Incomparable in its boldness and daring, this is the book that Anne Rice was born to write: a novel about the formative years of the greatest ... Show synopsis Incomparable in its boldness and daring, this is the book that Anne Rice was born to write: a novel about the formative years of the greatest immortal of all, a visceral rendering of part of the greatest story ever told. Evoking this crucial time in the life of Christ, based on the Gospels and her intense research into the period, Anne Rice vividly recreates these years of drama, confusion, and enlightenment. The story opens when the boy is seven, in cosmopolitan Alexandria where the family fled just before Herod's massacre of the innocents - and where they have prospered as carpenters. Word comes that Herod is dead, and the family takes ship back to Israel, a land colonised by Rome, fought over by Jews and Arabs, in a time of insurrection and confusion after the death of a tyrant king. (With its powerful and heavy-handed Roman occupying force trying to keep order, amid bandit insurgents, disorder and anarchy, there are uncanny parallels with the present day...) It's an astonishing child's eye view - part innocent, part knowing - of Jewish life in these turbulent years of occupation, and the boy's growing awareness, first of his extraordinary powers (he can kill a rival boy with a look, or he can make it snow with a wish), the whispered mysteries surrounding his birth and finally of the untold tragedy that his coming visited on the children of others...Full of biblical references and informed by the history of Judaism, from the Flight to Egypt to the return to Nazareth, from the Fall of the Temple in Jerusalem to its rebuilding...one of the unexpectedly original aspects of the story lies in the unmistakable Jewishness of the boy as he grows to manhood, steeped in the laws, rituals and traditions of his people. As he grows, he begins to discuss and dispute with the Elders in the temple, and to ask questions that cannot be answered. At the end he is, at 13, on the brink of manhood, torn between the pain of enlightenment and reconciliation with God and his future, foreshadowed here in his Passover visit to the Great Temple of Jerusalem...In a totally unexpected way, this is the culmination of what Anne Rice started with "Interview with the Vampire" - taking a supernatural story, about life, death, good and evil, resurrection and immortality, beyond the wildest probabilities and making it so real and palpable, so imbued with detail, that the narrator and hero, who are one and the same, come fully alive for the reader.