Mary, the Mother of Jesus
Janice Shea was Head of the Media, Technical, A.V. Equipment Services at Algonquin College, Nepean, Ontario.
This book appears to be a novelization of the life of Mary, including and followed by a discourse on general Marian theology. No child, adult, layman, or (especially) theologian could derive any particular benefit from it. It could most charitably be called right-wing religion; at its worst it is dangerous.
There is no introductory material to the text or to the author. The prose is unclear and displeasing to the reader, varying from narrative to catechism to invocation and prayer. For example, “Any philosopher who prescribes from this fact, any historian who distorts it, any scientist who tries to analyze it away, ruins all thought and sanity and destroys his mind, his expression, his looks, his culture, his love, his marriage, his social values, and can ultimately be presented to the world with the typical appearance of the ugly intellectual who is teaching in our colleges in modern times” (page 99). Also: “Such has often happened to thee through the astuteness of the serpent, when, under guise of holy fear, the devil entangled thee in an inordinate liking for the blessings of the Lord. This science of holy fear is the accompaniment of the favors communicated to thee by the Most High, and it fills the soul with sweetness properly to estimate and appreciate the gifts, which come from the powerful and of the almighty; neither are any of them unimportant, nor does this fear hinder a proper estimate of these gifts” (page 147). There are also frequent spelling and/or typographical errors.
Besides the objectionable content, there are also cosmetic problems. The print is unevenly shaded, it runs together in places, and some pages are off-center. There are a few photographs, poorly screened and apparently reproduced without permission. The review copy had a page repeated and the spine stained with extra glue.
The writer has clearly spent considerable time gathering pertinent information and writing it to fill almost 200 pages. Her fervour and piety are also apparent. I regret to say, however, that I can find nothing to recommend this book.