Warning: This a book review from someone who is not qualified to give sound, profession book reviews. If you want a book review from a pro and not just someone with an opinion, do not take any of this seriously. I'm just a girl with an opinion and her husband's opinion.
Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, let me give you my review of Maria of Guadalupe by Paul Badde. Published by Ignatius Press. I have mixed feelings about this book. First let me tell what is great about it. It tells the history, story and newest facts out there about Our Lady of Guadalupe. I have only read one other book on her, but this one trumps it. It has all the amazing little factoids that make you say, "wow, this is so undeniably true, why isn't this published in school books?" Plus it has the entire original ancient text that tells the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and plus cool new findings and interviews that I'm pretty sure you cannot find in any other Guadalupe book...like the angel under Mary's feet...not an angel! You'll have to read the book to find out who it is.
So that is in the first three or four chapters of the book. Which brings me to the downside of this book. Paul Badde is a historian who has some pretty neat connections and has gotten to see and do a lot of things because of the people he knows and meets along the way, but most of it has nothing to do with Our Lady of Guadalupe! He spends at least a third of the book in Jerusalem learning about Mary's history there. Why did I need to read about his travels there?? I have no idea! There is no real connection to his travels which take up about two thirds of the book and Our Lady of Guadalupe except that it's about Mary. I totally would have skipped this chapters, had I not been waiting for Paul Badde's conversion. In the beginning of the book, he mentions how he is a lapsed Catholic. So all along his "journey" to discover who Mary was, I am patiently waiting for him to turn from historian to a real person with a soul! I am waiting for that, "ah ha!" moment when he realizes Mary is his mother and not just a nice history lesson. This *sort of* happens in the last couple paragraphs of the book but is so nonchalant that I was deeply disappointed.
About my husband's opinion- he recommended this book to me with rave reviews. After I read it, I probed for more information about why he liked the book. He liked all the parts that I liked, and didn't remember the other parts (which were that unmemorable), so that is why he gave it two thumbs up.
If you want to read a great book about Our Lady of Guadalupe, I do recommend this book. Just skip over the random jots about Badde's excursions around Europe and Jerusalem. You really won't miss much. I wish I had skipped over them because the book would have been excellent without them.