March is the Month of St. Joseph. What better time to enjoy a little historical fiction starring the Holy Family?
Dennis P. McGeehan’s book, The Diaries of Joseph and Mary, invites the reader to journey with Mary and Joseph from their early childhoods until Jesus sets out for his baptism at the hands of his cousin. These fictional diaries allow the reader to peek into the minds and hearts of Jesus’ mother and foster father.
McGeehan’s imagination is complemented by extensive research into centuries of Church scholarship regarding the Holy Family. He is careful to distinguish what we do know (from reading the Gospels) from what we can surmise (from reading history and Church scholarship). This book does not pretend to be anyone’s biography; it is clearly historical fiction with a basis in actual history and tradition.
While Mary has more pages in the book (since she lived longer than her husband), Joseph definitely has a featured role in this story. Mary’s diary entries are often devoted to praise of her spouse.
I found that this book offered much food for meditation. It allowed me to think about Gospel events and other events in the life of Christ in a different light, as I considered what Jesus’ parents would have been experiencing.
Don’t miss the appendix at the end of the book: 101 Questions and Answers about St. Joseph. Here McGeehan showcases the results of his research, sharing what centuries of Church Fathers and other scholars have taught about St. Joseph.
This book is appropriate for readers in middle school and up, so I’d recommend that you leave your copy around for your teenager to explore!
Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is editor at CatholicMom.com. Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count. Her booklet, The Handy Little Guide to Prayer, is available from Our Sunday Visitor.