Monday, December 11, 2006

“The Handmaid and the Carpenter”

Elizabeth Berg is one of my favorite authors. As a rule, I buy everything she writes. (And she’s one of the few authors I “splurge” on new copies for.) Her vivid descriptions and attention to detail make me want to give up as a writer. I will never capture the human experience as thoroughly as she does.

“The Handmaid and the Carpenter” is a novel based on the biblical narrative of Christ’s conception and birth. Berg places this story in historical context and her imagination breathes life into it. In a word—beautiful.

The vulnerability of both Mary and Joseph is palpable. I held my breath when Mary went into labor and Joseph knocked on the doors of already-full inns. From the biblical account, I knew they were in a bad situation—there would be no room for them. And yet I had never considered the utter desperation of a woman in labor, looking for a place to deliver her baby. How desperate would a woman have to be to lie down and give birth in a barn? I wept as I read the fictionalized account of Christ’s birth, both for it’s beauty and it’s humanity.


Anonymous said...

IT is AMAZING that we are loved SO much by our Creator. It makes you wonder how we can doubt His love for us when we see the depths that He went through for us.

A Musing Mom said...

You had me hooked - but all copies are gone from the library with a long list of holds! That sounds like just what I need to read. I've been trying to meditate a lot this year on Luke 2 and really think behind-the-scenes, along the same lines of what you described. Hmmm...maybe I'll get a copy before next Advent.