Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

The Testament of Mary

Posted by nliakos on February 28, 2013

by Colm Tóibín (Scribner, 2013)

When I read this review by Ron Charles in the Washington Post back in November, I was intrigued enough to put this on my To Read list. Then last week, I happened on it in a library display of new books. It’s very short, only 81 pages, and I just discovered it was originally written as a a play (or monologue). I think it would have been better to watch/listen to it than to just read it, but it was an interesting read, nonetheless.

Jesus’ mother, living out her final years in Ephesus, is the narrator. She recounts the raising of Lazarus and Jesus’ rescue of his disciples by walking on water. She is disgusted by her own cowardice in fleeing the scene of the crucifixion before Jesus died. She considers Jesus’ disciples pitiful (a “group of misfits”) and the redemption of the world not worth his gruesome death.

I wonder what Christians who read this think about it. Tóibín certainly takes liberties with the saintly image of the Virgin Mary. I found an interesting interview of Tóibín by Sally Quinn of the Post, in which he claims to love the Catholic Church very much; he seems to have had no intent to denigrate Mary, yet I suspect that the book might offend many believers.


One Response to “The Testament of Mary”

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