The Book of Longings – Praise

“Kidd is courageous in imagining the life of Jesus as a married man. How many authors would take this on?…The Book of Longings is not just an extraordinary novel, but one with lasting power…Kidd’s brilliance shines through on so many levels, but not the least in her masterful, reverential approach to capturing Jesus of Nazareth as a fully human young man in his 20’s. …an epic masterpiece that is a triumph of insight and storytelling.”
Associated Press

“A richly imagined first-person narrative…In addition to providing a woman-centered version of New Testament events, Kidd’s novel is also a vibrant portrait of a woman striving to preserve and celebrate women’s stories—her own and countless others.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Reviewunknown.png

“Historical fiction page-turner… An excellent book club choice…The intensity, bravery, and strength of character of Ana, as imagined by Kidd will inspire readers but in a different way: to live authentically and remain true to oneself.”
Library Journal, Starred Reviewunknown.png

“Kidd’s narrative, etched into the emotionally precise and tactile prose of Ana’s first-person voice . . . is not an attempt to rewrite history. Instead it’s an exploration of a triumphant, fierce spirit and the stories she aches to tell. There’s an exuberance to Ana that vibrates off every page, and that is a testament to Kidd’s gifts.”

“I kept having to close this novel and breathe deeply, again and again. A radical reimagining of the New Testament that reflects on women’s longing and silencing and awakening, it is a true masterpiece.”
Glennon Doyle, Untamed

“Sue Monk Kidd believes writing is an act of courage. In “The Book of Longings,” she rises to the occasion.”
The New York Times: Inside the List

“A well-researched novel about a young Jewish woman, who fights against cultural norms to realize the passion and potential inside her.”
Good Morning America

“Kidd’s bold narrative revisionism allows for her protagonist to be in every respect the equal of her husband while posing this question: How would Western culture be different if men and women had grown in appreciation of each other’s spirit?”
O Magazine

Kidd pulls off the challenging feat of keeping Ana’s story uppermost. Other novelists have imagined the human side of Jesus, and some have envisioned him as married. But no other writer has fleshed out a partner who can stand on her own, who is intellectually and spiritually well matched with Jesus… Kidd’s research into first-century Jewish life, along with her vivid descriptions of the villages and terrain, make Ana’s story come alive.”
Christian Science Monitor

“Well-researched and boldly plotted, this masterful novel brings a lovely character to life.”

“Imaginative . . . charts a young woman’s struggle to confront the ways in which society dictates what she can and cannot do.”

“The latest from Sue Monk Kidd introduces us to Ana, a courageous, intelligent woman who marries Jesus long before his public ministry begins. Based on meticulous historical research, this is a humanizing look at Jesus the man, as well as an inspiring story of a strong woman living in a society bent on her silence.”
Good Housekeeping

“[SueMonkKidd] spins new gold from one of the greatest stories ever told… Provocative, passionate and extremely moving, this is both a love story for the ages and a portrait of a woman way ahead of her biblical times.”
AARP Magazine

“Despite its setting in ancient Judea, this imaginative novel feels downright contemporary, characterized as it is by one strong-willed woman’s awakening to the indomitable power of her own spirit.”

The alternate history {Kidd} attempts in “The Book of Longings” is even more daring. It takes some well-invented wings and then some to retell the Jesus story through a feminist lens. But Kidd succeeds. By focusing on the historical Jesus without delving into the Easter version of the risen Christ, she makes room for Ana to rise and to soar. Let it be said that Kidd, like her main character, is indeed “a voice.”
Post & Courier – Charleston, SC

“A master of literary women’s fiction, Kidd always strikes a chord with her strong, feisty female protagonists…Writing a fictional account about Jesus having a wife takes a lot of guts, and Kidd is uniquely qualified for the job….written with reverence and strives for historical accuracy….an engaging story about a young woman defying the odds to make her voice heard, a story that remains relevant today.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“…this is a bold, imaginative reworking of the Christian story from a female perspective.”
The Sunday Times, London

“An engrossing, briskly paced story in an appealing voice . . . the message about the importance of kindness and the power of women’s voices should resonate strongly with today’s readers.”

“Sue Monk Kidd skips historians’ 2,000-year-old ‘Did Jesus marry?’ debate, imagines he did, and asks, ‘So what would his wife have been like?’ Inserting Ana into biblical stories, Kidd crafts a surprising, absorbing narrative.”
Real Simple

“Most novelists wouldn’t touch this territory with a ten foot pole, but then they’re not Sue Monk Kidd. ..A daring and thought-provoking story.”
Omnivoracious: The Amazon Book Review

“For fans of historical novels, particularly […] The Red Tent, or, more recently, Naamah . . . Kidd uses her unexpected narrator to reveal new perspectives on an endlessly parsed era.”
The Washington Post

“If you have been waiting for a book like The Red Tent for the past 20 years, this is it. Give to fans of Anita Diamant and Marilynne Robinson.”
Shelf Awareness

“I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus.” A bold start to a novel that imagines the life of an unforgettable woman, written with reverence to the topic it covers. This intricate story is an epic journey, which fans of The Red Tent will devour. A novel about the power of women’s stories, The Book of Longings is perfect for book clubs.

“The Book of Longings is well named, well inspired, and well imagined—a superlative effort from a writer at the top of her game.” “…practically perfect historical novel”.
New York Journal of Books

“This brilliant novel, by the bestselling author of The Secret Life Of Bees, imagines that Jesus had a wife: brainy, rebellious and resourceful Ana. It’s the story we all know, but from a new angle, with all the familiar characters brought to vivid life…Brava!”
UK Daily Mail

“Ana’s gentle husband is Jesus of Nazareth. Her cherished big brother is Judas, Jesus’s firebrand friend. These guys, so familiar, so human, are the hook that draws us in. What keeps us there, though, is the vividness of the world that Kidd conjures, peopling it with boldface names from the New Testament and freshly invented characters she imagines just as fully — Ana, our fictional narrator, principal among them . . . [A] book-club-friendly novel.”
The Boston Globe

“An exciting tale of a young woman anxious to tell and preserve her story as well as those of many other women… The description of Ana’s relationship with Jesus is tender and convincing… Impressively combines fiction with fact.”
The Columbus Dispatch

“This is a compelling and beautifully written novel that can be equally cherished by the devout and the skeptic alike.”
Historical Novel Society

“Sue Monk Kidd provides the ultimate gift that any writer has to offer their reader: the ability to climb inside the hearts and minds of her characters, feel their pain and celebrate their love. What an experience.”
Jessica Simpson, Author of Open Book  – Amazon Book Review

A rapidly paced plot full of action and meaningful choices on the part of the protagonist… Incredibly rich in period detail… For those of us who have spent years of our lives immersed in a biblical world dominated by male actors, getting to see these spaces through the eyes of women, getting to see women plot and comfort and mourn, scheme and rage and write—this is a profound experience… There remains a need to offer readers entrance to a revisioning of the Bible in which women are visible and active participants. Women were there, too. We were hu­man, we were complex, and we mattered. I want in.
Christian Century

“We promise you’ve never read anything like this… This work of historical fiction gives a feminist retelling to the stories at the heart of Catholicism, yet stays grounded in research and respect. Even after you finish, you’ll be thinking about it for days.”

“The writing in it is intellectually complex, but it’s not difficult. It’s a fabulous summer read…. This is the right amount of sophistication, but it also touches your emotions. It’s a truly great saga.”

New York Magazine, Catherine Zeta-Jones

“…mesmerizing…inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman’s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her…a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.”

“If there’s such a thing as biblical fan fiction, this is it at its best.”
Read it Forward

“…intricately researched and excellently written.”