The author has accepted the identity of Mary of Magdala and Mary the sister of and Martha, and told her story in convincing and absorbing fashion. The figure Jesus is presented in reverent, non-dogmatic terms, following the Gospel outline there seems to be little historical basis for the successive facets of Mary's story, low she left her Bethany home, won the love of a Roman Legionnaire, was discarded and became involved in a dissolute life, in which she combined loose morals with an ability to accumulate through an unceruplous trade. Then Lazarus becomes a follower of Jesus and through his influence Mary returns to Bethany and dedicates her wealth to fisouce Jesus' mission. (Many readers will find this aspect of the story difficult to stomach.) The story of the death and renurrection of Lazarus, the breaking of the alasouter box of pintment are sympathetically told. But the offer of a Roman Legionnaire so intercede with Plate for the life of Jesus if Mary will marry him seems somehow out of place. The novel on the whole in better than many of its kind but the voracious appetite for religious background novels seems to be on the wane. This isn't fine enough of offset that trend.