I initially read this book because my Religious Studies teacher and my strictly-Christian best friend both hated it and I wanted to annoy them. I'm not usually a fan of feminist literature, but this book is loosely based on Gnostic teachings rather than feminist theology. It is fiction though, as much as I would like to believe that Christianity could have turned out like this. Read it more as an alternate world view. The plot revolves around the traditional Easter story, but written from Mary Magdelan's point of view. It also tells of her relationship with Jesus which is probably the most controversial part. Mary's character is padded out to become very real, as are the other women who appear as faceless minorities in the Gospels themselves. As well as retelling the story that everyone gets drilled into them year after year at school, Roberts gives a good and well-researched insight into the attitudes of society at the time. This is recommended for everyone at all interested in religion, and a must for open-minded Christians!
I really enjoyed reading this. Even if you're not interested in religion it's basically a fantastic story, well told, with fascinating characters. The prose is rich enough to give weight and draw you in without being too worthy.