First century Galillee was not a Sunday school place. An infant born had less than an even chance of surviving to adulthood. An occupying army of the Roman empire and its surrogates impacted life throughout the region, even into the small backwater town of Nazareth.
Little is known of a girl who grew into a woman in this time and place, just a few lines of description throughout the Gospels, including a powerful statement in the beginning of the book of Luke. Not much to go on, so much is left to the imagination.
This is my novel in progress, a story born from historical and anthropological research, but molded by my speculation of what life might have been like for a girl growing up there. Creating a work of fiction based on Mary (Maryam), the mother of Jesus, someone revered and a mystery, is challenging. I believe that building this story even with the limited mentions of this woman provides an opportunity to understand what it might have been like to live during that time and in that place and in her skin.