COMMENTS FROM READERS
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS BEFORE THE MAST: A Cruise Director Looks Back
I am about three quarters through this book and I love it! Recognizing many stories from the Royal Viking Star. -Captain Reidulph Maalen
ORBIT, Life with My People
We read this book aloud, but Orbit writes really well, and so I believe Peter Longley does, too! Orbit was one superlative dog. There are a couple of places where where Orbit overhears some of the two-leggeds saying their community could be a new Finhorn. I spent three days at Findhorn in 1986, almost 30 years ago. -Lawrence B. Lewis, Osceola, Missouri
This is a wonderful book. Orbit was a great white Pyrenees who lived in the Ozark mountains. He was much loved by his community, his friends and human families, a loving, caring, and gentle soul. Orbit's thoughts and sentimernts were penned down by his human parents, Peter and Bettine. He adopted, cared for, and loved them both so much. Orbit's story recounts a segment in their lives and how they shared much joy and happiness, but also anxiety and pain, losses, departure, reunions, and sadness. Orbit was a keen observer of all life, his kingdom and its surroundings, his fellow creatures, and especally his humans. He was "just a dog," but his insights can open minds to explore new avenues of thinking and being. Although I've never met Orbit in person, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to know about him and his story. Orbit forever! I highly recommend this book for readers of all ages. -Sabine Jell-Bahlsen, Prien, Germany and New York, New York
THE AMAZING DOG WHO SANG WITH FLUTES. Orbit, Life with My People (iUniverse.com 2015) is a delightful account of one dog's life. British author Peter Longley presents a "dictated" account of life from Orbit's point of view about his life with world-renowned flautist Bettine Clemen, his lifelong friend. For many years, Orbit lived with Peter and Bettine at their property Alpha Meadows in the Missouri Ozarks. What energy and love this dog had!Orbit, a Great Pyrenees, was born in a log cabin and adopted by an entire community that lived in the Ozark mountains. Although he experienced happiness in this idyllic setting, Orbit also knew fear and pain. Orbit became best known by others outside his close-knit community for singing to Bettine's flutes. Recorded on film, Orbit's performances delighted audiences on Bettine's world concert tours. Not only did he bring light and unconditional love to his family and neighbors, his presence and compassion delivered life-affirming messages to everyone who met him personally and virtually. Love this book. - Angel Animals, Minneapolis, Minnesota
I'm so glad that I got a copy of this book. I really enjoyed reading it. Great book. - Doris Brookes, Springfield, Missouri
This book is an awesome one to read. I started reading this and couldn't put it down. So any dog lovers out there or even animal lovers, this is a must book to buy. I am not a reader, so it's got to be really good to keep my attention to keep reading. It's a book about a Great Pyrenees dog and his life through his eyes. All I can say is WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, a must read - Jen Richardson Hudson, Springfield, Missouri
Such a warm and wonderful story. It was a great pleasure reading this book. The author tells this story from Orbit's point of view in such a wonderful way. When I started to read, I could not put this down until I finished. I could personally identify with so much in this story. It fascinated me. Orbit must have had a wonderful life, living with people who cared so much for him, free to play and run in his adopted kingdom, Alpha Meadows. The way Peter and Bettine took him back there after moving out, that was just so touching. The way he was cared for, what he meant to a lot of people-disadvantaged children in school-and the patience he showed, the way he adapted when having to stay with other people, all comes through. The loyalty Orbit felt toward his people and the long and great life he had around people that loved him so much, make this a loving story from Orbit's interpretation of his life -Maila Haugen Bersaas, Eidsvag, Norway
Forsythia provided me with the best read I have ever had in a long time, maybe ever! Your idea of interlacing The Forsyte Saga with your own family's story enhances not only the Saga but also your Forsythia. Wonderful concept! A beautiful memory of Forsythia past - Charlotte Collier, Springfield, Missouri
I always loved the Forsyte Saga. Your insets of family memories was clever. It was a good read. - Dorothy Thompson, Scotland
Fans of popular Edwardian-period shows and literature such as Downton Abbey, Upstairs Downstairs, or Pride and Prejudice will fall in love with this hefty tome that examines the culture of that alluring time period through parallel lenses. Drawing skilful comparisons between the fictional family of Forsytes from John Galsworthy's epic work titled The Forsyte Saga, and his own family history and youth in England, Longley invites us into a world far different from our own. He recommends that prior to reading the book, we familiarize ourselves with the Galsworthy book, but possibly the 2002 BBC mini-series of the same title would provide a similar foundation on which to begin. With expert compare and contrast style, Longley carefully illuminates passages from the fictional Galsworthy work with stories from real life. We learn about the Longley-Hovenden-Cuthbertson-Collings family of the author's nativity, as he uses incidents and illustrations from his own history and the stories of his antecedents. Fictional narrative comes alive as we see true-life samples of the disparity between master and servant, strict cultural mores and rules, incidentals like an organ-grinder, ginger-beer, and waning traditions like the garden parties and social clubs. Morality is examined in context as well, as the Forsyte characters deal with a failing marriage, pivotal to the story's central themes of the decline of an era and a woman's place in society. Characters from author Longley's own history stand out as colorful as any fictive Forsyte: Granny Longley, progenitor Charles William Hovenden Longley, the author himself, and more, take on amusing and interesting lives of their own. Unveiling the mystery and rigidity of social class in intimate and minute detail, where 'Forsythia' becomes a term referring to the attitudes, unwritten laws, and sometimes outright chutzpah of the haut monde, this precis on not only The Forsyte Saga but Edwardian and Victorian periods heading into the transitional periods of wartime and upheaval provides a meticulous, comprehensive history replete with copious detail and entertaining stories. A genuine reading pleasure especially for students of history or classic literature. - The Sacramento Book Review/San Francisco Book Review
In his expansive memoir, Forsythia, Peter Hovenden Longley documents Victorian-and-Edwardian-era upper-middle class British society primarily through the lens of John Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga, while juxtaposing Galsworthy's text with history of the British Empire and his own personal anecdotes. Born into the upper 3 percent of British society - or "Forsythia." as the author refers to it - Longley firmly establishes himself among the caretakers of the Empire, an elite class with rigid moral codes that govern everything from education and sporting interests to marriage and other decidedly British cultural intitutions such asd tea, posh social clubs and, of course, king and country. But Longley declares that he was born during the twilight of "Forsythia" and witnessed its demise due to wars, class tension and the fall of the Empire. Forsythia is at its best when Longley expounds upon his family history and his own exploits during his proper English upbringing and his years abroad, as he spent over a decade in Ireland and nearly 40 years in the United Staters. With the popularity of programs such as Downton Abbey, books such as Forsythia remain an integral part of an alluring cultural landscape, and readers will glean interesting information if they can persevere through this hefty offering. - Blueink Review
Reading Forsythia is like going on a journey into our rich and distant past. Fascinating! The author weaves a personal account, a reminiscence of his own English family from the 1880s to the 1960s which he embeds within John Galsworthgy's insightful Forsyte Saga. Hence the name Forsythia! The book is masterfully crafted in the way that his own recollections of his family and his commentary on Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga seem to run in parallel with each other. Longley was brought up towards the end of Forsythia-a world of the privileged 3 per cent born to serve the British Empire. The stoicism of the English comes through-how they believed this world would never fade, but of course time marches on and change is inevitable. And so there is a poignancy within this book about these times of change and sometimes sorrow as the old gives way to the new. Primarily then this is a book about the rise and fall of the British Upper-Middle Class and the rise and fall of the British Empire with some wonderful family memoirs as well. If you enjoy history, or literature, or both, or even if you don't, I thouroughly recommend this book. Once started it is not easy to put down. - Sue S. UK
Forsythia is an engaging recollection of upper middle class British families during the age of Imperial Britain. I normally do not like spending so much time with characters I don't know, but it is a testament to Peter Longley's flair for storytelling thay I felt compelled to see what would happen on each suceeding page. Triumph and tragedy, it's all here in a carefully detailed historical perspective that skilfully guides the reader to the twilight of the British Empire. Forsythia begs for those with a sense of history woven with a charming, honest, life-affirming view of generations past. Definitely worth the read! - Vaughn Skaggs, Midssouri
Though Forsythia does require a committment from the reader to finish as it is a rather long book-it's definitely worth the read if you are a person who enjoys historical texts. Longley does a terrific job retracing his family's not too distant roots (Non-Fiction) parallel to John Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga (Fiction). Fans of 'Downton Abbey', 'Brideshead Revisited', and even 'Upstairs Downstairs' will enjoy Forsythia. - L. Avery Brown, Austin, Texas
The word 'Forsythia' provides a key to this intriguing book, which is part family history and part literary and social commentary. Peter Longley has used the settings, characters, and themes of John Glsworthy's Forsyte Saga to frame an account of his own family from the 1880s to the 1960s, and thereby to explore the experiences of the English upper-middle class during the age of Empire. Longley draws particularly on his childhood in the 'last generation of Forsytes', his extensive knowledge of many of the countries that made up the British Empire, and his training as a historian, to construct a multi-layered portrayal of a vanished era. Forsythia might seem like a challenging read for those not familiar with Galsworthy's novels, but the coimpilation can also be 'dipped into' and enjoyed without reference to the entire 'Forsyte' narrative. The success of Downton Abbey, moreover, bears witness to our interest in the Longleys, Hovendens, and others of their totem. - St. Catherines College Library, University of Cambridge.
A STAR'S LEGACY
You kept me up well past midnight for a week, but I made it in the end. I loved A Star's Legacy. You wove a wonderful web with the story line and the characters all became alive in the reader's eyes. I can't wait for the next volume to see how Joshua becomes Jesus. This book has somehow to get the market it truly deserves. — Derek Mann,Cape Cod, Massachussets
In A Star's Legacy,- the first book in the Magdala Trilogy - Peter Longley sets out to weave the tale of one of the most familiar, yet least-known women of history: Mary Magdalene. In much the same way that Marion Zimmer Bradley reconstructed the Arthurian legend in The Mists of Avalon, Longley blends a fantastic mixture of historical and fictional figures and events to narrate the early lives of Joshua, (also known as Jesus of Nazareth,) Maria, (also known as Mary Magdalene,) and Linus Flavius, (son of a high-ranking Roman official.) Using simple, effective prose, Longley tells an engaging tale that offers plausible explanations of those well-known stories of the miraculous, such as the virgin birth and the turning of water into wine. Overall, Longley tells an intriguing story in a setting that is both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. - Sacramento and San Francisco Book Reviews, California
Your feeling for the Roman and Israel point of view is superb. - Dorothy Thompson, Scotland
I very much enjoy your interpretation of the life of Jesus and feel it is much more logical than the accepted version. I have always had a fascination with Mary Magdalene and her life as well. I found this book to be very interesting. I liked it very much. Nothing I have read on Mary Magdalene has had the same sort of story line including her mother. Thank you! - Cheryl Huffman, Missouri
BEYOND THE OLIVE GROVE
I spent Christmas and the New Year at Mount Washington and spent my non skiing hours reading Beyond the Olive Grove. What a wonderful web you weave with the characters and the description of Christ's last hours is a masterpiece.— Barsham, Massachussets
A very enjoyable read. The dialogue between your characters is easy and lively and I like the way the chapters are nicely divided into relatively short sections. In your story you stir in your versions of the traditional Jesus stories with your fictitious Roman family with great effect to illustrate your vision of Mary Magdalene and her relationship with Jesus. Your story may seem plausible and will very likely persuade many of your readers that this is the truth.- A Reader from Paris, France
Having now read both A Star's Legacy and Beyond the Olive Grove I feel certain from the descriptive nature of the places that the author has personal knowledge of these important First Century sites giving authenticity to his work often missing in Biblical narratives. - Beecher, Springfield, Missouri
Joshua of Nazareth has been many things; stone mason, carpenter, vinekeeper. But now it's time for him to accept the greatest title of his life - that of Messiah. From the tiny village of Bethany, to the fishing community of Galilee, to the holy city of Jerusalem, Joshua spreads his message to rich and poor alike. Along with his twelve chosen disciples, Joshua also gathers a circle of close friends, including Maria of Magdala, known as a whore and an adulteress. Maria's very presence and the obvious love between her and Joshua slowly begins dividing Joshua's followers, threatening the very heart of his ministry. In Beyond the Olive Grove - the second book in the Magdala Trilogy - Longley continues the stories of Joshua, Maria, and Linus Flavius as they travel along the paths that destiny has laid out for them. Longley continues his story with the same simple and direct prose that characterized his first book - A Star's Legacy. His style matures slightly as well, becoming more descriptive and a little less abrupt. His unique interpretations of the life of the Messiah, along with his interesting and plausible explanations of miraculous events and his indications that Maria of Magdala played a vital role in the ministry of God's son, make for a fascinating and intriguing story and increases anticipation for the third and final book in the series - San Francisco and Sacramento Book Reviews, California
Longley's historical novel is the second volume of an extrapolation on the origins of Christianity. The German critic Erich Auerbach famously writes that the Bible is "fraught with background"--it witholds more truths than it reveals. As much can be said of the gospels, and a variety of modern writers, from Norman Mailer to Robert Graves to Jose Saramago, have composed fictions intended to fill the gaps in the biography of Jesus. Longley joins their ranks with his Magdala Trilogy, a multivolume set designed to deliver a literary portrait of first-century Palestine made clearer in the light of new historical, textual and archeological research. This book focuses on the adulthood and ministry of Jesus--here identified in the Aramaic as Joshua--and seeks to develop a believable profile of the man who started Christianity. In Longley's version, Joshua shares the stage with Maria (Mary Magdalene), a Jewish prostitute and Jesus' intimate, and Linus, a Roman soldier and the father of Maria's son, Marcus. Longley's panoramic view of Joshua's life bebefits from the findings of the Jesus Seminar, a group of 20th-century scholars devoted to developing a more accurate understanding of the "historical Jesus"--the man apart from the myth. As such, Joshua is more man than God, though he remains holy. He is married and widowed; he loves, and has sex with, Maria; his miracles--and the miracles that seem to follow him--are more figurative than literal. But despite these elaborations, alterations and fabrications, Joshua remains a blessed figure and a hero. Longley's volume is scrupulously researched but endlessly creative. Further, its historical Maria and its fictional Linus are worthy foils to the still-strong Joshua. (By book's end, Maria is the novel's real heroine.) The author's prose is lush and confidant, though he writes with a sense of humility appropriate to one recalibrating scripture. A provocative new picture of the "historical" Jesus. -Kirkus Discoveries, Kirkus Media, Texas
I enjoyed both these books. The author's take is interesting and feasible and his feeling for the Roman and Israel viewpoint is superb. - Dorothy Thompson, Scotland
I have recently finished Beyond the Olive Grove and I enjoyed it very much! I so appreciated the thoughts from Jesus/Joshua as he hung from the cross, and also the exchange between Mary/Maria and the caretaker at his tomb was very warm and inspiring. In the Bahai Faith, our writings say in part, "If science and religion don't agree, then it is superstition." I love how your books explain how some of his miracles could have reasonably occured. I am looking forward to the third book as I am anxious to continue this journey with Jesus and Mary. Thank you for writing these wonderful and heartfelt books - Cheryl Huffman, Missouri
THE MIST OF GOD
I don't want to come to the end of The Mist of God. I prefer reading trilogies over other books and I have a habit of taking my time on the last book. It is the highlight of my day when I sit down to read a few chapters of The Mist of God. I love the series, how interesting and eye-opening, and I have learned several things in the process about the Bible and who did what for whom - Cheryl Huffman, Springfield, Missouri
I loved the way you bring the Mediterranean ports to life, especially Ephesus, whose ruins I know well. What a plot you weave. I had no idea how you were going to end this, but when the end came it was superb - Derek Barsham, Cape Cod, Massachussets
Joshua is dead, crucified by the Romans and condemned by the Jewish elders who feared that his teachings challenged their spiritual superiority within the hierarchy of Jewish law. After his tomb is discovered empty, his body removed, Joshua's followers fall into disarray. Yet, even though he is gone, Maria of Magdala refuses to be subdued. Within her womb, she carries Joshua's son and everywhere she sees the light of his divine presence. Linus Flavius carries with him the guilt of Joshua's crucifixion--he oversaw Joshuia's final moments. But the teachings of Joshua's followers touch him, and he finds himself becoming a part of their growing community. Soon, Joshua's followers are fouind in all corners of the empire and beyond. But will the prejudice of their own people be their final downfall? In The Mist of God--the final book in the Magdala Trilogy--Longley concludes his epic retelling of the life of Joshua and the spread of Christianity. In the final piece of the story, we're introduced to new characters, such as Paulus (known as Saul of Tarsus), the Nazarene's greatest enemy-turned advocate, and Marcus, a merchant prince and half-brother to Ben Joshua, the controversial son of Maria and the messiah. Spanning the far-flung trade routes of the Roman Empire and beyond, Longley weaves a plausible tale of the rise and spread of Christianity, as well as the deviations of belief that inevitably arose among its followers. Longley's style has matured yet again, and his prose flows evenly along one twisty riverbed of a tale. An intriguing read and a great alternative telling of a very old story - Portland Book Review
The politics of faith are as complex as the politics of nations. The Mist of God is the third entry in Peter Longley's Magdala Trilogy, telling the story of three individuals who live their lives throughout the Roman Empire and its neighbors in the first century AD. Exploring the politics of Judaism and the will of the Empire throughout as well as many challenges to personal faith, The Mist of God is a riveting read that should prove hard to put down. - Willis M. Buhle, Midwest Book Review
TWO THOUSAND YEARS LATER
Your book is superb! I agree with almost all your first century scenarios - only with Judas Iscariot I disagree. I don't think he ever existed, and have put out the case some years ago (before Bishop Spong!) It was one of the conclusions I reached when I translated the New Testament in contemporary English and put the writings in chronological order - I don't think Barrabas existed either, etc. - Dr. Jim Veitch, Department of Religious Studies, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.
I spent the weekend reading your book, which I found most intriguing and interesting and look forward to discussing this with you. - Dr. Maureen Garing, Producer - Spiritual Programmes, Radio New Zealand.
Greatly enjoyed reading your book Two Thousand Years Later. I am sure copies will not be on our shelves much longer. - Harmony Books, Australia.
Extraordinary - a message on every page just as music soars to change our consciousness.- Lorin Hollander, World-renowned Concert Pianist, New York.
Finished your book. WOW! WOW! I'm now waiting for The Magdala Trilogy. - Helen Logvinov, Brentwood, Tennessee.
An inquiring search for truth, worthy of serious examination, utilizing another view of Jesus that challenges contemporary Christian thinking. - The Venerable Canon Robert N. Willing, Archdeacon Emeritus, New York.
This novel provides a valuable insight for people of all faiths to find the godly in themselves and each other. - Rabbi Norman T. Mendel, Vice President Director, Institute for Applied Health Care Ethics, California.
Good book, well written, intriguing. I personally think it could go the way of The Celestine Prophecy. — Dr. Dana Moses, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
I am not a religious person and may have missed many of the nuances in your novel. I neither believe nor disbelieve in reincarnation, but I do accept the possibility. I am far from a literary critic. Having said all that, I find your novel fascinating. It has a powerful start, with the picture of a huge cruise ship being tossed around by the elements. You present a fascinating cast of characters and are able to blend them in different periods of time. Your novel, to me, is well written, contains excitement, romance, love, and adventure. It above all challenges rigid religious beliefs, which remain more comfortable unchallenged. - Herb Kaplan, Psychiatrist, Connecticut.
You have made me extremely curious to read The Magdala Trilogy. I have a feeling the following works are going to be very controversial and make a few good discussions and arguments. - Agnes Thompson, East Linton, Scotland.
Longley gives us an alternative message of Jesus appropriate for the cosmic thinking of the millennium that is based on sound scholarship shared from his background as a Cambridge theologian within the thinking of the Historical Jesus movement. - The Edge, Minneapolis, August 1997 Edition.
This is the story of two worlds that merge when a sophisticated circle of 20th century friends, through separate visions of the 1st Century, find themselves reincarnated into the world of Jesus and Mary Magdalena. They find that it is not the world the writers of the New Testament have created for us and that we have accepted over the centuries. Jesus (Joshua) is a man of his time - his divinity is tempered with a warm, sensuous love for Mary Magdalena by whom he has a son. This is the jolting assertion that the reader must accept. The way the writer has developed it makes the book fascinating because it is backed with an extensive knowledge of this biblical time. The colors and sounds of this 1st Century come alive because they are presented with the eye of the artist-writer Peter Longley. Instead of painting on canvas he is painting with words. His descriptive powers are considerable and he brings to life the birds, animals and trees of this timeless land. But the greatest test is how he has created the person of Joshua. This is the real triumph of the writer. He has made him a man of his time whilst still a son of God. It is done sincerely, humbly and with absolute conviction - perhaps the best writing of the book. It reveals the solid, scholarly research that must lie behind such a radical statement and without which the premiss would be merely sensational and without weight. The author also introduces the conviction that sexual intimacy is a part of the natural expression of a devotional love of God - there is no separation of the body and the spirit as the Church has preached for many years. A most radical and interesting book for modern readers. - Helen Robertson, Winnipeg, Canada.
I personally want to thank Peter Longley for his rip roaring, can't put it down page-turner, Two Thousand Years Later, which just about says it all!— Bob Vestigo, Farmingdale, New York.
I just read your bookTwo Thousand Years Later and I have to admit it was fascinating. This book is really special; I have never before read something even remotely similar. If all history and geography books were written this way I'd be an expert. - Peter, Slovenia, Eastern Europe.
I just last night finished devouring your marvelous book, Two Thousand Years Later. WOW! What a book! What an experience! Thank you so very much! You're a gifted author! I quite literally had trouble putting the book down. I read it in two sittings — reading into the early morning hours, on work nights, no less. Am now most anxious to read your trilogy, The Magdala Trilogy. I look forward to purchasing my copies as soon as they are available. Again, I appreciate your sharing Two Thousand Years Later with eager interested readers such as myself. My mind is still reflecting on and savoring it. — Karen Anderson, Knoxville, Tennessee.
I finally got a copy of Two Thousand Years Later. I enjoyed reading it. I particularly liked the vivid descriptions of Hong Kong, where I spent my formative years. I feel for a pianist that has to give impromptu recitals just because there is a piano nearby. But, I have been thinking about the concept of offering alternative concepts of Christian history by writing fiction about it. As a scientific type, I am comfortable with ambiguity about history, because scientific theories are just today's concepts. Apparently churches are not comfortable with that. I have also read Wilson's Paul, the mind of the Apostle and The Acts of Jesus from the Jesus Seminar. My mediation of the moment is: What do I believe if I do not believe in the historical Jesus? — William W.L.Lee, South Pasadena, California.
The most intense book I have ever read! Could not put it down! - Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I came across your web page on the Internet and I ordered your book Two Thousand Years Later through amazon.com a mail-order bookshop over the Internet. I wanted to try the service from this Middle Eastern country. I was blessed because your book arrived before I had to go on a two-week recruiting trip to India and I was able to take it with me to read during the trip! I enjoyed your book very much. I think there are several levels at which Two Thousand Years Later reaches me. It is immensely readable. First, the story — the relationship between David and Clarissa is absolutely beautiful. Then, actually thinking through the reincarnation of 'Jesus' and what 'his' future incarnations may have been, as well as other characters, is one of the most challenging concepts in the book. It challenges me on the level of what degree of spiritual growth we may achieve in any one lifetime and where that may take us for future lifetimes. It is startling to think of what other individuals, whom are considered spiritually advanced, may achieve in one lifetime and many lifetimes. Finally, the focus on divine love is wonderful. I am so pleased when I see this coming out more and more today. The opportunity for people to think about 'coincidences' in their lives, and the exploration of reincarnation is always one of my favorite topics. I am not a thoroughly analytical person and am writing to you my responses and pleasure in reading your book. I thoroughly enjoyed Two Thousand Years Later and will share it with friends who may be interested. - Cindy F. Davis, Qatar, Middle East.
Two Thousand Years Later gave me an entirely new view of Jesus and the Bible, one that I'm glad to have. - Barbara Hirsch, Santa Barbara, California.
I could not put Two Thousand Years Later down. - Vivien Arcoleo, Sunbury, England.
I have just finished Two Thousand Years Later and am compelled to touch bases with you. I am so glad I read the 'Author's Note' before proceeding too far into the book. To begin with I wondered, "Where is he going with this and why?" Then I came across that final addition and could proceed with a guiding light. The more I read, the more engrossed I became, clearly visualizing all the characters. I regret having to leave them behind. Your book boldly explores the "possibilities" inherent with Jesus being a real first century human. Two Thousand Years Later opens up a channel, which, like living on a flood plain, allows rushing waters of thought to gush forth in spring. I hope we will meet one day, but if not, 310 pages bound us together for a few days and they opened my receptive imagination to the even greater mysteries of the Jesus whom I have learned to know and love. - Loni Chandler, Evergreen, Colorado.
Clarissa, a concert pianist, and David, chief purser of the cruise ship Prince Regent, are newlyweds who find it "hard to sense the spirituality in conventional Christianity." In their travels, they make an ever-widening group of friends with whom they develop a "strange interconnecting bond... that seems to move from the present back two thousand years to a first century past." This past-life association reframes their relationship (and the lives of those in the group) as Clarissa/Maria and David/Linus focus on karma and a quest to understand the true meaning of Christ, not just in today's world but when he was alive. What grounds the story are timely references to the everyday: cappuccino, scotch, and canned soup all make cameo appearances. Two Thousand Years Later deals with jealousy, trust, and friendship in a spirit of camaraderie and reconciliation, noting that "we are all God's people. All of us have the divine spark within us." - HR, Napra Review Vol. 10, No. 12
I bought Two Thousand Years Later on Friday and could not put it down! Excellent subject. Okay! You've got me hooked! - Bishop Theodora Weber, President of The College of Seminarians, Federation of St. Thomas Christians.
Thought provoking! Not only did I enjoy reading this book but the provocative theories in the book gave me pause that my assumptions about Jesus of Nazareth was the complete truth about his life. Peter Longley's book is controversial but well worth the ride. - A Reader in Minnesota.
Great Concept! Thank you for writing this wonderful adventure novel! A delight to read! - A Reader from Georgia.
A Thinking man's book! Buy and read this book if you dare. The author pulls no punches with his book. Thank you for having the courage to write and give a different viewpoint on a subject most would have stayed away from for fear of offending those who need to believe. Thank you. - A Reader from California.
On the edge! This book is provocative, scary, makes one want to read on, an interesting page turner with a writing style that is precise. I recommend it for any individual who wants to expand his or her view of what most consider to be truth. - A Reader from Minnesota.
Wow! You'll never see Christianity the same again. An intriguing story that is totally contemporary, but subtly shatters the illusions of two thousand years. I love the way the author weaves between his modern day characters and their First Century past lives. The characters are so well defined that the reader is compelled to believe in their experiences and thus is drawn in to a much deeper message giving revelations about Jesus quite different from those taught by conventional Christianity. This is a brave foray into a new concept of thinking about God and morality that brings Christianity into the Twenty-First Century. On the surface, however, this book is a cracking good adventure romance full of intrigue, jealousy, passion and love. It takes place against a backdrop of world travel that encompasses almost all areas of our planet with the most beautiful descriptive passages. Apart from being spiritually challenged and uplifted by the conclusions this book draws on Jesus and his times, you will feel that you know our planet better and can love it more in these troubled times. Two Thousand Years Later by Peter Longley is a masterful blend of metaphysics, scholarship and storytelling that is as real in its presentation of the First Century AD as it is of our own times. Bravo! Two thumbs up! - Dr. J. Crow, Georgia.
I finished reading Two Thousand Years Later and from a Jewish perspective I enjoyed the story and the way you told it very much. I do agree that the goodness that we all must experience is within each of us. While I can not accept the concept that Jesus was other than a somewhat rebellious Jew of his time, I agree that his preaching was to reach for that inner goodness. I also agree with your comments that the various Christian churches would have a problem with the story. Let me know when your next book will be available. - Stan Seeman, U.S.A.
Soul Searching! I have recently read, and thoroughly enjoyed Peter Longley's absolutely magnificent book Two Thousand Years Later. This is truly an eye-opening experience, which takes the reader on a whole new level of thinking. It is certainly refreshing to see how well the authors able to capture his readers' attention, and to allow him/her to think deeply and strongly about their own personal belief systems. While the characters in the book are considered to be fictitious, I really found them all to be charming! The story itself would make for a truly entertaining full-length feature film as well! Two Thousand Years Later is a novel which has a very profound message, and I realize that for some it may appear to be convulted, if not downright crazy, but I firmly believe that anyone who has interest in personal growth and wants to continue expanding their consciousness will find this book most enlightening! While I am not going into the specifics of the story line here, I really feel strongly that in light of the recent global events, we need to take comfort and solace in knowing that there are authors out there, like Peter Longley, who truly embrace the value of being able to help their readers feel that there is still hope and purpose in the chaotic world which we live in today! This book certainly deserves a 5-star gold rating, and I hope that there will be more people interested and curious enough to want to take the personal growth challenge and read it for themselves! Many accolades to Peter Longley for such an outstanding book! I would highly recommend this book to all of my friends, and it's certainly worth the time to really sit back and ponder the messages found in this delightful story! - Allison Chapman, California.
As a Jew I have come to embrace the basic message of Yeshua as a son of God — as we are all sons and daughters of God, as summarized in Two Thousand Years Later. I believe Yeshua never intended to start a new religion, but was a reformer whose message was twisted and distorted by those who came after him. I often wonder what kind of a human being he was, and what it would have been like to know him. In many ways my life has paralleled what I imagine the author of Two Thousand Years Later to have been and I identify with Peter Longley very strongly through his book. While Peter's journey began in a theological context, I started out as a quite traditional psychiatrist. Over the years I became more and more of a heretic, as I involved myself in 'crazy' ideas like past lives, re-incarnation, psychic power etc. My wife, too, has great spiritual sensitivity. She is able to see auras. And when we visited Ephesus for the first time she knew her way around that First Century city feeling that she had lived there in ancient times. - Barry Kaplan, Aventura, Florida
I really enjoyed your book Two Thousand Years Later. It was nice to read a story again, instead of just lots of information like in so many spiritually based books. It does lead one to want to read the other books just to see what more is remembered. Many of the things within your book are true within others memories and some are differ. I must say this book was very entertaining and kept me reading. I read the book in like 4-5 hours in two sittings, so it kept my interest and I am sure it will and has for others. Christ Consciousness, the message of your book, is what matters. I would love to read your other books. - Laura Lynn, Marco Island, Florida.
Beautiful and thought provoking. - Elizabeth Sargeant, England.
Outstanding Research; Outstanding Writer. Although written as a novel, Longley's research into the subject of the historical Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and other biblical characters not as well known, is obvious and enhances the appeal of the story. As a student of the historical Jesus, I quickly realized that Longley had combined biblical references with other ancient materials and historical accounts of the time to construct a picture of Jesus that may come much closer to the truth than many might like to believe. Fast paced, exciting, romantic, and original, I found it difficult to put the book down. I'm now anxiously awaiting the next in the series. - Paula Gott, Highlandville, Missouri.
Interesting and intriguing. The idea of the book is fascinating and calls for one to stretch beyond the traditional way of thinking. - Jack and Mariah, California.
I have had Two Thousand Years Later for some time but was prompted to read it this week. Once I started to read, I couldn't put it down. - Gwen Rust, Fargo, North Dakota.
Two Thousand Years Later is a very well written book that fascinated me. Starting with life on board a big cruise liner and shipboard romance, it describes magnificent places around the world and is a beautiful love story. Then, it merges into research of what happened two thousand years ago in the Middle East and reincarnation and what it is all about--souls live forever. Peter Longley combines effectively past and present time. It is a new way of thinking and it definitely has a message This is what we are all wondering about. I found his interpretation of the gospel very interesting. I note the setence: "the consciousness of Joshua equates with the light of God within us." That is something to think about--the goodness in every human being. In my opinion this id the guiding principle of the whole story. I could hardly put it down until I had finished. I look forward to the next book. - Maila Bersaas, Eidsvaag, Norway.
LOVE IS WHERE YOUR ROSEMARY GROWS?
I particularly liked the portions of the book that talked about gardening - Sam Picikering, Connecticut. ?
It made me cry, cry and sob and weep. I couldn't tear myself away. I loved it. You took me to a place I wasn't sure of. You held my hand through it and brought me out the other side. - Leslie Manning, Coffeeville, Mississippi.
A sad story very well written. - A Reader from Paris, France.
I enjoyed this book very much. I love the way you describe the Norwegian fjords and coast. I live 50 km from Adalsnes. From Chapter 6 I could hardly put the book down, very romantic story and easy reading, even if the last part was sad. Lots of tears both for the wild girl and her sick mother. In a way it came close to me. I lost my mother to lung cancer 3 years ago. A terrible sickness. I think you are a very good writer and I was so fascinated by this book, I will probably read it all over again! I have ordered another book by you and hope they can get it in Norway - Maila Haugen Bersaas, Norway.
This is a book of insight conveyed with splendid dialogue. It's quite an accomplishment to take adolescent laughs and thoughts and place them boldly beside serious conversation with adults. It is also a book of wide travels and a beautiful gallery obviously based on the author's personal experiences. It was, in other words, a good read - Charlotte Collier, Springfield, Missouri
Longley's tale would be much better if he had kept to the relationship between Jake and Marianne. Unsafe sex, drug use and some inconsistencies in this book overshadow its one saving grace: the poignancy of Marianne's fight against cancer. Artist Jake Saunders meets mother Marianne and her daughter Rosemary aboard the luxury cruise ship where he's working. The love triangle begins when he's drawn to Marianne for friendship while physically aching for 18-year old Rosemary. Although more than 20 years older than the hot-to-trot teenager, Jake waves his conscience aside and begins a lengthy liaison with her on and off the ship. The pair become engaged, but their relationship is pitted with insecurities about age, guilt and Rose's free lifestyle. After Rose prostitutes herself for kicks, Jake breaks off the relationship and, once again, returns to continue his friendship with her mother. -Faith V. Smith, RTBook Reviews.