The Testament of Mary (2012) Here's a slim, grave, exquisitely emotional book that you'll find either profane or profound, depending on what you think of a novelist messing with the… 2012-11-13 History Philosophy and Religion Scribner
Book Review

The Testament of Mary (2012)

THE TESTAMENT OF MARY Colm Tóibín
THE TESTAMENT OF MARY Colm Tóibín
EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Nov 13, 2012; Writer: Colm Toibin; Genres: History, Philosophy and Religion; Publisher: Scribner

Here's a slim, grave, exquisitely emotional book that you'll find either profane or profound, depending on what you think of a novelist messing with the Mary you remember (or think you remember) from the Bible. It strikes me as the latter. The Testament of Mary takes an icon buried under centuries' worth of other people's opinions and transforms her into an unapologetically real woman who, at the end of her life, is recalling the annihilating pain of watching her son die (''Each of the nails was longer than my hand. Five or six of the men had to hold him and stretch out his arm along the cross''). Tóibín's Mary does not believe Jesus was the son of God. That, understandably, will be a deal breaker for some readers. But if your faith is strong enough to accommodate one artist's alternative vision, Testament is a spellbinding, surprisingly reverent book. A-

Originally posted Dec 05, 2012 Published in issue #1237 Dec 07, 2012 Order article reprints