differ from Gibson's? Specifically, when does Jesus, as depicted in The Road to Cana, show real human passion?

10. In an essay posted on her Web site, Rice says of her own writing career: "[My earlier novels] are not immoral works. They are not Satanic works. They are not demonic works. . . . The one thing which unites [my works] is the theme of the moral and spiritual quest. A second theme, key to most of them, is the quest of the outcast for a context of meaning." Is The Road to Cana Rice's attempt to show Jesus' spiritual quest?

11. Jesus, the narrator of The Road to Cana, begins by positing a solitary question: Who is Christ the Lord? Discuss whether this question has been answered by the end of the novel. If not, will this question ever be answered?

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Christ the Lord 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 107 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anne Rice has done it again! Through this new book, she has again presented our Lord Jesus Christ from an inspiring and historical viewpoint. The writing was so vivid that I felt as if I was seeing the story unfolding as it happened. Anne's research is amazing. She brings to life the background of Jesus with all of its culture and human presence. For those who desire to experience and know more of the day-to-day life of Jesus, this book is a must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You can smell the dust in Cana. You can feel the water of the Jordan as Christ felt it. It is a beautiful story every Christian should read. It shocks you by making you think about things you never thought about. I could not put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Anne Rice series gives Jesus a characteristic that encourages people to relate to him in a more realistic sense than as the Son of God. Rice¿s depiction of Jesus allows us to see him as `just¿ a man. She does this masterfully by writing from a first person point of view allowing her readers to sharing his thoughts, his conversations, and his humanity. ¿The Road to Cana¿ gives us possible insight into how difficult Jesus¿ life must have been due to the conflicts with temptations of the flesh versus the destiny of the Son of God. ¿The Road to Cana¿ begins shortly before Jesus¿ baptism in the River Jordan by John the Baptist and concludes with the miracle at Cana, in which Jesus casts out Mary¿s demons. For some reason, no one ¿way back when¿ thought it necessary to chronicle his whole life. Maybe it was too boring, and there was nothing significant. In my mind, his humanity as a man, and not the Son of God, is extremely significant. There are so many beautifully human moments in both of Rice¿s ¿Christ the Lord¿ books. Interestingly, Ms. Rice held to the belief that the angel came to Mary, the wise men came to celebrate his birth, and Jesus was the Son of God. This surprised me a bit. To be honest, I really expected that she would have taken a slightly different approach. I thought it would be a ¿normal¿ birth. All through this series she references the Christian story of Jesus¿ birth. I think Rice did a wonderful job of pulling me back, not letting me forget that this is a story about the Son of God. Anne Rice has branched out with the ¿Christ the Lord¿ books. As far as fans go, you either love her writing or you hate it. However, I foresee a whole new genre of reader will pick up these books and truly enjoy them. She may have some fans from her previous works that will not like this venture but if they are loyal fans, they¿ll read the ¿Christ the Lord¿ books. They may not like the story, but they will fully appreciate her writing. This particular series will not cause a decrease in Anne Rice fans at all. While I could see Ms. Rice could get much criticism for daring to write a story about something that could be construed as blasphemous, I recommend this story to religious believers and non-believers. The writing is beautiful, the humanity presented is very believable, and the story is a wonderful possibility of what could have been.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sorry, I have to disagree with John, below. This is ideally Christian -- we're SUPPOSED to tell people the Bible story. Jesus Himself told stories. The Bible is a story, and a book of stories, NOT a book of doctrines and legalisms. Anne Rice may bring people to an interest in Christ and His Word that Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell could never have hoped or imagined. And Ms. Rice's book is far more scripturally accurate than the gnostic, dualistic sci-fi fantasies of the Jenkins & LaHaye series. Five stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Run, don't walk, to purchase this outstanding continuation to Ms. Rice's first Jesus volume, Out of Egypt. This is a stirring, heartfelt book obviously wrought from a deep, abiding personal faith as well as a wealth of painstaking biblical research. It is an excellent book that can be read as both a 'great read' and a serious, moving testament to the Lord of both history and faith. A GREAT BOOK!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
talk about enriching you spiritual life.............fiction can add color even to stories we know so well.
lovediamond More than 1 year ago
If you like to read biblical stories, you will like this, as good or better than red tent. I read two of her biblical books found them satisfying, educational and fun.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'CHRIST THE LORD ROAD TO CANA' is truly one of the most anticipating books I have ever read concerning the BIBLE. The interactivity of this book has caught my eye than most projects!! NONE OTHER BOOK CAN CATCH MY ATTENTION!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating novel, the second in a series and the latest from this always amazing, always surprising writer. Rice makes Jesus as wondrous, even more so, as any of her other unforgettable fictional characters. I loved it and highly recommend it! Congratulations Anne Rice! I look forward eagerly to the next installment!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ccrown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anne Rice has a writing style that appeals to me. Her writing sweeps me up and carries me along, her personalities are well thought out, deep, multi-layered, flawed and fascinating, even if not entirely human. The "Christ the Lord" books, "Out of Egypt" and "Road to Cana" were no exceptions. I'm glad she broke out of the vampire and witches mold that she was stuck in and flipped the coin to explore the most mythical man of them all - Jesus Christ.In "The Road to Cana" Jesus longs for Avigail, a beautiful young girl he knows he cannot have. He realizes that he is not like other men and he tires of the needling he receives from brothers, cousins and friends. Why, they wonder, isn't he like other men? Why hasn't he married and settled down? He's well past the age for it.Through a series of misconceptions that we would find unbelievable by today's standards -- yet still go on in the world today -- Avigail is shunned by her father and her fate lies in Jesus's hands. Through his actions to save her he sets in motion the days that will reveal his destiny. This is a book of moving self discovery written in Rice's rich language. It leaves me wanting more. Lestat who?
xicanti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The second volume in Anne Rice's trilogy about the life of Jesus Christ.I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had a greater knowledge of the source material. I'm an art historian, so I know a fair amount about Christian iconography, but my specialty is the Nativity Cycle. I have an excellent grasp on the events surrounding Christ's birth and I know a decent amount about the Passion, but I'm pretty sketchy on everything in between.That being the case, I didn't get a whole lot out of this because I didn't know what Rice was building off of. I couldn't read through the book and recognize key events or particular theological debates, as I did with the first volume. I did enjoy the writing, to a certain extent, but the book failed to captivate me because I simply didn't have the background for it.Recommended to Christians and those with a good working knowlege of Christ's life. Others may have some difficulty.
dr.rentfro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is not as good as "Out of Egypt", but it is still a good book. Good stories of Jesus handling conflict and enhancing a wedding with some wine freshly produced from water.
Antoniogarcia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another very bad book from Rice. Gag.
lillieammann on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There was much about this book to like, but I found it disconcerting to be reading a novel about the life of Christ in first person.
amyrn75 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Second in the series and better than the first, The Road to Cana fills in a lot of the unknown or lost periods in the life of Jesus. My only wish would be that the temptation in the desert be expanded a bit.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I never read any of Ann Rice's vampire books, however, I love her new Christ the Lord series. I read Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt when it first came out. This latest one again presents a very human Jesus who is discovering his powers, and gradually beginning his ministry. For me, it was powerful, inspiring, and has me eagerly awaiting the next volume. Make no mistake, it is not going to be a book that will be accepted by all Christians as it embellishes the literal wording of accepted Christian scripture but I found it quite believable, well-researched, and extraordinarily well-written.The book is written in first person with Jesus as the person relating his own thoughts. The narrator's very quiet but firm voice is one I'd certainly be able to relate to if I ever met the physical Jesus. Anne Rice is really letting us into her return to CatholicismQuote-right
shannonkearns on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i liked this book a lot, but not as much as her first one. but there are still some really shining moments in this one. she's best when she tells stories that come either from her imagination or from outside of the canon. the stuff that comes from the canon tends to not be all that spectacular (or at least that's my feeling. but still a really good book.
bleached on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book to change the way one thinks about Jesus. An incredible take on some of the every day struggles of Jesus like love along with the Biblical scenes including his baptism and meeting Satan. I was disappointed when the book ended.
StephenBarkley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I bought the first book in this series, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt for its novelty. The Vampire chronicler herself was tackling the life of Christ, and it seemed like an honest endeavour. I bought the sequel as soon as it came out on the strength of the first novel. I wasn¿t let down. The Road to Cana even surpasses Out of Egypt.Here¿s why this novel shines: 1. Historical Accuracy: Rice has done her homework. She studied N. T. Wright and many others to ensure she understood the era before embarking. 2. Theological Acumen: Rice has not only done her historical homework¿she¿s worked through the theology as well. Having just preached a message on the Wedding at Cana, I was happily surprised to discover the theological nuances she revealed in her prose, while never sounding like a text book. 3. Vocational Wrestling: Have you ever wondered when Jesus knew that he was the Messiah, God¿s Son, or even God himself? Without giving the novel away, the scenes where Jesus wrestles with his vocation are among the strongest in the book. 4. Contemplative Prayer: A path to contemplative prayer involves reading scripture slowly and placing yourself into the text. What would it be like to stand on the bank of the Jordan River when John the Baptist looked up and caught a glimpse of the one whom he had foretold? How would the crowd react? In a very real sense, this book is a prayer. I found myself compelled to follow Jesus¿ life and example all over again as I saw him through Rice¿s imagination.Read this series. For the theologian, Rice places diverse theological ideas into a beautifully concise narrative¿which theology¿s home in the first place. For the believer, these books will make you love Jesus and think about his life all over again. For those who don¿t know much about Christ the Lord, these books are a great introduction to the most enigmatic person in history.
clparson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is my favorite of the series so far. Rice makes her characters so believable that I have to remind myself that it is fiction. Rice did a lot of research for this book and major events in Jesus life at this time were included in the book. I was afraid that Rice would lose her voice when she started her Christian writings, but I was pleasantly surprised that the book had the same voice that I know and love. I actually wrote Rice an email asking her to hurry and finish the third book so I could read it. That is just how much I enjoyed this book.
julied on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If I were to excerpt all the sections that presented new, stirring, and inspiring ways to consider Jesus as fully human and fully God, I would have to include about two-thirds of this book. Time and again I was astounded at Anne Rice's mastery of delicate subtlety in conveying a truth in her meditation of Christ among us as he comes to his ministry.Some reviewers have mentioned their difficulties with various aspects of events portrays in village life such as a stoning or of Jesus' attraction to a local maiden. However, for me these were believable incidents. Perhaps that is because I was prepared by having read Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes long ago in my truth-seeking days. I enjoyed that book, and the sequel as well, but those books contain nothing near the power and insight that Rice has when conveying Jesus to us in everyday life. I especially enjoyed the contrast between his tendency to "hang back," as his relatives termed it, while still being able to love and appreciate the people around him. Even when being chewed out by a fellow villager, Jesus can still appreciate the beauty with which the enraged fellow gesture. This gives us the feeling that he can always find something to love in his fellow man, even when we would not under similar circumstances.The vivid contrast between "hanging back" and his sudden assertive command after baptism is definite and startling. We see this emerge in the way Jesus speaks with the devil in the desert and then later when he is asserting that the Messiah is working in time to bring God to everyone. One gets a sense that in Jesus' complete trust and willingness to do God's will, that he is becoming fully "himself" and all is becoming clear to him on the journey.Rice's writing is so masterful that readers may need to remind themselves that these are personal meditations of Jesus' life. She makes remarkably few false steps and these are not a matter of lacking adherence to the truth as much as when her personal meditation may not match step with those of the reader.It is no secret that I did not enjoy the first book in this series (Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt), as the midrash felt false and forced to me. Therefore, I was stunned but quite pleased to find this book such a personal revelation of inspiration for my own meditations on Jesus. Anne rice has given us a treasure if we use it wisely. Personally I can tell you that it will be going into my regular rotation of meditative reading to provide ongoing food for thought.I wish I could write as good a review as this book deserves. I cannot. All I can do is to exhort you to read it for yourself.
navets on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received my latest Anne Rice novel in the mail early this week and finished reading it just yesterday. I couldn¿t put it down.The book chronicles fictionally Jesus¿ life just before his three-year ministry and concludes with the water-to-wine miracle at the wedding.This is the second book in Rice¿s latest series, ¿Christ the Lord¿, and if you remember, I read and reviewed the first book back in August of `06. I enjoyed reading it as much or maybe even a bit more than the first book and loved imagining the story taking place as I read the words.The most striking part of the story for me was Rice¿s take on Christ being tempted. Rice gives new clarity to Hebrews 4:14-16: 14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. [ESV]Those verses to a young man like myself growing up trying to be like Jesus was always a curious thought because the only temptations we read about Jesus having were in the wilderness by Satan and those temptations weren¿t nearly as tempting to a young teenager!Ms. Rice gives a great picture of Jesus the man - fully-man - being tempted in thought and action and yet NOT succumbing to the temptations presented to him!I know the book would be a great discussion-starter for any group of people willing to read it together - with the realization that it is fictional account of the life of Christ built around some extra-biblical stories and the wonderful imagination of Anne Rice.
jamiesonwolf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
People fear what they do not understand. But what if you feared yourself? Jesus, or Yeshua Bar Joseph as he is known to his family, is just past thirty years of age. He is well aware that there are those around him who still whisper about his birth: the Magi, the gifts, the Angel coming to prophecy his coming. But he wants nothing more than to live a normal life amongst his family. He longs to be a normal man but those around him watch. They wait. The winter has been cruel, dry and no rain has graced the land around them. And so they hope that Jesus will bring great change. It is only a matter of time. While those around him wait for his greatness to reveal itself, Jesus struggles with his lot in life. In love with a kinswoman, Avigail, Jesus knows that he cannot marry her. He does not know everything that is planned for him, but he knows she is not for him. Torn inside, Jesus wonders what his lot in life truly is. He wonders how long he will have to wait before his true purpose is made clear to him. When brigands attack Nazareth, Avigail is harmed, shamed. To save her virtue, Jesus prays to God to bring rain. And he does. When the townspeople come to Jesus to ask him to stop the rain, He again asks God for help; and the rain stops. The whispering around Jesus reaches a fever pitch when news reaches them: Jesus' cousin, John, has emerged from the woods speaking of a prophet, a Messiah. John knows that this Messiah is Jesus. Now Jesus must come to terms with who he is and his destiny; or succumb to temptation by the Devil¿Having read Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, I was more than eager to get my hands on Anne Rice's new novel Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana. It continues the story of the life of Christ as he heads towards his destiny. Frankly, I was a little worried. I was worried that the second book wouldn't be as good as the first one. I loved Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt so much. I've read it countless times and it's become one of my all time favourite books. Would The Road to Cana be as breath taking, as incredible, as beautiful? I needn't have worried. Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana is just as meticulously researched as Out of Egypt was and just as beautiful if not more so. In Out of Egypt we saw Christ as a boy. Now we come to know him far more intimately as he struggles with the man he has to become. What I love most about this book is that, though Jesus is divine, Rice has done an amazing job of portraying him as human. She has really given us the ultimate study in human nature as Jesus struggles and then accepts what he is, what he must do. She shows us a man who knows what he must do and the sacrifices he makes to do it. Now, I'm not a Christian. I normally don't read what I would call Christian fiction. Most Christian fiction actually makes me a little uncomfortable. But that doesn't matter. Rice has written a novel that goes beyond the religious aspect of Christianity and embraces the spiritual. This is not a book about religion but a story of love, family, forgiveness and redemption. You don't have to be a Christian to enjoy this book. I know that there are plenty of people out there who probably don't want to give it a chance based solely off of its subject matter. I've had people scoff at me when I told them how incredible Rice's Christ the Lord books are. I know that some of you, reading this review, are still scoffing. But they're amazing books, people. And Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana is the best book that Rice has ever written. It transcends genres and religion and is seriously good storytelling and amazing historical fiction. Its prose is like poetry and I was moved beyond words as I read it. I know that I will be reading Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana again as I eagerly await the next instalment in the life of Jesus.
mrstreme on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿It¿s where I live, my lord,¿ I said. ¿Not in the Temple, but in the world. And in the world, I learn what the world is and what the world will teach, and I am of the world.¿ (page 99)When I started to read Anne Rice¿s latest book, Christ The Lord: The Road to Cana, I did so knowing that I have two biases: (1) I love the way Anne Rice writes and (2) I love to read fictional accounts based on the Bible. Having enjoyed Rice¿s first Christ book, I had high hopes for The Road To Cana, and all in all, I was not disappointed.The Road to Cana detailed Jesus¿s life in his early thirties when he was a carpenter living with his family in Nazareth. In Rice¿s depiction, Jesus (still known as Yeshua) struggled with his identity. In his heart, he knew that he was the Son of God, but he tried to live a ¿normal life¿ of peace and worship. However, Jesus knew that he could not live out all aspects of an average Jewish man, including marriage or having children, despite pressures from his family and villagers. In essence, Jesus tried to keep his holy birth a secret while going about his daily life ¿ until events transpired that brought his purpose to light.In this book, Rice drew out Jesus¿s human qualities. For example, Jesus was in love with a young woman, Avigail, and dreamed about her at night. At times, he maintained a cool head, but other times, he bumbled like a clumsy suitor, often making mistakes that jeopardized the social norms of unmarried men and women in Jewish culture. Another example was Jesus¿s struggle with his older brother, James. As the oldest child, James was in charge of the household, but living with the Son of God gave James an inferiority complex (and understandably so). James fought with Jesus about getting married, dealing with the Romans and household duties ¿ and Jesus¿s patience was tried at many times, which often led to an ¿exchange of words¿ between the brothers.While the first two-thirds of the book was devoted to Jesus¿s struggle as a man, the last third of the book dealt with his epiphany of why he was the Son of God and his purpose among humans. This section of the book is classic Anne Rice, full of imagery, allusions and struggles between good and evil. The Devil made an appearance, and I was reminded of Rice¿s Memnoch The Devil from the vampire series. In fact, her depiction of The Devil was so true to her earlier character that I believe it to be intentional. Jesus¿s epiphany was hard to read as he cried over humans¿ flaws, starved himself to death and denied himself water. But he emerged sure of his purpose and more in love with humanity than ever before.Upon completion of Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana, I felt like I had just finished the second book of a trilogy. It had many ¿transitional¿ and ¿setting up for the big finish¿ aspects to it. I hope Rice delves into a third book about Christ because I find her storytelling and historical research so compelling. Her Christ books are a great addition to the literary canon of Biblical fiction. If you enjoy religious narratives or are a fan of Anne Rice, this is one book that I recommend for your bookshelf.