FAIRFIELD, NJ — Local author Catherine Magia, a former Fairfield resident and graduate of West Essex High School, has written one book entitled “The Fisherman’s Bride” and is on her way to writing its sequel. She recently hosted a book signing at the Fairfield Public Library that was attended by friends, family members and fans.
Brianne Colombo, director of the Fairfield Public Library, said the event was well attended despite the snow. Colombo said she was impressed with Magia’s sincere personality and that Magia hinted at the story being a trilogy.
“The Fisherman’s Bride” is a historical fiction about the life and times of the wife of St. Peter the Apostle.
“I discovered the voice of Simon Peter’s wife on a soul searching journey, while trekking through the biblical lands of Israel, Jordan, and Egypt,” said Magia. “I spent seven years writing and researching this debut novel, traveling as far as Ephesus, Turkey.”
The book includes insight into the culture, family life, social classes, the treatment of women and more during that time period. It brings the reader directly into the life and times of Simon Peter, a fisherman and apostle who left his family to follow Christ.
Instead of being written from his perspective, however, it is written from his wife’s. Simon Peter’s wife is nameless in Scripture. The way the reader knows about her is through the story of how Jesus healed Simon Peter’s mother-in-law.
In Magia’s story, Peter’s wife goes on a journey of her own after her husband leaves her to follow Christ.
“The book is about her journey from brokenness to healing, the experiences of living in first century Israel under Roman persecution, and the miracles she witnessed,” said Magia.
What is different about the book, according to Magia, is that she not only researched historical documents and books on culture, but she also studied alternate gospels that are outside the traditional canon.
“I remember the way the Sea of Galilee looked, the smell of olives in the air, how the trees were bent and twisted in Jerusalem,” she said. “I returned to the Middle East to hear the stories, legends, and myths. These are things that are not found in any documents but are such a big part of life.”
The extent of this research is evident in her book and makes it unique, according to readers.
By day, Magia is an associate director of marketing research in the development of new medications for cancer. She is currently based in Boston, but said she makes many trips to Fairfield to visit her mother and family.
Magia is a Vietnamese-American born in Brooklyn, New York. She and her family moved to New Jersey when she was a teenager.
She said that she always had a love for science and the written word. She describes herself as a “corporate professional by day and an author of historical fiction by night.” She also describes herself as “a story teller.”
“I believe that stories are not created but discovered,” she said. “The character spoke to me and her voice was so compelling. I was lucky enough to receive the inspiration and to commit this wonderful story to the page.”
Magia is also a poet with works published in several literary journals, including the “Michigan Quarterly Review.”
She was also the teenage talk show host on Comcast’s “Teen Talk” and “What’s the Good Word,” which were two weekly public access-television shows produced and directed by the late Sr. Agnes Bernard, OP, of the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell College.
Fairfield also has two other local authors: Linda Rawlins, known in Fairfield as Dr. Linda Liotti, and John McNally, an author of children’s stories. Look for Rawlins’ new book coming out this May and Magia’s sequel, which she hopes will be ready for a December 2017 release.