The Gospel of Judas: A Novel

~by Simon Mawer

Leo Newman is both a scholar and a priest. Lately he has been working with newly found documents dating as early or earlier than the gospels. But when a new gospel is apparently found, his world begins to fall apart. He finds his faith shattered. And perhaps even worse, he finds himself falling in love with a married woman who has secrets of her own.

The novel took about a hundred pages or so to really get started, and those first hundred pages were the most fragmented and difficult to comprehend. After those first few chapters, it became much more engrossing. The book really has three stories going on simultaneously, each taking place at a different time. One is the story of Leo's mother during World War II, the second takes place during the recent past when the "Gospel of Judas" is found, and the third is the present, after Leo has played his part in the documents translation. This format didn't work as well as it could have, but it was interesting to see the story from three different perspectives: before, during, and after. Ultimately, the story was rather depressing and not everything was resolved by the end, but it was an intense read.

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