An unconventional telling of Jesus' forty days in the wilderness, Quarantine grips the reader in a mysterious world of deception and dream. We follow six characters' sojourn in the desert: a merchant and his wife, a wealthy but barren Jewish woman, an elderly Jewish man suffering from a tumor, a madman from the east, a philosophical young Greek, and Jesus the Galilean. It is a believable work of historical fiction with a twist of suspense. At the end the reader is left to interpret the meaning of events.
Crace's writing holds nothing back, exposing his characters' raw and unflattering motives and thoughts. The writing is often powerful, though usually in its capacity to make the reader cringe. Let's just say that I would not want to be a character in Crace's world. So for all it's insight into human depravity, I cannot rate it as one of my favorites, or a book I would want to read again.