About Women Of The Passion

Letters and notes to Joan D. Lynch, author of Women of the Passion, a novel.

"Your book is definitely a page turner. I began reading it while waiting for my plane in the Tampa Airport, finishing it en route to Minneapolis. I cried, I shook, my paws got sweaty and even though I knew the outcome of the story, it was very compelling and led me to praying afterwards. Thanking God and Jesus for their faithfulness and keeping the promise of returning. Your ability to relate the story as if I were reading it for the first time or that it actually happened in our immediate past is a wonderful gift. I will be sharing this book with many friends and family.”
E.A. November 9, 2014

"Your book has touched many people everywhere. It was a God gift to humans from you.”
KMSB on our Facebook page for Women of the Passion. September 16, 2014

"I just finished reading this book. It was actually a milestone for me who is not a reader by nature. That is the first book I have actually read in its entirety in many years. I thoroughly enjoyed it and plan on sharing with others. I was sad to come to the end of the book. I wished the story had gone on…. I much prefer the narrative than the actual Bible. It was so personal and real."
C.R. May 2012

"Congratulations! What an awesome read. Thank-you for your gift of your new book, it has blessed me in every sense of the word. The other blessing was the timing. Your writing has put me in the very scene of what it must have been like for the women at this most upsetting time in their life as followers of Jesus. Their feelings, emotions and constant fears and loss of someone they truly loved like never before. The book was absolutely so real for me it was like I was one of them in the midst of it all. The scenes will remain in my heart forever. Thank you so very much."
M.T. April 2012

"Happy Easter! I am leading an Easter season discussion group on Women of the Passion at St. Josephs Catholic Church in ….NY outside of Rochester. About 25 of us are meeting for six weeks. We are spirited readers and Scripture enthusiasts. We have a question for the author and are wondering if she is accessible for questions as we journey through the book and our discussion. Our current question is about her sources. We would like to have a sense of what the sources were that she most relied on in her research. Thank you very much for your assistance."
C.K. April 2012—Passed to the author who responded to the writer.

"Thank you so much for speaking to our Faith and Wine group this evening. As you know we are great fans of your book! Thank you also for contributing copies of your book for door prizes these past months. Bless you."
M.B., C.K.. M., C.Y., M.A., J.K. and N.C. April 2012

"Happy New Year! I wanted to express my sincere congratualations to you on the success of your book, "Women of the Passion.” I am so happy to hear that it received such wonderful and well-deserved recognition. You have a great gift and it was a delight to read such a beautiful novel. God bless you always!"
Father J.L. ( Pastor) on receiving the news of the New England Book Festival Award for Spirituality. January 2012

"MBC wanted me to connect with you to see if we could sell copies of your book at our upcoming Faith and Wine events, prior to you speaking. We would love to promote your book."
N.C. Secretary of Naples Parish October 2011

"M. passed on your book on to me. She enjoyed the the book so much that I thought I must try.
It was everything she said. Still I will not venture further into the genre. What you did was marvelous and I will leave it at that….At times I laughed out loud. I do not know if you intended such reactions but I think it was healthy. You remind us as readers of scripture that the individuals involved were flesh and blood people and not just idealized characters in a story. Everytime I read or hear scripture accounts in the future I will probably view the people in a more real way. Thank you for doing that. One of my current readings is Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth, Part One and Two. In these books Benedict has a marvelous easy way of writing serious stuff. I enjoy his style. Yours reminds me of that. My compliment is very intentional."
JS September 2011

" Joan, I met you with my friend M.J.S. last week at Bryn Mawr Film Institute. I have just finished your book yesterday. I read it in two sittings. I couldn’t put it down. History could have very well happened as you wrote it. It has given me much to think about. The timing is perfect as I am in a book club group at St. Norbert which meets Monday mornings and it is a true companion book. Our book is Pope Benedict XVI "Jesus of Nazareth Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection.” This is not an easy read as our facilitator warned us but the discussions dwell on the same issues you highlight, ie., The Temple, the political climate between the Romans and the Jews, Jesus’ spoken word and His reference to scripture.
I can answer YES, it does make me want to read scripture. Thank you for the spiritual enrichment."
D.M. July 2011

"Your author talk was a great success and received many positive comments. Thanks so much!”
M.T. June 2011

"I enjoyed reading the novel Women of the Passion. I am passing it on to my husband which I am sure he will enjoy as much as I did…Many things were made clearer to me and I thank you for thinking of me…Let me know when you come back (to our city) and I will try to have you as a speaker.
B. K. May 2011

"We had our book group discussion of your wonderful book, Women of the Passion, on Wednesday morning. It was a lively discussion…The study guide was a great help to be sure but our group was eager to discuss the book without a lot of study aids. We loved the characters and only wished that more information was available on each and every one…We had our bibles with us as we proceeded with the discussion…we had to rely on (the author’s) impressions and interpretations as did other readers/scholars. We all agreed that this was a wonderful book for the Easter season for bringing to life the role women played in the story of our Lord’s three years of active ministry…We all saw Mary Magdalene as the central figure and realized the impact of the terror that the leading characters lived under during those early days after the crucifixion. I was able to explain to them the historical basis of how Mary Magdalene became known as a prostitute (something that happened 400 years after her original life). We did grapple with the Catholic/Protestant dispute over (Jesus’ Mother’s) ‘other children’. We all found the book totally rewarding and thought provoking.”
C. M. April 2011

"Happy Easter…I finished your book…I especially liked your portrayal of Mary Magdalene as an ordinary woman with strong convictions, caught in a moment in history. I never liked the way the church had portrayed her as a "fallen woman’. I don’t think the church likes strong women with a voice.”
M.D. April 2011

"I am on my second reading of Women of the Passion. It was a very inspiring read for me and now I understand your remark about the Holy Spirit as your inspiration. At times, I felt a wave or a breeze come over me internally while reading it. The love of community you portray among people who are flawed yet committed to Jesus was very meaningful in a contemporary sense too. You did a wonderful job, Joan. God Bless.”
P.M. April 2011

"What a great story! I’ve shared it with several ladies –you’ve gotten great reviews! All were very impressed to hear about the women of Jesus’ time.”
C.W. March 2011

"I just want to thank you for the 5 copies of your new novel (which we purchased from you).
This week we plan to send out to family and friends!...A wonderful book and beautifully written. You were such a great speaker at the luncheon. We all enjoyed your enthusiasm!”
J.K. March 2011

"Congratulations on the beautiful book to draw us into this always unfolding journey into our
"roots”, our story…Springtime blessings!”
Sister M (Illinois) March 2011

"After cataract surgery and the proper eye glasses, I have finished Women of the Passion!
What a wonderful story you have told. I felt I was walking along side of these women, a very moving experience.”
B.H. March 2011

"Just a note to say thank you! Joan, I am an avid reader and thoroughly enjoyed your book.
I was drawn immediately from the first page . I felt as though I was with these women throughout their entire journey.”
J.H. February 2011

"Thank you so much for your book. We found it interesting and insightful. It sparked our curiosity about the beginnings of our church. We agree with you…women did make a difference and still do! Perhaps we will meet again on another journey.”
Two Sisters of Charity, February 2011

"You wrote (the novel) in the present tense. This heightened my interest. I sensed that these events were happening now. They are still happening in the church….look at the institutional resistance toward women’s involvement in the church around leadership and voice.
The theme of violence and non-violence is so contemporary…look at what just happened in Egypt , Libya and Syria.

I liked the way that you created dialogue, ex. The interactions between the women and the men…especially with the Resurrection stories…

One criticism: I read the first 30 pages in one sitting and felt carried along by the energy, the movement. I also liked the sense of mystery and intrigue that you created. When I picked it up again, it seemed to drag. I kept saying to myself, "I know all this. When is she going to get to the point or move beyond what is familiar.” The third time that I read, I realized that no mystery would unfold, that the characters were human, frail and vulnerable. I felt the love and protectiveness of Chuza toward his wife, and also between Miriam and Cleopas. The themes of love, betrayal, narcissism, power over (others) and abuse are still prevalent in the church, in the world and amongst families. In that sense the book spoke to me. It gave life to dead, far away people. Finally, I can only imagine the work involved.”
Sister M. (New England) February 2011

"I am thrilled to receive "your” novel. What a great gift to receive as I am now officially retired.
I just emailed your website with my order for three books to be signed if possible.”
C.C. February 2011

"Congratulations on the publication of your novel…I read it over the weekend and enjoyed it,
appreciating the clear writing, the creativity and extensive research. You must be delighted to see all your work in a beautiful book.”
G.T. February 2011

"I loved Women of the Passion. I read it in one day, couldn’t put it down. Please write another!
I know it is hard and a lot of work but it is worth it!”
K.W. January 2011

"Wow! I have now read Women of the Passion twice (once for the story and once for the details) and absolutely love the dimensions you have sculpted for the characters. These are stories/names I’ve known forever, yet I found lots of history and facts I never knew. You meshed fact and poetic license so cleanly that I had to try to figure which was which at times.
I like that you highlighted their fears and foibles as well as their courage in that wildly explosive chapter of history. Congratulations on a moving read!”
A.S. January 2011



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