Book Review: Daughter of Jerusalem by Joan Wolf

In Daughter of Jerusalem, readers will quickly identify with Mary Magdalene – a woman of deep faith who used her wealth and influence to serve Jesus.

This fictionalized story of Mary Magdalene is, in the truest sense of the word, an inspirational novel for modern people who are looking to renew in themselves the message of Christ. It’s the greatest story ever lived, told by one of the most famous women who ever lived, and it’s a page-turner. Joan Wolf’s years of success as a novelist enable her to combine storytelling and a faith plot in this beautifully written biblical fiction.

Release Date: April 16, 2013
Age Group: Adult
Source: NetGalley

I loved Joan Wolf's historical Christian fiction novel about Rahab, This Scarlet Cord (read my review here), so I was thrilled to see Daughter of Jerusalem on NetGalley.  I have always wanted to know more about Mary Magdalene, and while I do understand that this is a fiction novel, I loved getting a glimpse of Mary's life.   

Daughter of Jerusalem was even better than This Scarlet Cord for me because I absolutely loved reading about Jesus' ministry.  I cried several times while reading this book, out of sheer awe and emotion.  Daughter of Jerusalem was definitely an inspirational work.  I finished the book with a desire to live a better life and be a better Christian.  Isn't it wonderful when a fiction novel can do that for you?  Inspire you to be a better person?  Not many books move me like this one did.

I can't find the words to tell you how good this book was. Reading about Mary's life from childhood on, and her faith, was so powerful.  Wolf wrote Mary's character so that she was really easy to identify with.  Mary goes through things that all women go through in life (no matter what year it is): falling in love, growing into her own as a woman, finding faith, and finding her life's purpose.  The way Mary handles her life's disappointments was so easy for me to empathize with.  I felt so badly for Mary, and ached for her to find happiness.  She thinks that she will find happiness with a man, but ends up learning to find peace and joy where she can.  Mary's greatest joy comes from being a blessing to others.  And, in the end, by being forgiven for her sins by the Savior himself.  

Parts of Daughter of Jerusalem reminded me of the movie The Passion of the Christ.  Those parts of the book were the most emotional for me.  I'm glad Wolf included so much of Jesus' life and ministry, as well as his crucifixion, because it showed me Mary's faith and strength.  The respect she eventually earns from the disciples, men who hid while Jesus was crucified, was so well-deserved.  There is so much more to Mary Magdalene than I ever realized.  

Joan Wolf is a new auto-buy author for me, and I'll definitely be giving this book as a gift once it's published.  I highly recommend it for all fans of Christian fiction!


  1. Stalker worthy? I love it. Beautiful review. I can tell it moved you.

    1. Thank you, Juju! It really did. My mom is reading it now and loving it too. You need to try it---I loooove Joan Wolf. Am about to start one of her older books: The Reluctant Queen---Esther's story.

  2. Interesting that you'd recommend it as a Christian fiction. I've never heard of this title, even I partake in several Christian/ religious publisher groups. I'll have to add that to my list, since it is "Stalker Worthy" ;)


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