Quotes from “The Book of Longings”

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The Book of Longings, a 2020 novel by Sue Monk Kidd, is based in the time before Jesus led his religious movement in Israel. It is chronicles the life of Jesus’ fictitious wife, Ana, before, during, and after she meet and married Jesus. It must be noted, the novel focuses mostly on Ana and her journey to become an educated and independent woman in a society where women were not seen as being worthy of anything beyond tending the kitchen and rearing children. Jesus, though quite important, is a secondary character in the story of Ana. Here is a collection of quotes and excerpts that stood out to me from this novel.

“A man’s holy of holies contains God’s laws, but inside a woman’s there are only longings.”

“I didn’t know what I would write. Words engulfed me. Torrents and floodwaters. I couldn’t contain them, nor could I release them. But it wasn’t words that surged through me, it was longing. It was love of him.”

“When you love, you remember everything.”

“It isn’t meekness I need, it’s anger.”

“Grief and anger streamed from my fingers. The anger made me brave and the grief made me sure.”

“Moroseness didn’t come easily to me – anger did, yes; passion and stubbornness, always.”

“Were we women the only ones with hearts large enough to hold such anguish?”

“All shall be well […]. I don’t mean that life won’t bring you tragedy. I only mean you will be well in spite of it. There’s a place in you that is inviolate. You’ll find your way there when you need to. And you’ll know then what I speak of.”