Classed as a Mystery Thriller at the local bookstore and as Fiction at JCL, The Expected One follows protagonist journalist Maureen Pascal as she does research for her new novel. In the process, she discovers ancient mysteries involving the Cathar peoples of southwest France and uncovers legends including Mary Magdalene and a gospel that she wrote describing her life as Jesus’ wife and his teachings. Great artistic masters and scientific minds are involved including Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton. Also involved are John the Baptist, Judas, and Salome. McGowan views her novel as historical fiction and believes, as her protagonist quotes, “History is not what happened. History is what was written down.” Much of her research involves tuning in to the oral traditions to uncover that which is not available in libraries and textbooks. She also worked to corroborate her findings with various print sources. Whatever your opinion of the ideas that McGowan shares, the story stands alone as a “good read”. The plot moves right along, and does include mystery and suspense. I am reminded of Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” and the attempt to reveal “The Truth”. Various reviewers say the book is not well written, however many readers give it high marks. If the subject matter appeals to you, give it a chance. This title is the first of the Magdalene Line series which includes “The Book of Love” and “The Poet Prince”.
Oak Park Library is currently closed and will re-open on Monday, Dec. 18 at 9 a.m.