Largely a gap-filler, the tale weaves together threads never hinted at in the gospels, yet not precluded by them either, portraying a very human Christ wrestling with his affections for a young woman, determined to obey the knowledge that his mission in this world will prevent him from providing the presence and devotion required of a husband.
Where the first book in Rice's "Jesus autobiography" was somewhat dry, this story is full of the love and other emotions typical of her writing, yet still retaining the high degree of historical background she devotes to almost every one of her books. Jesus is a somewhat introverted individual who is occasionally ridiculed by those around him for being a bit of a goody-two-shoes. At the age of 30, his family expects him to be married with children by now, and that is a source of contention between him and his older half-brother James. Especially when the girl Avigail's father turns down other suitors because he knows she likes Jesus.
This is the setup. She takes the story down some rather unexpected paths before reaching her expected destination. Like many historical novels, prequels, and other stories where you already know the ending, it's the journey that makes it worth the read, and this story does well in that regard.
I believe the current plan is one more Jesus book and then a last last Lestat book. (There have been at least two "last Lestat books" before this.) Anne Rice is currently the only author where I've read all she's written. And I've really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the story she tells with the end of Jesus' life.
Next book of the Month, which I'm starting today is Star Trek: Terok Nor -- Day of the Vipers, the first of a trilogy which tells of the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. It's a meaty 498 pages of small print, so I better get started.