I’ve written a novel, The Fisherman’s Wife: The Gospel According to St. Peter’s Spouse. You might call this a novel experience for me because all of my other books are nonfiction! A few months ago I was reading Philippa Gregory’s novels The White Princess and The Red Queen when it occurred to me that I could write a similar book about a person in the Bible. I chose St. Peter’s wife. We know that he had a wife because the Bible tells how Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law. But we don’t know anything else about this woman who was married to the chief apostle and presumably bore his children. This lack of facts gave my imagination free rein in telling her story.
The Gospels were a help in that they present Peter as an impetuous man who followed Jesus, the itinerant preacher. His wife then must have been long-suffering. Furthermore, the Gospels reveal that Jesus made his town, Capernaum, the base for his ministry. Peter’s wife often must have been an eyewitness to the teaching and miracles of Jesus. The book views Jesus through her eyes. As it does, the people and events in the Gospels come to life. They did for me. Sometimes as I was writing about Capernaum, I felt as though I were there. I would come away from the computer not knowing if it was morning, noon, or night!
The story of a first-century Jewish woman required much research. I constantly had to answer questions such as “Did Jesus wear a yarmulke?” and “How far was Capernaum from Jerusalem?” Reading the book sheds light on the culture of our Jewish ancestors and the early Christians.
Maresa Lilley, SND, painted the portrait of Peter’s wife superimposed over a photo of the Sea of Galilee on the cover.
Last week I read that The White Queen was being made into a movie. My dream is that my novel may someday appear in theaters!
The book was published by Westbow Press and is $19.95. It can be purchased directly from me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 4237 Bluestone Rd., South Euclid, OH 44121.
As a child, I loved reading Scripture-based books like Behold Your Queen about Esther. Do you recall any that you enjoyed?