Official Review: Second Born by Patrick W. Andersen

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Official Review: Second Born by Patrick W. Andersen

Post by ayoomisope » 13 Apr 2018, 19:16

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Second Born" by Patrick W. Andersen.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Second Born by Patrick W. Andersen is a historical fiction novel centered around the life of Jesus and his family. It tries to meld biblical accounts with historical ones in an attempt to shed light on the adolescent years of Jesus and his brothers.

Joseph of Sepphoris is a wealthy and respectable man. He lives in a time when the Jews are under Roman rule. He and his wife, Miriam have six children named James, Jesus, Judas, Joanna, Simon, and Susanna. His first son, James is dedicated to the Temple at birth. He studies there to become a priest. He loves elucidating passages in Scripture and their applications to students and worshippers in the synagogue. He is believed to be the “Righteous One,” who would restore Israel to God’s favor. Jesus is the humorous one. He is more casual and liberal than all; however, he loves defending the weak. Judas, also nicknamed Thomas (Greek for Twin) because he bears an uncanny resemblance to Jesus, stutters, while Simon is shy and constantly bullied by Chuza and his friends. Joanna and Susanna follow closely after their mother in behavior and actions.

Joseph’s family has a peculiar heritage. Joseph is a direct descendant of King David, whereas Miriam is from David’s priest, Zadok. This leads the family to assume James to be the Deliverer. Joseph believes his first son should be the focal point, but his other three sons should inherit the bulk of his fortune. After a while, Joseph foresees his boys will all have enormous responsibilities, and therefore he primes them. The tale explores the growth of these characters and how their lives intertwine and impact the nation of Israel permanently.

Each chapter of the book is narrated in first-person and titled the name of the character involved accordingly. The story alternates fluidly between the characters, and they all evolve in peculiar and prominent ways. Nonetheless, the book does not hinge on Jesus, and all the brothers are equally explored. Hence, I believe it should not be titled, Second Born. Furthermore, many biblical names and stories are embedded in the work. For instance, James and John (the sons of Zebedee) and the Parable of the Sower.

I appreciate many aspects of this book. The meticulous attention to character development by the author is highly commendable, even with the female characters. Miriam has some beautiful character moments. Her legendary “Stare” that she uses to discipline her kids and her emotional response to Judas (when he tries convincing her to relocate with the family, for safety reasons, to a different town) are pages to anticipate. Equality between the male and female genders is addressed. Jesus emphasizes equal standing before the Law. Additionally, the book contains some inspiring quotes, such as, “I can teach you to defend yourself. But more importantly, you need to learn to respect yourself so you won’t be a victim.” This is a statement Jesus tells Simon after he saves him from Chuza on one occasion.

Nevertheless, I do not appreciate the subtle hints at sexual attraction and the few instances of the use of adult language. Moreover, there are a few grammatical errors in the book. There is a recurrent case of overuse of the word “and” while listing examples or names. For instance, “But think of Mary and Judith and Joanna and Susanna.” In addition, I am uncomfortable with the idea of a deity that seems unsure and almost always answers questions with questions. This is exemplified abundantly in the work.

I give the book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. Despite the drawbacks, the book is thoroughly enjoyable and engaging. The character development of the brothers pays off graciously and satisfyingly. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves novels that reimagine history.

******
Second Born
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Post by Badmuscynthia » 14 Apr 2018, 08:34

So touching and full of lessons, it explains Jesus life from another dimension

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Post by Godisgood67gh7 » 14 Apr 2018, 10:04

I agree with the review as to BV your he overall appeal of the book, and I BV also agree with his assessment of the books departure from truism regarding imaginative suggestive ideas about Jesus sexuality.

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Post by KitabuKitamu » 14 Apr 2018, 13:56

I am a bit averse to spiced up stories based on true events. From the vivid review it's obvious this book must be an entertaining read.

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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Apr 2018, 17:56

I don't think this is one I would enjoy. I believe that Jesus is exactly according to the Bible. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy it, though!
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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 14 Apr 2018, 21:41

Hm! I did not know Jesus had siblings I though he was the only child. I am not sure how to look at this book. It good that they have related and filled missing places to our imagination but not in the expense of damaging the real characters. Thank you for your review but I will pass this book!
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Post by Minimoyz81 » 14 Apr 2018, 22:14

I think this book is like other books in which they base their characters from myth, folklore, etc. And they make something like a twist for instance in which forcing the reader to be enthused to it. But be sure not to make a mockery of someone's beliefs.

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Post by ayoomisope » 16 Apr 2018, 04:45

Badmuscynthia wrote:
14 Apr 2018, 08:34
So touching and full of lessons, it explains Jesus life from another dimension
Thanks for the comment. Yes, I totally agree. But it is still fiction though.
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Post by Kendra M Parker » 17 Apr 2018, 11:10

Interesting. I find myself uncomfortable with the premise, simply because I’m one of those who really take the Bible literally, so expanding on those stories with fiction tends to rub me the wrong way. I am intrigued, however, by the review. This is probably not going to make it to my “want to read” list, but it does give me something to think about for a bit.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 19 Apr 2018, 08:35

This book sounds very interesting, but I am the type of person who has not done enough research and reading of the Word to have a good grasp of the truth. Therefore, I wouldn't want to read this book because I wouldn't really know where the line is between fact and fiction, which for this topic makes me a little uncomfortable. I appreciate your review though and can see how this would be an enjoyable book. I'm glad you liked it so much.

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Post by Libs_Books » 19 Apr 2018, 12:35

Well, it does sound absolutely fascinating - and I do like reimagined history - just not quite so sure about reimagined Bible stories.

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Post by ayoomisope » 19 Apr 2018, 18:23

Godisgood67gh7 wrote:
14 Apr 2018, 10:04
I agree with the review as to BV your he overall appeal of the book, and I BV also agree with his assessment of the books departure from truism regarding imaginative suggestive ideas about Jesus sexuality.
Thanks for the comment. However, Jesus's sexuality isn't questioned at all in the book. The parts I referred to affect other characters and not Jesus.
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Post by ayoomisope » 19 Apr 2018, 18:24

kandscreeley wrote:
14 Apr 2018, 17:56
I don't think this is one I would enjoy. I believe that Jesus is exactly according to the Bible. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy it, though!
Thanks for the comment. I somehow feel the same way though. I totally understand.
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Post by Teekay12 » 21 Apr 2018, 14:12

Its a great book to read and good lessons

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Post by ayoomisope » 24 Apr 2018, 03:48

KitabuKitamu wrote:
14 Apr 2018, 13:56
I am a bit averse to spiced up stories based on true events. From the vivid review it's obvious this book must be an entertaining read.
Thanks for the comment. It is an entertaining book indeed.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
― Charles William Eliot

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