Bright Dark Madonna


Maiden Maeve on her native Celtic isle (in volume one of The Maeve Chronicles) seemed to have a relationship with Jesus, the druid-in-training from distant Palestine, that was based more on fantasy than on the characters and the world of the New Testament. As such, I didn’t get this work’s full scope. Maeve, the mother and crone in this third volume, tackles the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of Paul, the rise of the church without Christ Jesus’ balming presence, and the process of becoming a saint/goddess brilliantly and with no holds barred. I read and reviewed that first volume of Elizabeth Cunningham’s Mary Magdalene trilogy (Magdalen Rising: The Beginning) but somehow missed the second. I’m sorry I did and will now rush out to find it. “He is risen,” the new-agey harlot says. “He rose in me.” And created the child and the account of events saints will fight over in this gospel.

It goes without saying that this version of the Gospels is not for the traditionally pious nor for sticklers for historical accuracy who can’t appreciate the irreverent wit that plays on the words “canon” and “loose cannon” and introduces the tale with “Pentecostal Alley Blues.” Having paid their respects to the ancient goddess, Maeve and her mother-in-law come to rest in Ephesus (“…in case you were wondering: The Ever Blessed Virgin Mary snores”). You may be certain the riot Paul causes in the market there, like every biblical event recorded here, has deeper, richer meaning, at once resonant for every mother and her child as well as for the eternal and iconic. My own religious sensibilities were frequently sent to tears of joy.


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