A Fisher of Women: The Tale of the Forgotten Healer of Galilee (The Fisherwoman) (Volume 2)

Written by Catherine Magia
Review by Xina Marie Uhl

The attentive young mother of a newborn and wife to Simon Peter narrates this tale of Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples. She tends to her child, navigates uncertain emotional terrain with her husband, and experiences the demands and delights of life in ancient Galilee. While Jesus has compassion for the suffering masses in need of hope and healing, she realizes that he suffers from such healing as well, physically and emotionally. The wild-eyed sorceress Helen seems to offer a promise of relief for Jesus, but whether this comes from a place of darkness or light is a crucial question.

Unlike most Christian fiction, this tale does not dwell overmuch on questions of faith and belief. Instead, it opens the door to a refreshingly different interpretation of the well-trod ground of 1st-century Galilee. As with the title, which puts a twist on Jesus’s words that his apostles would be “fishers of men,” this novel expands the spare words of the primary sources for Jesus’s life, the Gospels. Here, you will find living, breathing characters in Simon Peter, Judas Iscariot, Mary Magdalene, and of course Jesus of Nazareth. Each person has their own distinctive personality, physical traits, occupations, and family ties. The characters live in a well-fleshed out world of vivid sights, rich smells, and other accurately researched details.

The Jesus portrayed here is prone to ill health and physical agony in a way that emphasizes his humanity while at the same time acknowledging his divinity. The narrator’s compassion, concerns, and emotional arc are key to a tale that turns old, rehashed events into a satisfying, beautifully written, well-researched, and ultimately enjoyable read.