In this wonderful novel about love and trust, hope and belief, Elizabeth Berg, the bestselling author of We Are All Welcome Here and The Year of Pleasures , transports us to Nazareth in biblical times to reimagine the events of the classic Christmas story.
We see Mary–young, strong, and inquisitive–as she first meets Joseph, a serious-minded young carpenter who is steadfastly devoted to the religious traditions of their people. The two become betrothed, but are soon faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Aided by a great and abiding love, they endure challenges to their relationship as well as threats to their lives as they come to terms with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the birth of their child, Jesus. For Mary, the pregnancy is a divine miracle and a privilege. For Joseph, it is an ongoing test not only of his courage but of his faith–in his wife as well as in his God.
Exquisitely written and imbued with the truthful emotions and richness of detail that have earned Elizabeth Berg a devoted readership, The Handmaid and the Carpenter explores lives touched profoundly by miracles large and small. This powerful and moving novel is destined to become a classic.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Handmaid and the Carpenter|
|Release Date: 11-07-2006|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Handmaid and...|
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The Handmaid and the Carpenter
january, 4 b.c.
Outside, a thunderstorm raged. a great wind frightened the animals and bent the trees low to the ground, shaking their leaves almost off their branches. But inside the house of just-married Simon and Esther, there was light and laughter. A long table covered with a striped cloth was pushed up close to the wall, and it was laden with earthenware platters decorated by palm fronds and piled high with eggplant and olives, with spit-roasted beef and lamb and fish, with rounds of flatbread, with grapes and oranges and figs and sweet cakes.
Beneath the table, sixteen-year-old Joseph sat cross-legged in silence, watching sandals and ankles and hems of tunics go by. No one had seen him—he was almost totally obscured by the tablecloth—and he enjoyed the anonymity. He was of course a man now, but he could not resist on occasion returning to the pleasures of boyhood. This was one such pleasure: to sit hidden and watch the elders as they drank ever more wine and acted ever more foolish. In the corner, he saw old Samuel weaving as he stood with his feet far apart, trying to focus on the face before him. Wine had sloshed from his wooden cup to dribble down his mantle. “You will soon be on the floor,” Joseph muttered, and was startled to hear a voice say, “I am surprised he is not already.”
Joseph turned to see a girl squatting just behind him. “You have found the seat of honor,” she said. “May I join you here?”
There was something familiar about her. “We are known to each other?