When I posted my review of Field of Blood by Eric Wilson, David N. Wilson--no relation that I'm aware of--let me know (via Twitter) that his novel, This is My Blood was also a vampire story, also an alternate history of Christ's days on earth. He said it was ahead of its time, and I agree 100%.
In his own words, David tells us this novel started as a short story in the 1980's entitled "A Candle Lit in Sunlight" which was published in The Year's Best Horror edited by the late Karl Edward Wagner. This led him to expand his thoughts and eventually publish the book in 1999.
The reason I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts down is because this is really like no book I've ever read. But that's not exactly true either.
Remember when I read The Road by Cormac McCarthy and said I sorta liked it? That was October 2007. Now it's one of my favorite books. I realized as the weeks and months passed by that I had an ongoing emotional reaction to The Road. Certain things would trigger my emotion. A gray, cloudy day would bring back all of the stark nothingness of The Road. A father and son in walking to their car would take me to The Road. After months of experiencing The Road, I realized there weren't too many books that could accomplish such a thing.
That's what it feels like is going on with This is My Blood.
I admit, I am very skeptical of stories like this, alternate histories of the Bible, and of course, one must have an open mind when reading any fiction as far as I'm concerned. With an open mind, I read David's novel and discovered a hidden treasure.
I don't want to retell the story, I think you, loved reader, need to get this one for yourself. I'm sure you can find a synopsis online, but that doesn't do justice to this story. So just order the book.
Let me get what I didn't like out of the way, because there wasn't much. You know I have some pet peeves and that's kind of what I picked at. There are some words that are overused. For some reason that bothers me. I probably do it in my own writing. And there's a part at the end I didn't like, but I can't say it here because it would be a total spoiler. It was the one thing that strayed far enough from my theology that I really wish it would have been different. I understand how it benefits the story, but it seemed to me to make Jesus less God and less capable of His purpose. It, to me, gave power and authority to someone else, and for that, I was disappointed.
It did not take away from the message I saw the story delivering.
This is My Blood is a love story. Jesus' story for each and every one of us is a story, a reality, of unconditional love. We don't deserve His sacrifice. We aren't worthy of the spilling of His blood for our tainted and hardened hearts. It is what He came here for, though. To show us His love.
What about the angels that followed Lucifer in their fall? Are they worthy of Jesus' sacrifice? Are they able to be reconciled to the Father? That's a question I've often pondered. This is My Blood speaks to that.
One of the most striking elements of This is My Blood is David N. Wilson is writing from a woman's point of view and it's virtually flawless. I've read a few other things by this author and his writing has a natural, organic, sensual flow. There is a depth of character and emotion that most male writers have a hard time thinking of, let alone getting down seamlessly. For that, I praise David.
There were times I was completely devastated and other times, I could feel my hope mounting, waiting expectantly, as if it was my faith for Christ, my hope in Him, my love. It takes a lot to get me to that point, the point that I'm crossing boundaries of reality.
It is also a story of faith and hope.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
And it is impossible to please God without faith.
To my knowledge, I have yet to read a novel with a more stunning display of faith, hope, and love. This is My Blood is a phenomenal example of Jesus' commitment to the condemned that walk this earth.
I understand now, why some readers of This is My Blood have told David that their faith was strengthened by this story. I will not forget this story.