‘The Alabaster Orphan’ makes it real

By From page B4 | December 03, 2012

Book: “The Alabaster Orphan”

Author: Mary M. Maaga

Published: August 2012, 580 pages, softcover

Cost: $24.95

In “The Alabaster Orphan,” readers travel back in time to the years when Jesus Christ was alive and conducting his ministry and they see the events of the time unfold through the eyes of a young, spiritually gifted orphan.

Esther moves through her life from orphan, to sinner, daughter and finally disciple as she follows a spiritual journey to the ultimate connection with God, bringing her own gifts and belief as her contribution.

This is not a sanitized version of Christ’s ministry or of the problems that faced his followers, including Esther.

Author Mary Maaga makes it as real as possible, placing the reader’s feet on the road with Jesus, watching the miracles he performed and understanding the decisions that had to be made.

Maaga is clear about the role women played in Jesus’ ministry and faces the controversy about  Mary Magdalene straight on, choosing to establish Mary as Jesus’s wife and help meet, his mother, Mary, as a vital and active participant in his ministry and Esther as a beloved friend.

Maaga has a PhD with distinction in religion and society and was an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. She was voted “Most Inspirational Person of El Dorado County.”

Maaga wrote “The Alabaster Orphan” as her passage through grief at the death of her husband in 2004, but she had begun the book began years before, during long commute trips.

Maaga, then a full-time pastor, whiled away the miles by creating a life story for one of the nameless women referenced in the Gospels — the woman with the alabaster jar of ointment who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. Writing during her children’s dance lesson and soccer games, Maaga created a book both intriguing and inspiring.

“Currently I am mostly a full-time mom who also leads retreats, preaches for pastors on vacation, officiates at funerals, writes, and does lots of community service,” said Maaga.

She is working on a sequel to “The Alabaster Orphan,” titled “Alabaster Exile.”

“Th Alabaster Orphan: A Mystic Girl’s Journey with Jesus,” is available, softcover print version for $30 which includes shipping and handling at Maaga’s Website or for Kindle through

She has completed a huge number of book signings in the Sacramento metropolitan area for the year but plans more book signings next year.

“Th Alabaster Orphan,” is  Maaga’s second book. Her first,  “Hearing the Voices of Jonestown,” is a non-fiction novel about the women in leadership positions at People’s Temple where suicide/murders  in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, happened.

Wendy Schultz

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