Even if you haven't read Elizabeth Cunningham’s previous novels in the Maeve Chronicles,
Bright Dark Madonna is a compelling story that can stand on its own merits. There are
enough background details to catch you up on the story of Maeve, the Celtic Mary Magdalen, as
told by Cunningham.
Maeve has a personality and sense of humor all her own and, after having read the series, you
will never think of the biblical Mary in the same way again...nor Jesus, for that matter.
Following the death and rising of Jesus, Maeve begins to preach the gospel in her own way, but
the child she carries in her womb sparks a fierce debate among Jesus' followers as to what to do
about the Savior's widow and offspring.
Maeve is not about to release her child to them, so she and Jesus' mother flee to Temple
Magdalen, the whorehouse she founded. They are followed, of course, and a custody battle is in
the making, but after the infant Sara is born, Maeve, Mary and Sara disappear into the Taurus
Mountains to live in hiding where Sara grows into an angst-ridden adolescent, determined to find
out the truth about her father.
Cunningham has penned an unforgettable novel, filled with beauty and mystery, that is very
entertaining as well as thought-provoking. She brings the temples of Jerusalem, the secrets of
the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, Turkey, and a cave in the South of France to life in a
captivating chronicle that is hard to put down. And the Gospels? They have never been told in
quite this way.