Book Notes: Twenty Mysteries, A Novel of the Rosary by Aleksandr Jackson


Book Notes 720 x 340 dark gold outline and medium blue pen _ Notes light blueThis is truly the best book on the rosary that I’ve ever read. And it’s not just because my brother wrote it.

Twenty Mysteries: A Novel of the Rosary came out last month. As the back cover reads:

Twenty Mysteries: A Novel of the Rosary by Aleksandr Jackson

Twenty Mysteries: A Novel of the Rosary by Aleksandr Jackson

Immerse yourself in the lives of Jesus, Mary and the Apostles. Be with Mary when she gives her fiat, travel with her to see Elizabeth and join the shepherds as they follow the chorus of angels to the Messiah in the manger. Go fishing with Peter and follow him as Christ invites him to be a fisher of men. Celebrate the wedding feast of Canaa and go with the Apostles as they proclaim the kingdom. Stand on the mountainside when Jesus’s full glory is revealed, and be there at the Last Supper and Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. Finally, live with the early Church as she grows in the face of persecution.

Replete with historical facts and attention to detail, this narrative is astonishing in its ability to bring the reader to the heart (and sometimes heat) of the moment of events of the Old and New Testament. Jackson does an incredible job fleshing out the details that scripture has left up to our imagination.

As his less-imaginative sister, my meditations on the rosary usually follow the same path, bringing to mind the same thoughts and images time and again. This book for me broke open the possibilities of what life with Love Incarnate could have been for the ordinary people who found themselves walking with the Divine. What Mary might have been doing behind the scenes. Or–in a scene that has stuck with me for a long time–what rough fishermen bringing the gospel to a town ruled by a pagan priest would’ve actually looked like:

As they watched, the caravan, which looked to be about one hundred cubits long, wound its way around two small hills on the outskirts of town and proceeded into the center of the village. As it passed, the figure of Raziel became clearer: the self-proclaimed priest of Baal wore a leather head covering with antlers of some sort on top. He was dressed in a coat made from fur of various animals, with each pelt contributing a different color and texture. Purple, orange and black paint cover his face in a fantastical design that hearkened to the weirdness of it all. Razed barely registered a glance at the two foreigners gaping at him and proceeded to lead the caravan to another hilltop on the other side of town. Peter and Andrew’s curiosity drove them along behind him (p.186).

As the cover art suggests, this book will put you on that holy ground that Jesus walked during His mission on earth. During this month of the rosary, I highly recommend that you treat yourself to this book and let the sights and sounds from the time of Jesus enliven your meditation on the mysteries of the rosary.

For a sneak peek at the book, visit Jackson’s site Watch the trailer of Twenty Mysteries here.

If you’re interested in purchasing this book, consider stopping in at your local Catholic bookstore first. It’s also available online, and if you use our Amazon link, gets a small percentage of the sales.

Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2015 Meg Matenaer.


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