Anne Rice & Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana

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Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana by Anne Rice
Published by Alfred A. Knopf
Released 4 March 2008 

Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana is a meditation: It is a journey through a forbidden grove, a desert, and a river laced with innocence and injuries, temptations and revelations, religious dynamics and the world within a single soul.  Anne Rice’s Yeshua, in  Christ the Lord, is clearly the historical and scriptural Jesus central to Christianity; but Rice’s story presents an unexpected and unspoken bidding to explore the Jesus undefined by history and religion. It is the portrait of Christ the Lord made unique by who and what he is to the individual soul.

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“…Dear God, next to this, this endless spawning of deed from deed and word from word and thought from thought–the world is nothing. Every single soul is a world!” [p. 181]

Rice has clearly done her homework. The people and events in her book are absolute in their parallel to facts, creeds, and historical accounts of Christianity’s Jesus. Integrating truth and fiction while engaging the reader on such a personal level is, perhaps, the strongest literary feature of The Road to Cana. I can not imagine how Rice could have written this work without considerable sensitivity to the ranges of spirituality and belief among her readers. 

Rice’s title might suggest a certain readership, but Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana is not a dressed-up familiar story or restatement of Christian scriptures.  Neither is it intended for Christians only. It is not theology or a feel-good devotional  for light reading. It is not historical fiction either. It is, instead, a fully-developed novel that can stand on its own, with or without the element of Christian faith. Because of this, Rice’s multi-layered novel is an excellent choice for book clubs and reading groups.

The biblical account of Jesus isn’t what drives The Road to Cana; it is, instead, it is the matrix of characters who fill and color its backdrop:  Avigail is the precious beloved in the single heart of the man Yeshua, and the beloved in eyes of the vast Divine who is also Yeshua; James is the first and older who struggles with the personhood of a sibling who is not really a brother by birth; Jason is the restless and frustrated mover and shaker who struggles to find his own place and purpose; Silent Hannah’s language expresses the belonging to and dependency on those around her as well as her sorrow for a brother who was ripped away unjustly. And there are others who, along with Avigail, James, Jason, and Silent Hannah, have their own need for redemption, mercy, and miracles.

I found myself among the names and faces in The Road to Cana. I wasn’t specifically Yesuha or Avigail or James or Silent Hannah. I was all of them. Although I read the book in two nights (so I could write this review), I will read it again, but in the practice of lectio divina. I want to think about and meditate on Rice’s characters and events. I want to peel back a few more layers and see where that road to Cana takes me.

Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana, in its remarkable imagination and spiritual  depth, gives readers a meaningful glimpse of a place and time where  
“… Every single soul is a world.”  

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About writemyline

Ride like a knight. Write like a warrior.
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5 Responses to Anne Rice & Christ the Lord, The Road to Cana

  1. Anne Rice says:

    Thank you so much for this generous review of the book; I am presently at work on the third in the series and your review inspires me and gives me courage. The internet has done a wonderful thing for writers in allowing so many to respond to books and so many to read those responses. We are beyond the time when a handful of papers and magazines could control the public view of a book. Now true members of the audience for a book can write their reviews of it, and this is a great thing. I feel blessed that you wrote what you did. Anne Rice, Rancho Mirage, California.

  2. writemyline says:

    Dear Ms. Rice,
    Thank you for responding to my review of your book. I am both honored and humbled by your visits to my blog.
    I am curious. Did you design the release date for The Road to Cana around the liturgical calendar? I find that it accompanies my Lenten lessons and devotions of Christ in the wilderness so appropriately.
    Yours,
    Deb

  3. Anne Rice says:

    Deb, actually the publisher chose the pub date. I had hoped for an earlier date. So I can’t claim that I thought of Lenten meditation. But the church calendar is very central to my life. I attend a beautiful church here in the Coachella Valley of California and the celebration of every feast day is very important and shared by many Catholics. — We try to post quotations on our website for the seasons. Right now for Lent we have a quote from Gerald O’Collins, S.J. a beautiful writer. The internet makes me feel a part of a worldwide Catholic family, a beautiful thing indeed. Love in Christ, Anne.

  4. writemyline says:

    The liturgical calendar is also imprinted on my day-by-day life. I haven’t read anything by Gerald O’Collins but I’ll add his name to my list. Are you familiar with Cynthia Bourgeault? She is one of my favorite spiritualist writers. (http://www.contemplative.org/)

    Your posts and comments here have added a special dimension to The Road to Cana for me, and I appreciate that. By the way, I’ve begun the book again as a Holy Week lectio divina meditation.

    Blessed Eastertide to you and those you love.

    Deb

  5. Great review. Anne was kind enough to do an interview at my blog, if you are interested:

    http://missional.blog.com/2917517/

    Peace,
    Jamie

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