Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, May 19, 2006

Awaiting The Expected One

With all this Da Vinci Code movie buzz(the reviews are now pouring in and most of them are already nominating DVC for next year's Razzies)this week,I've been diving into another novel along the same lines due out this summer called The Expected One. The author,Kathleen McGowan,originally self-published this book as part one of a trilogy dubbed The Magdalene Line and did so well with it that Simon & Schuster made her a deal to republish all three under their banner,with a nice Book of the Month Club split Main Selection and foreign rights sold in about 18 countries thrown in the mix.

I was fortunate enough to recieve an advance reader's edition(which is now being offered up to BEA attendees in Washington as we speak)and while I haven't read enough to give TEO a full review,I can say that this is a pretty compelling read so far.

The heroine of TEO is Maureen Paschal,who while researching in Israel for an book about the true history of certain "infamous" women,acquires a mysterious ring and has a strange vision of a woman trapped in a crowd. She also has numberous dreams about this woman(who,yes,is Mary Magdalene)which she only discusses with her cousin Peter,a priest who teaches languages at the local university. Maureen's book does well and attracts the attention of many who are interested in the Magdalene legend,including Beringer Sinclair who uses some of his wealth to fund groups and projects about Mary Magdalene. Sinclair sends Maureen a painting(in which one of the subjects strongly resembles her)and an invite to visit him in France on the summer solstice.

This book seems to share similar themes with Kate Mosse's Labyrinth about looking into feminine spiritual roles and unlocking hidden truths,which is great. It's good that fellas like Dan Brown and Javier Sierra got the ball rolling here and I'm happy to see literary ladies join in to keep the game going. I'm not going to get into any debates on what or who Mary Magdalene was or is-my only concern as a reader is the strength of the story;does it work,do I care what happens to the characters,is this plotline a wee bit plausible? That's what matters to me. The rest is all gravy goodness(and I don't even like gravy!).

I'll have a real review soon for The Expected One(please click the title link for more info about Kathleen McGowan)and if I happen to see the DVC movie,that'll get a write-up,too. Theories may come and go but a good story lasts forever. I'm not saying that TEO is an instant classic but it's very readable with strong leads and that's more that many books can claim to possess.

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