The Testament of Mary – Colm Toibin

testament of maryREAD FOR BOOKERTHON

Mary, mother of Jesus, is in her old age and does not believe her son was the son of God

❖ “The Testament of Mary is the story of Mary, mother of Jesus. She is elderly and being visited by ‘the Beloved Disciple’ who has returned to her home to question her again about the life of her son. He is writing is account of the time, which Mary says will be the founding of the new religion.

While being evasive to her guests, Mary instead tells the reader her account of things. How she felt for her son’s followers, whom she calls misfits, how she felt disconnected with him when he matured into a man. Her account culminates with the crucifixion, which Mary describes in detail.

The premise of the book is to give a voice to someone who was, in history, merely a vessel. She tells how the Evangelists weren’t interested in what really happened, rather what they could market or present the son of God to everyday people. The strong Mother-Son bond is what holds the book together.

I told him before he departed that all my life when I have seen more than two men together I have seen foolishness and I have seen cruelty, but it is foolishness I have noticed first.

❖ This book could have gone a number a ways and to be honest I wasn’t desperate to read it, but actually Mary’s complexity was revealed with a kind of cutting humour that opened the story up to many interpretations. I liked this more than I thought I would.” – Rachel

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Published 2013
Scribner’s
96 pages

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