The Handmaid and the Carpenter tells the story of the relationship between Joseph and Mary of Nazareth. While fictionalized, it is based on the Biblical account and historical records. Of all of the things written around the circumstances of Jesus’ birth, not much is said about how Joseph handled the situation. Think about it…the girl whom he is betrothed says she is pregnant by holy spirit. He had to have wrestled with doubt over her story, yet, he married her anyway. Imagine how his family must have felt, how the people in the town must have gossiped. Remember also that Joseph and Mary were teenagers who lacked perspective and maturity.
This was a beautifully written story which really delved into two enigmatic characters from history. Regardless of religious beliefs, at its heart is a story about trust and whether you ever truly know the one you love.
Overall, I give The Handmaid and the Carpenter…
Plot – 3 bookmarks
Character Development – 3 ½ bookmarks
Love Story – 3 bookmarks
Historical Accuracy – 4 bookmarks (to the extent which is it possible, the story is well researched. The major error I found was Jesus’ birth date. While Berg got the year correct, he wasn’t born on December 25th but sometime in October. She also had to fictionalize some of the characters for sake of the story. Understandable and well done.)
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Hili Yalon (Mary), Bar Paly (Naomi), Eyal Podell (Joseph)