"The Greatest Story Ever Told - Take Two" A Synopsis
Galilee, 10 BCE
Princess Miriam bat Helios is an Aaronite priestess, daughter of a Prince of David and granddaughter of a High Priest of Jerusalem, both of whom have predeceased her. She is a kind and loving pacifist, who wants nothing more than to help those in need in the troubled times within the region. She is kept from this quest by her overprotective family, who wants instead for her to marry grandly. To get her own way, Miriam convinces her bodyguard to allow her to venture out disguised as a young scholarly waif named Meri.
Yosef Cu Cuileann of Arimathea is the Crown Prince of Ireland, and now ranking Davidian Prince of Judaea. He has come to Palestine and is seeking to build the new city of Nazara–the City of Truth–in Galilee. He is protected by the sharp-witted zealot, Judas ben Hezekiah, who in his infinite wisdom to keep Yosef safe in his travels, often has him in disguise as a lowly carpenter in search of work.
The plot of The Greatest Story Ever Told - Take Two deals with the intense chemistry between Yosef and Miriam, both as herself and the waif Meri. This is hindered by her long standing engagement to Joseph ben Matthan, and her guise in masquerading as a boy in an effort minister to the poor. Yosef is alarmingly attracted to the waif, whom he assumes is the son of an aristocratic priest in disguise, and to the young priestess who does not seem to like him very much.
Miriam is a tremendously gifted scholar, having studied at the famed community of Therapeutae, as well as the Essene outpost of Qumran. Her expertise includes philosophy, theology and science of the stars, and she brings this expertise to her discussions with Yosef in both her personas.
Yosef discovers the waif is at Qumran, where he has gone to meet the famed Baptist, responsible for starting the New Covenant movement. Jon is Miriam's cousin. Meri's bodyguard is not in residence in the protected community, and circumstances allow her to speak with the famed royal alone on multiple occasions. Propriety being what it is, this puts Miriam in a very precarious position.
While at Qumran, Miriam's identity is exposed and the potential scandal has her uncle's insisting she must marry. Yosef is guilted into offering for her, but Miriam is adamant that such a match will never take place. Although Joseph is the obvious candidate for such a union, he takes himself out of contention after witnessing the powerful attraction between the two protagonists.
After Yosef shakes off his shock and anger at being deceived, he eventually realizes he is in love with her; and he is left to woo and convince her that a potential match with him is what was meant to be.
This novel is an alternative historical rendering of a fairly famous plotline, which takes into account many alternative theories and new scientific models, as well as a deeper understanding of the characters of this time period based on the plethora of research which has been done on the subject over the past decades. There is much philosophy woven into the narrative to explain such basic questions as who we are, why we are here, and why things seem so difficult for us to grasp.
This is the first book in the series, which covers the time span of 10 BCE through 70 CE.