About Women Of The Passion

Awards Women of The Passion

Heart to Heart Radio Interview with Joan Lynch

Bob Hardin Radio Interview with Joan Lynch


Magazine, Newspaper and Internet Blog Reviews

Today’s American Catholic Newspaper- October 2011

A Tale about All Women who Live Life Passionately by Fran Salone-Pelletier

When I agreed to review this interesting novel, I had no idea that it would be a story, not so novel, that gave credence to my life. Not simply a book relegated to presenting the past uniquely, “Women of the Passion” is about every woman who has allowed life to be an entry
into the adventure of the unknown.

Author Lynch states at the outset, “This is the story of the women of the Passion and the men who take the journey with them.” However true this may be, it is also the story of all women who have chosen to live life passionately, to enter the journey of being in union with all God’s creation. It is a vivid tale depicting the power of awareness, the potency of seeing what is really Real.

Lynch presents her readers with a picture of life as it is, not necessarily as we want it to be. Her view of women strengthens an authentic understanding of feminism, of Eve’s designation as helpmate. The potency that comes to life when we realize the awesomeness of equality fairly leaps from the pages of the book.

For readers who find the Scriptures difficult to absorb in the present day, this novel approach reveals a humanity too often hidden in the Gospel message. At the same time, Lynch empowers those who are stuck in the literal, fundamentalist comprehension of the Bible. She opens the door to a deeper and broader understanding. Interestingly, the very fact that this work is designated as a novel gives the author and reader permission to think beyond the boxes that we too easily erect to sustain our personal perspectives. It challenges us to dream a bit, scheme a bit and let life lead us into pilgrimage, rather than control the journey and limit it to minimal challenge and adventure.

Faith disperses fear, page after page. Peter’s fear regarding his abilities to preach, teach and lead is replaced by Magdalene’s faith that Christ is empowering him. Peter need not worry. He is not required to replace the Way so much as he is challenged to pave the Way—and Magdalene will be a unique helpmate in this endeavor.

The back cover of the book provides a marvelous summary: “Experience the time after Jesus’ death through the eyes of the women who walked with him.” That statement could, and should, be ours—today’s women and men whose lives are themselves experiences of Christ alive and well today.

Fran Salone-Pelletier has a master’s degree in theology and is the author of “Awakening to God: The Sunday Readings in Our Lives” (a trilogy of scriptural meditations), Lead Chaplin at Brunswick Community Hospital in North Carolina, religious educator, retreat leader, lecturer and grandmother of four. She can be reached at grammistfran@gmail.com.


Scene Magazine, Sarasota, Florida, January 2011

Literary Scene by Ryan G. Van Cleave

The first author(and book) featured in this month’s Literary Scene is Naples resident Joan Lynch’s novel Women of the Passion (MSJ Press, soft cover, 224 pages, $14.95). Lynch, a Professor Emeritus at Villanova University who’s authored a nonfiction book and various articles, got interested in this subject via Luke chapter 8, where the women who walked with Jesus provided for him and his followers. This got her wondering: Who were these women?
How did they acquire their money? How did they become independent in 1st century Israel when women were generally defined (and limited) by their biological function?

This eye-opening novel allows readers to experience the Passion firsthand with an authenticity
that is captivating. Where does that sense of historical accuracy come from? Lynch spent a lot of afternoons in Villanova’s voluminous library, finding out such things as a description of the Temple and Herod’s house, the foods people ate, and the actual structure and layout of the homes themselves. “My task” she admits, “was to fill in the gaps, to flesh out what we know with the sights, sounds, smells and practices of life in Jerusalem in the early part of the 1st century.” The outcome is that this book lands readers right in the middle of some of the most dramatic days in religious history. This was a truly terrifying time for the followers of Jesus. Beset by enemies, they clung to their faith and through courageous choices, they helped create the foundation for a great religion. The book captures it all….


Main Line Today Magazine, Newtown Square, PA, March 2012

Staff Picks: Nada Surf at the TLA and Women of the Passion

Women of the Passion
By Joan D. Lynch (MSJ Press, 213 pages)

Just in time for Easter, a fresh, relatable account of scriptural events
and dialogue taken from one of the most mysterious religious events in
history. A professor emeritus at Villanova University, Lynch conjures the
inner monologues of Jesus’ female friends and followers after his crucifixion,
exploring gender roles in early Middle Eastern society and opening doors
seemingly sealed shut for thousands of years.—C.R.


The Book Club Network Inc

Women of the Passion
Posted by Patricia A. Turner on October 1, 2012

If you are among those who love biblical based fiction then you would truly enjoy reading “Women of the Passion” by Joan Lynch. I recently had my library to special order this book for me since I couldn’t find it anywhere locally and I am truly glad that I did. Ms Lynch has done a remarkable job with this book which takes place at the time of the crucifixion of Christ. The book follows the lives of the women in Jesus’ circle and how they coped with the death of their friend and their Christ, and how they furthered the gospel. It is a must read for anyone who loves the Bible and Bible based fiction. I would give this book 4 stars for a job well done and I would recommend it to anyone.

Women of the Passion Reviewed by Ekta Garg (Midvale, Utah) of Bookpleasures.com, December 18, 2011
Also posted to Amazon.com.

A student of the Bible will find all the essential facts about the crucifixion of Christ but may
wonder about the details of that time and the days following the event. What did His disciples and others close to him feel? How did His mother react? How did she cope with this traumatic situation? And how did Christ’s followers find the courage to continue His work after He left them? Author Joan D. Lynch explores all these questions and more in her book Women of the Passion.

The book opens at the foot of the cross in Christ’s final moments of life. Some of His followers have gathered to witness the horror of the event. After following Him for three years, they try to grasp the reality of the death of their Messiah. How can He consent to such a grisly end when He has saved so many and performed so many miracles?

Mary Magdalene, a follower whom Jesus had cured of the possession of demons, stands by Jesus’ mother and offers her moral support as she herself tries to stand strong. The book then follows Mary Magdalene and other key women in the days after the crucifixion as they strive to figure out what their role is now. For three years Christ led them from one amazing event to another. Now that He no longer lives among them, what purpose do their lives have?

As Mary Magdalene and other key women in the post-crucifixion movement gather and organize, they show their strength and stand firm when some of Jesus’ male disciples question
the presence and leadership of the women. And the role of the women stands at the heart of the author Lynch’s novel. Most obvious is Lynch’s meticulous research and study of the Bible as well as historical texts. She has kept within the confines of Biblical texts and accepted accounts of the days following the crucifixion while also exercising enough literary license to provide readers with a “maybe” of that period.

At times Lynch’s narrative becomes slightly didactic and loses the rhythm of fiction. Characters seem to be reciting lines instead of expressing their thoughts. But Lynch keeps the didacticism to a minimum, and readers are left with a novel that may challenge their preconceived notions about Biblical times. An enjoyable tale, readers familiar with the Bible story will feel like many of the blanks left by original source materials have been filled in.

I recommend Women of the Passion especially for those who appreciate Christian fiction and enjoy musing about the days just before and after Christ’s death.

About Ekta Garg: Ekta has actively written and edited since 2005 for publications like: The Portland Physician Scribe; the Portland Home Builders Association home show magazine; ABCDlady; and The Ballywood Ticket. With an MSJ in magazine publishing from Northwestern University, Ekta also maintains The Write Edge, a professional blog for her writing.


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