SUMMARY (from Goodreads): When journalist Maureen Paschal begins the research for a new book, she has no idea that she is stepping into an ancient mystery so secret, so revolutionary, that thousands of people have killed and died for it.
Two thousand years ago, Mary Magdalene hid a set of scrolls in the French Pyrenees: the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, her version of the life of Jesus and the events of the New Testament. Protected by supernatural forces, these sacred scrolls could be uncovered only by a special seeker, one who fulfils the ancient prophecy of L'Attendu – the Expected One.
As Maureen becomes immersed in the mystical lore of L'Attendu, the eerie prophecy of the Expected One casts a shadow over her life and work, and a long-buried family secret comes to light. Maureen’s extraordinary journey takes her from the dusty streets of Jerusalem to the cathedrals of Paris to the rocky foothills of southwest France. To search for the scrolls, she must unravel clues that link history’s great artistic masters, dynasties, and scientific minds. Ultimately, she comes face-to-face with Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, and a love triangle that changed the course of history in a deeply moving and powerful new gospel... the greatest story never told.
This book deals with a very sensitive religious topic. It takes us halfway across the globe, from L.A. to Jerusalem and France, from two thousand years ago to modern time. Uncovering long lost secrets, Maureen finds herself in constant danger, not knowing who to trust, but finding friends in unlikely people.
The focus of the story is the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. For me as a Christian, this part was a very emotional read. Naturally, I took this thought-provoking material with a grain of salt. However, as I see it, no matter how controversial this work seems to be, it conveys universal guidelines for everyone: forgiveness, solidarity, and love. The author asks a good question: would this version of Jesus’ life make him any less divine? Everyone can answer that only for themselves.
The author deals with many historical events, personages, and pieces of art. Even though her take sometimes differs from the commonly accepted viewpoint, I think it is valuable for catching people’s interest and perhaps making the reader study, research, and think about the issues she addresses.
RECOMMENDATION: This book might not be for someone who is easily offended by controversial religious views. Nevertheless, The Expected One is a delightful read despite of or exactly because of being a challenging book.