Anne Rice’s second book in her hugely ambitious and courageous life of Christ begins during his last winter before his baptism in the Jordan and concludes with the miracle at Cana.
It is a novel in which we see Jesus - he is called Yeshua bar Joseph - during a winter of no rain, endless dust, and talk of trouble in Judea.
Legends of a virgin birth have long surrounded Yeshua, yet for decades he has lived as one among many who come to the synagogue on the Sabbath. All who know and love him find themselves waiting for some sign of the path he will eventually take.
And at last we see him emerge from his baptism to confront his destiny—and the Devil. We see what happens when he takes the water of six great limestone jars, transforms it into cool red wine, is recognized as the anointed one, and urged to call all Israel to take up arms against Rome and follow him as the prophets have foretold.
As with Out of Egypt, the opening novel, The Road to Cana is based on the Gospels and on the most respected New Testament scholarship. The book’s power derives from the profound feeling its author brings to the writing and the way in which she summons up the presence of Jesus.
"Rice undertakes a delicate balance: if it is possible to create a character that is simultaneously fully human and fully divine, as ancient Christian creeds assert, then Rice succeeds." (Publishers Weekly)
“Riveting.... Rice's book is a triumph of tone -- her prose lean, lyrical, vivid -- and character. As he ponders his staggering responsibility, the boy is fully believable -- and yet there's something in his supernatural empathy and blazing intelligence that conveys the wondrousness of a boy like no other.... With this novel, she has indeed found a convincing version of him; this is fiction that transcends story and instead qualifies as an act of faith. Joins Nikos Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation of Christ and Endo's A Life of Jesus as one of the bolder re-tellings.” (Kirkus Reviews)