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Literary Classic Review    



Herod's Wife
By Madison Jones
University of Alabama Press, 2003
A Deep South Book
128 pages
ISBN: 0-8173-5014-4; paper,  $17.95
ISBN: 0-8173-1298-6; cloth,  $35.00

Set in a small, prosperous, southern town, Herod's Wife is a timeless retelling of the biblical story of the beheading of John the Baptist.

While Hugh Helton knows his brother is a ne'er-do-well, their family has protected him. When Hugh marries Nora, his brother's ex-wife, their marriage causes a minor scandal in town and a major rift in the local Catholic Church. As Nora's annoyance turns into hatred, she focuses her energies on Father John Riley.  

Father Riley is struggling with his own sense of morality, what constitutes righteousness, and his purpose in life. Using her daughter, Jean, as a pawn, Nora sets out to destroy Father Riley's reputation. Her manipulations have unimaginable repercussions for everyone involved. 

The book's themes -- scandal in the Catholic Church, child molestation, family loyalties, trust, and faith -- echo many of the great works in western literature. 

Madison Jones, the author of ten novels, has won the T. S. Eliot Award from the Ingersoll Foundation, the Michael Shaara Award from the United States Civil War Center, and the Harper Lee Award.


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

2003, Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved