Anne Rice Tackles 'Road to Cana'

Author Anne Rice made a name for herself by penning gothic-themed vampire tales. Books like "Interview With the Vampire" became box-office heavyweights and propelled actors' careers, but Rice soon abandoned her darker themes for the Lord. After becoming a born-again Christian, Rice stopped writing about vampires and dedicated herself to religious themes.

Rice, a former atheist, returned to her Catholic roots, and her newest book, "Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana," is her second book devoted to Christianity. The book follows Christ's life beginning with his last winter before his baptism in the Jordan River and ending with the miracle at Cana.

Read an excerpt of the book below and click here for more information.

Chapter 1

Who is Christ the Lord?

Angels sang at his birth. Magi from the East brought gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They gave these gifts to him, and to his mother, Mary, and the man, Joseph, who claimed to be his father.

In the Temple, an old man gathered the babe in his arms. The old man said to the Lord, as he held the babe, "A light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel."

My mother told me those stories.

That was years and years ago.

Is it possible that Christ the Lord is a carpenter in the town of Nazareth, a man past thirty years of age, and one of a family of carpenters, a family of men and women and children that fill ten rooms of an ancient house, and, that in this winter of no rain, of endless dust, of talk of trouble in Judea, Christ the Lord sleeps in a worn woolen robe, in a room with other men, beside a smoking brazier? Is it possible that in that room, asleep, he dreams?

Yes. I know it's possible. I am Christ the Lord. I know. What I must know, I know. And what I must learn, I learn.

And in this skin, I live and sweat and breathe and groan. My shoulders ache. My eyes are dry from these dreadful rainless days—from the long walks to Sepphoris through the gray fields in which the seeds burn under the dim winter sun because the rains don't come.

I am Christ the Lord. I know. Others know, but what they know they often forget. My mother hasn't spoken a word on it for years. My foster father, Joseph, is old now, white haired, and given to dreaming.

I never forget.

And as I fall asleep, sometimes I'm afraid—because my dreams are not my friends. My dreams are wild like bracken or sudden hot winds that sweep down into the parched valleys of Galilee.

But I do dream, as all men dream.

And so this night, beside the brazier, hands and feet cold, under my cloak, I dreamed.

I dreamed of a woman, close, a woman, mine, a woman who became a maiden who became in the easy tumult of dreams my Avigail.

I woke. I sat up in the dark. All the others lay sleeping still, with open mouths, and the coals in the brazier were ashes.

Go away, beloved girl. This is not for me to know, and Christ the Lord will not know what he does not want to know—or what he would know only by the shape of its absence.

She wouldn't go—not this, the Avigail of dreams with hair tumbled down loose over my hands, as if the Lord had made her for me in the Garden of Eden. No. Perhaps the Lord made dreams for such knowing—or so it seemed for Christ the Lord.

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