Did you ever wonder what it would have been like to live in the time of Jesus' birth? "The Nativity Story" by Angela Hunt gives the read clues as to what life would have been like for Zechariah, Elizabeth, Joseph and Mary.
The story is familiar to anyone who has or spends any time in the Bible. However, more insight is given to how others could have reacted to these unusual happenings in these people's lives. Elizabeth is in her old age when suddenly she is told that she will be having a baby. Her husband Zechariah doesn't believe it, so he cannot talk until their son is given the name of John. At that time, sons were named after their fathers or another relative. Mary is there to help Elizabeth in her time of need.
How Mary's parents must have reacted when they realize that their young daughter is pregnant even though she is not yet married. What sheer determination it took Joseph to take Mary as his wife even though he's not the father of the baby. She could have been stoned for what she had allegedly done.
There are also chapters of the book which talk of the three Magi. Their sighting of a strange star and their journey to see what has happened. The chapters about them are interspersed with the story of Mary.
This book is very enlightening and makes me even more anxious to see the movie which is currently in the theatres with the same name.