A Fisher of Women by Catherine Magia
Publication Date: October 3, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 184 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Biblical
Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: When the wife of Simon Peter returns to Galilee, she brings nothing but her faith in an enigmatic carpenter named Jesus, who has an extraordinary gift of healing the sick. But as she spends time in the presence of this divine leader, she discovers the gift of healing comes at a devastating cost. A terrible burden Jesus bears for the sake of his love for humanity.
In her quest to alleviate Jesus’s eternal suffering, the wife of Simon Peter befriends a pagan magician named Helen. Helen possesses a wisdom and healing power exceeded only by Jesus himself, but bears an unsavory reputation. Can Helen be trusted to ease Jesus’s suffering? Or is she a rival seeking his ultimate destruction?
Simon Peter is immortalized as a devoted pillar of the early Church. This is the untold story of his wife, forgotten as a healer and invisible to the pages of history. Her journey leads her to understand the inevitable price of healing, and what it truly means to love.
My Review: Peter’s wife has now joined Jesus and his followers. She is in awe of Jesus’s healings. However, she quickly learns that Jesus’s healings comes at a terrible price to Jesus. For when Jesus heals someone, he takes upon that person’s ailments for himself. This is because he loves that person so much that he wants to suffer in their place. Stunned by this revelation, Peter’s wife wonders how anyone could love a stranger so selflessly. Peter’s wife embarks on a tough journey to discover the true meaning of love and sacrifice.
Peter’s unnamed wife believes in Jesus and his teachings. However, she has to learn to put his teachings into practice with her daily life. She still feels anger at Peter for abandoning her. Throughout the novel, she must learn how to forgive him. She also learns how to love a stranger as much as herself. Thus, I found her to be an inspirational character more so than in The Fisherman’s Bride. Peter’s wife shows how she is truly a follower of Jesus. Because of this, she has become a woman that is ready to heal others.
Overall, this novel is about sacrifice, forgiveness, self-identity, and redemption. I thought the characters were flawed and realistic. They all struggle in their faith with Jesus. The novel was very well-written, and I thought the author did an excellent job in portraying the excitement, wonder, and fear of Jesus’s ministry days. I’m looking forward to the next installment that I suspect will cover Jesus’s last days. A Fisher of Women is a novel that should not be missed by lovers of Biblical fiction. I highly recommend this for fans of Mary, Called Magdalen, Mary of Nazareth, and The Red Tent.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Praise for A Fisher of Women:
“Catherine Magia has penned an affecting narrative, weaving a woman’s journey of discovery with pagan sorcery, ancient medicine, and the Christian faith. Biblical details are given a fresh and unconventional interpretation, particularly the very human suffering of Jesus and the alienation of the sick in this enthralling chronicle of miracles. A thrilling sequel.” – Lan Cao, author of The Lotus and the Storm and Monkey Bridge
“Catherine’s name springs from the root for magic, which perhaps explains her uncanny skill at conjuring fictional worlds. We quickly fall under the spell of her heroine in A Fisher of Women, the wife of Simon Peter, a healer who learns not only the virtues of plants but the restorative power of forgiveness. Be transported back to Galilee: its fragrant spices, its pagan magicians, its wealth and danger, the golden light in Jesus’s eyes. More than a great read — it’s a revelation.” – Duncan W. Alderson, author of the Harper’s Bazaar Must-Read Magnolia City
“The story is smoothly written, with clear characters, a mix of scripture and historical events presented in an easy to follow manner… Letting go of fear, learning to forgive, and healing with more than just faith, will require a journey Simon Peter’s wife did not expect.” – Sarah Bradley, Ind’tale Magazine
“Author Catherine Magia presents an intense story of Peter’s wife who struggles against many odds, including the her husband’s refusal to accept his wife as his equal as a disciple. The story takes place in and around the Sea of Galilee, the home base of the first disciples of Christ, which comes alive in the readers' imagination. Familiar biblical characters are portrayed as deeply human, both in their flaws and in their redemptive moments.”-E. Ann McIntyre, author of Lazarus of Bethany and Feast of Pontius Pilate, member of Catholic Writers’ Guild
About the Author:
Catherine Magia’s debut novel The Fisherman’s Bride won the 2017 New England Book Festival. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to New Jersey at the age of ten. At eighteen, she won a creative writing scholarship to Drew University, where she studied political theory and chemistry. Although her formal education was in the hard sciences, Catherine has always maintained a passion for the written word, publishing her poetry in several literary journals including the Michigan Quarterly Review.
She discovered the voice of Simon Peter’s wife on a soul-searching journey, a trek through the biblical lands of Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. She spent seven years researching and writing her debut novel, traveling as far as Ephesus, Turkey.
The Fisherman’s Bride was described as “unique and authentic” by the Booklife Prize, indie division of Publisher’s Weekly. The Historical Novel Society has praised the book as “complex and engaging,” while Reader’s Favorite Magazine has lauded it as “literature,” awarding it the Silver Medal for Historical Christian Fiction.
A Fisher of Women, the sequel to The Fisherman’s Bride, was released on October 3rd. She is currently writing and researching the third book of The Fisherwoman Series.
By day, she works as a director of market insights in the development of new cancer medications. She is focused on connecting cancer patients and their stories to the executives and employees of the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently based in Boston.
Blog Tour Schedule:
Monday, December 3
Review at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, December 4
Feature at Donna's Book Blog
Thursday, December 6
Excerpt at T's Stuff
Sunday, December 9
Interview at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Monday, December 10
Feature at The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, December 11
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, December 13
Feature at The Book Junkie Reads
Friday, December 14
Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages
Saturday, December 15
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Monday, December 17
Interview at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, December 19
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away an eBook of A Fisher of Women! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.